Foundational Glamping  in Canvas tents, in the wilderness with a great level of comfort.

"starry night at camp" by Recovering Vagabond is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Overused and Abused - The concept of Glamping and the notion of Glamping.

Notice regarding towel use in hotels along with an offer of fruit are nominal sustainability policies introduced by hotels.

"Jogging corner" by Hotel de la Paix Genève is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Serving guests with plant based meals is a sustainable practice of some hotels

“Port of San Diego’s Top Green Chef Cook-off” by Port of San Diego is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sustainable practices at hotels sees bicycles being offered to guest for their use to sightsee around the locality

“High-class hotel bicycles” by Clyde Bentley is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Several words within tourism have become overused, abused, or appropriated to generate marketing spin or create favourable branding imagery. Perhaps the most notorious hijacking is the use of the word sustainable in respect to hospitality businesses. It is not unknown for hotels and restaurants to greenwash their operations by incorporating minimal practices into their daily running. The ability to misappropriate is enhanced by a sense of vagueness while retaining an aura of responsibility and social concern. This ambiguity, along with a perceived lack of transparency, trivialises its meaning, ultimately leading to its open denigration (King, 2013). King succinctly notes that:

The word has become so corrupted as to not only be meaningless but to actually obscure the real issues.
(King, 2013)

Does the word "glamping" suffer from similar lapses of interpretation?

While issues surrounding glamping may be less significant, there are diverse representations. Glamping is constructed and depicted in so many eclectic and varied ways that virtually anything can be claimed. It is perceived that glamping is less weighty than ideals such as sustainability, and that such marketing representations are simply acceptable business practice.

Advocates of specific, differentiated and largely unrelated hospitality offerings contend that their form of, place and space are valid and appropriate glamping manifestations. It has been variously asserted, by some, that glamping is exclusively linked to rurality and the wild, while others also promote its suitability to rurban and urban areas. Some proponents contend that a crucial facet is the provision of experiences (usually outdoors), where glampers see and do things outside of their normality, while others promote sedate relaxation and taking time out. An overview of glamping can be found at Glamping (glamorous camping) (Watt, 2020b) and About Glamping: What is Glamping? (Watt, 2020a)

Similar to sustainability, eco-tourism, and alternative-tourism, the original concept of glamping has suffered from appropriation.

An important distinction is required. That is, the word or label “glamping” should be separated from the concepts and ideas that it purports to signify. The former (word or brand) has become contested and confused, while the latter (the concept) has integrity and credibility. For the sake of clarity, the former will be denoted as glamping in this article, and the latter as glamping.

The proliferation of notions attaching themselves to the concept of glamping has come about because of its quizzical contrivance, its subsequent meaning vacuum, and consequent insertions of differentiated representations.

Glamping's Quizzical Contrivance

There is much conjecture that the term glamping came about through a humorous  but critical  critique of the elite standard of tented accommodation being provided to some festival goers at Glastonbury.

""043a-20100623_Somerset-Glastonbury Festival 2010-Viewing Area-Panorama of Other & Pyramid Stage Arenas from above Tipi Village-2 photo stitch" by Nick Kaye is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Much conjecture surrounds how the original terminology came about. Glamping has taken much of its imagery from historical representations derived from several notable civilisations. The notion of modern-day glamping manifested itself in Europe some decades before it developed any significance in the UK. However, it appears that no unifying terminology evolved from the European conception.

The word glamping, first appeared around 2005 in the UK, but the reasons surrounding its invention remain shrouded in mystery. An anecdote credits a journalist from a popular newspaper coining it to mock the gentrification of some accommodation sections at the Glastonbury music festival, to disparage its elite attendees. A less interesting but more likely accreditation concerns the introduction of tented stays on rural farmland by Dutchman Luite Moral, although how the coinage developed remains elusive (Earp S., 2017). Macmillan’s BuzzWord postulates that the term:

is thought primarily to be a British invention – possibly spawned by an increasing guilt over carbon footprints among the middle classes. They were becoming less quick to take to the skies and more predisposed to using their cash for a luxurious take on a traditional leisure activity.
(Maxwell, 2010)

Much of glamping’s lack of credibility can be attributed, at least in part, to a lack of assignment of any comprehensive meaning. The fact that glamping is a portmanteau, a combination of the sounds and meanings of two others, has been overstated to the point of being banal. Further, criticism surrounds the fact that it is an “oxymoronic portmanteau” where “the principles upon which it is constructed seem flimsy” (LanguageLog, 2017).

Ben Zimmer, executive producer of and columnist to the Wall Street Journal, is quoted by as commenting that blended words:

Come in handy in a business sector where there’s often a need to come up with clever marketing spin. It’s niche marketing. You’re trying to appeal to different sectors of the public; ‘well, we have a special kind of tourism for you and it has a special name’
(Harpaz, 2014)

Jaded by the use of constructed “stunt words” (Harpaz, 2014), the general public can be excused for possessing a sceptical and hardened attitude. Subjectively, there is empathy for the notion that:

Glamping is a word much more hateable than the idea it actually represents.
(Pollack, 2021)

Glamping’s Meaning Vacuum.

Much of the difficulty is that it has been problematic to move away from the intrinsic signification of the originating words (glamorous + camping) and flesh out supporting and augmenting meanings. It is notable that despite its inception in 2005, it was not added into the Merriam-Webster dictionary until 2018 (Lieberman, 2018). For inclusion in dictionaries, words are assessed through the meaning exchange between people using the word (Harpaz, 2014). When this happens, over a period of time, words attain a consensus of meaning which can be recorded as a dictionary definition. It appears that it took around 13 years for glamping to achieve such consensus.

MacMillan Dictionary (MacMillan, 2019)

A type of camping that involves staying in a
comfortable type of tent with furniture, lots of equipment, and good food and drink.

Lexico (Oxford Dictionary) (Lexico, 2019)

A form of camping involving accommodation and
facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.

Cambridge Dictionary (Cambridge Dictionary, 2021b)

A type of camping that is more comfortable
and luxurious than traditional camping. The word is a mixture of ‘glamorous’ and ‘camping’.

Grammarist  (Grammarist, n.d.)

Glamping is a type of camping that
incorporates luxuries and amenities normally associated with traditional camping.

Urban Dictionary {top definition}(Dictionary, 2007)

Shorthand for glamorous camping; luxury camping.

Collins Dictionary (Collins Dictionary, 2021)

A form of camping in which participants enjoy
physical comforts associated with more luxurious types of holiday.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary (Merriam Webster, 2019)

Outdoor camping with amenities and comforts
(such as beds, electricity, and access to indoor plumbing) not usually used when camping.

The powerful signification surrounding glamorous camping has catapulted the traction of the term globally, while leaving its wider meaning in a vacuum. It is impossible to cognitively remove ones focus from these two founding words. It is clear that any legal sense of glamping incorporates these as its foundational notions. They are ironclad and enduring.

While other attributes abound, these are often contested and have not attained unanimous consensus (and consequently are not included in dictionary definitions). Being located in beautiful locations, having an association with rurality, possessing a sense of remoteness, providing a sanctuary or escape away from one’s normal life, being served in luxury (camp butlers), experiencing the outdoors, doing untried activities, socialising with others, taking time out with family and close friends, name but a few. These can only be contemplated as secondary attributes. That is, modifiers of the foundational attributes but not foundational in themselves.

Because of its powerful signification, and the various types of spin afforded to it, the attribute of camping is worthy of investigation through its dictionary meanings. It is noted that the major dictionaries are in close agreement and almost without exception reference staying in a tent, with one dictionary further alluding to makeshift accommodation. Most imply that the stay is of short duration, located in the open air, lasting a couple of nights or so, and done for recreational purposes. The association with tents is very specific and extremely strong. The association with makeshift accommodations implies temporary eclectic structures that are suitable only for the couple of days stay.

MacMillan Dictionary (Macmillan Dictionary, 2021)

the activity of living in a tent, usually for fun.

Lexico (Oxford Dictionary)(Lexico (Oxford Dictionary), 2021)

The activity of spending a holiday living in a tent. Temporary overnight lodging in tents

Cambridge Dictionary (Cambridge Dictionary, 2021a)

The activity of staying in a tent on holiday.

The act of staying and sleeping in an outside area for one or more days and nights, usually in a tent.

Urban Dictionary {second top definition (Urban Dictionary, 2003)

To spend time with nature, leaving behind much of the technological advances and roughing it.

Chambers Dictionary (Chambers Dictionary, 2021)

Living in a tent or makeshift accommodation, especially for recreation.

To stay in a tent or tents, cooking meals in the open air, etc.

Glamping’s Insertions of Differentiated Representations of Glamping.

Using imagery surrounding glamorous and camping as points of reference, three ways of relating the word glamping (signifier) to the concept glamping (signified) can be established:

(1) Embrace Glamping to Describe Glamping.

Under Canvas fully embraces the concept of camping with luxury in the outdoors near national parks

"Under Canvas" by AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Embrace the limited, constrained and conflicted meanings inherent in the words. Here, the notions of camping and luxury are emphasised. Representations of glamping spaces, are full of traditional nomadic shelter abodes such as tepees, yurts, wigwams, Scandinavian lavvu, along with more recent innovations of canvas safari tents and bell tents (and curiously dome structures). That is, they are saturated with imagery of being transitory and dismantlable, making a deliberate and compelling connection to camping.

Similarly, significations of glamping experiences are often associated with camping activities, being around open fireplaces, engaging with outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, horse-riding, birding, and nature-walking.

Imagery around luxurious appointments typically surrounds large comfortable beds, agreeable bathrooms, pleasant décor and quality cuisine that would not normally be expected while camping.

(2) Dissociate Glamping from Glamping, and Instead Use Surrogates

Are other unique accommodations being marketed as glamping with foundational its attributes being camping and luxury.

“Glamping in Africa: Elewana Collection in Tanzania and Kenya.” by Traveloscopy is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

High quality accommodation units dotted around a camp in Africa. The facility does not call itself glamping but includes the attributes of outdoor living and luxury positioned in the wild

“Singita Lebombo” by Sanctu is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Located in Central Australia, longitude 131 sees itself as an iconic resort overlooking Australias most famous landmark Ayers Rock, and prides itself in being luxurious outdoor camp situated in the Australian Wild.

“Longitude 131” by epc is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Dissociate the concept of glamping from its signifying terminology glamping and replace it with a surrogate signifier. This primarily occurs when representations of vastly superior forms of glamping are being alluded to. In this approach, the use of glamping is seen as degrading the type of glamping that is being symbolised and therefore to be avoided.

Dissociation is more prevalent when one-of-a-kind, outstanding glamping spaces and experiences are being represented. The use of architecturally designed structures reminiscent of, and informed by nomadic shelter abodes are incorporated throughout. Significations use rich, eclectic designs that bring the outdoors into interior spaces, considered motifs often with an ethnic perspective, spaces that are saturated with historical significance, or strikingly futurist structures set within a backdrop of remote landscapes. Amenity can vary depending on the surrounding environment, with rustic explorer imagery equally prevalent with ultra-modern hotel themes.

Surrogate terminology invariably incorporates a place name in association with one of the following descriptors:

…… tented camp
…… travelling camp
…… lodge
…… collection
…… house.
camp ……..

Notably, camp features heavily as a descriptor. However, it is combined with a modifier to channel the representation’s meaning, and along with place association, provide a connotation of distinctiveness and exclusiveness. Glamping as a word is not included in the expression.

Terminology is specifically chosen to invoke an association with terroir in the same way that wine and cheese are identified with specific areas. The geographical references highlight contextual characteristics that are unique and exclusive.

(3) Ignore Glamping and Substitute other Notions to Glamping.

Homeboat Glamping is one of many "not glamping" forms of accommodation touting itself to the glamper market

"Homeboat Glamping" by VISITFLANDERS is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Glamping pods using modern permanent structures are claiming that they are valid glamping options. However they are neither tents, nor can it be said that they offer luxury, while also not being located in the wild.

"Glamping…" by Robert Sedovšek is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Ignore the founding words and attempt to imbue the word with substitute significations. If glamping is attached to the foundational attributes of glamorous and camping, then substitute notions publicize attributes that are not glamorous and/or are not camping.

Substitution occurs in various ways, ranging from genuine interpretational differences (due to cultural or geographical factors) through to deception. It can be incidental (not intended) or premeditated. Where it is premeditated, glamping is unquestionably presented as glamping, but manifests as something completely different. Both incidental and premeditated substitution cause erosion of conceptual glamping, resulting in increasing scepticism and mistrust by the general public.

Glamping Assessment Tool (GAT) - A closer Look at Glamping Substitutions using a Theoretical Judgement Model.

So how are substitutions to be gauged? How are glamping candidates to be considered when they claim to be glamping, and how removed from the notion of “real” glamping are their claims? Evaluating substitution by bifurcating the various candidates assesses them as “being” or “not being” glamping. However, reality would suggest that most glamping concerns would lie somewhere in-between, possessing varying degrees of the foundational attributes. In this case, reasoning implies that glamping is a continuum with extremities of glamping at one end and not glamping at the other.

Glamping Assessment Tool (GAT) - Determination of whether something is glamping (that is, glamping or not glamping) is determined through judgement spectrums of camping/not camping and luxury/not luxury so that a glamping candidate can be judged as either "glamping" or "not glamping".

Nevertheless, even when only considering the foundational attributes of camping and luxury, glamping possesses numerous permutations. Therefore, judgements must be taken down to these foundational attributes, each with its own continuum. In this way, camping can be considered as a continuum between extremities of camping and not camping, and luxury can be regarded as a continuum between luxury and not luxury. Consequently, reasoned judgments of glamping candidates result from consideration of camping and luxury continuums considered contemporaneously.

Typical of a great glamping tent, faces directly to the wildness outside, it constructed out of canvas and is furnished with comfortable furniture

Glamping Assessment Tool (GAT) - Classifies this comfortable tent  as "camping" and its appointment and furnishings providing a comfort level not expected in the outdoors and therefore quite luxurious, that is, providing  "luxury" in an empathetic fashion. Combined, it infers that the house boat is definitely "glamping".

"glamping" by Ranchseeker ( is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

To take a degree of subjectivity out of judgements about whether a glamping candidate is glamping or not glamping a graphical assessment helps classification. The Glamping Assessment Tool (GAT) provides greater objectivity through the use of judgement spectrums of "camping/not camping" and "luxury/not luxury". While it is a relatively simple mechanism, its graphical presentation of judgements concerning the degree of camping and luxury result in unequivocal judgements concerning whether a glamping candidate is glamping or not glamping. Through this process, camping and luxury can be considered independently, then brought together in a holistic assessment. However, despite its simplicity outcomes appear to conflict with what a number of glamping candidates are manifesting.

In this consideration camping and bivouacking are closely associated through analysis with Visual Thesaurus. Luxury and comfortable are also closely associated through analysis with Visual Thesaurus.

 Word association of Luxury in Visual Thesaurus include the words Indulgence, luxuriousness, opulence, sumptuousness, lavishness, and sumptuosity.

Word association of Luxury in Visual Thesaurus

Word association of Luxury in Visual Thesaurus include the words coziness, snugness, cosiness, convenience, relief, ease, comfort, comfortableness and comfy

Word association of comfortable in Visual Thesaurus

Word association of camping in Visual Thesaurus include the words tenting, bivouacking, encampment and camp.

Word association of camping in Visual Thesaurus

Word association of bivouac in Visual Thesaurus include the words camping site, campsite, camping ground, camping area, campground,, encampment, cantonment, camp, encamp, camping out, tent.

Word association of bivouac in Visual Thesaurus

Camping and Not Camping.

Illustration 1 of Not Camping.

(used here as an illustration only)

There are great number of holiday accommodations, such as houseboats, that have unique value to vacationers, but these are not glamping

Glamping Assessment Tool (GAT) - Classifies house boat as "not camping" and "not luxury" in an empathetic fashion. Combined, it infers that the house boat is "not glamping".

"Homeboat Glamping" by VISITFLANDERS is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If the concept of camping has been defined previously, there is a necessity to illustrate the other extremity of not camping. Perhaps the most evident examples are various forms of recreational accommodation promoted by intermediaries, such as boats, islands, castles, villas, and holiday homes. Boats are promoted:

Take your next glamping getaway out on the water for a little adventure! Each of these boats would be the perfect home away from home, as you explore the high seas. From private marinas in Florida to yachts off the Pacific Coast, houseboats from Cambodia all the way to Belgium, pick from these luxury houseboats and get outside for the best glamping getaway possible.
(, 2021)

In the illustrative example 1, the accommodation space, a houseboat is clearly not camping. However, a number of websites are claiming that boats, houseboats, islands, towers and castles constitute glamping.

Illustration 2 of Not Camping.

(used here as an illustration only)

Increasingly substantial urban styled structures are being constructed in the wild for hospitality concerns, and are marketed as glamping. However, they do not possess the foundation attributes of glamping and therefore are not glamping.

Glamping Assessment Tool (GAT) - Classifies the configuration of this accommodation as a holiday home constructed  from permanent materials, with utilities and appointment similar to that found in urban houses.  It cannot be considered in any way be  "camping" . While it enjoys a very comfortable interior, again these are items typically expected urban residences and are therefore not empathetic to the outdoors and the wild. It does provide luxury it is not  sympathetic to its setting and therefore can only be considered to provide "some luxury". Combined, it infers that the holiday home is "not glamping".

"Mother Daughter 'Glamping' 2014" by gsdsw is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Similarly, Villas and homes are promoted:

Explore our collection of luxury villas and homes, delivering to upscale global travelers and adventure seekers an unforgettable lodging experience in private villas and homes with five-star amenities. Each of these villas provide glampers all the comforts of home in a unique outdoor environment and experience. This collection provides glamping-minded guests with the perfect home to stay in, many with concierge services to assist with details big and small.
(, 2021)

Other forms also lay claim to being glamping for which they have no entitlement. It is also difficult to be charitable and classify these substitutions as incidental. Unique accommodations they may be, but they are not glamping.

Genuine substitutions do occur and concern whether various types of permanent structures are considered camping or not camping. This is discussed in detail in Glamping Space: Evolution & Appropriation (Watt, 2021a). A case is made for some permanent structures in Glamping Space: The Case for permanent Structures? (Watt, 2021b). In various global regions, huts, cabins, shepherd’s huts, wagons, and other similar configurations lay claim to being a form of camping. Supporting reasoning surrounds extreme remoteness, severe climate or security (from wildlife) in the wild.

Luxury and Not Luxury.

Illustration 1 of Not Luxury.

(used here as an illustration only)

Some glamping entrepreneurs consider that all they need to do is erect at tent and they can call it glamping. However, unless they also include substantial space and comfort it cannot be considered to be glamping. Crammed tents with little amenity is not glamping.

Glamping Assessment Tool (GAT) - Classifies the configuration of this accommodation as a tent and therefore "camping" , however, its is crammed fill of beds that are placed on the floor with no space to move around. Further, this is no bathroom. It cannot be considered to provide a great deal of comfort and therefore is "not luxury". Combined, it infers that the uncomfortable tent is "not glamping".

"Glamping Legok Kondang" by .angels. is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Transgressions around luxury (glamorous) or not luxury (not glamorous) can also be found. However, a caveat is relevant. The luxury should be associated with rurality and the outdoors and not merely a relocation of urban luxury spaces. Comfortable beds, empathetic interiors, along with an eye for functionality and sustainability are all crucial characteristics. Transferring typical urban home or hotel spaces into the wild are seen for precisely what they are, a home in the country and an outdoor hotel, respectively.

The standard of luxury has been the subject of recent discourse, and ill-prepared and hastily constructed facilities have widely missed the mark. With an accelerated level of interest in glamping in the UK, 500 new glamping sites have been set up for the 2021 summer season, on top of 90 for the previous year (Butler, 2021). Given the pace of development, it is not unexpected that some will not meet (or perhaps even aim to meet) the levels of glamour anticipated. A clear example has been widely published in newspapers in early August, which has resulted in the condemnation of glamping in general (Guardian - Pass Notes, 2021; Hussain, 2021a, 2021b; Vine, 2021). Extensive photographic images depict situations that are clearly not glamorous. Even if the facilities were installed and operated appropriately, they would still be not glamorous.

Illustration 2 of Not Luxury.

(used here as an illustration only)

Small tents even if considered to typify glamping, are not the hallmark of glamping if they do not also possess luxury

Glamping Assessment Tool (GAT) - Classifies the configuration of this accommodation as a tent  and therefore "camping" , however, it is very small and a person cannot stand up and only a small aisle allows crawling space to climb into bed.  Further, there is no bathroom. It cannot be considered to provide a high degree of comfort and therefore is "not luxury". Combined, it infers that the tent is "not glamping".

"glamping" by Magalie L'Abbé is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Will the Commoditisation of Glamping Destroy it?

So, what of the future? The advent of substitution within glamping has accelerated in recent years. It can be attributed to would-be entrepreneurs seeking to cash in on its branding and appeal to the travelling public. It is surmised that business plans have little to do with any empathy to the foundational values associated with glamping and everything to do with receiving financial gain. A process of commodification is occurring in which the brand related to glamping has become disconnected from its conceptual underpinnings.

Popularly is the downfall of many iconic concepts. mass tourism has destroyed venturesome tourism in many destinations, the branded Irish Pub concept has destroyed the cultural icon that were Irish Pubs, and Pseudo-Glamping  is replacing authentic glamping.

"Storefront Fado Irish Pub" by Atelier Teee is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The process of commoditisation of glamping can be compared to that of traditional Irish pubs that are renowned and recognised around the world. For most, they are perceived as an expression of Irish authenticity. Reality is vastly different, and the modern brand has disrupted the former cultural institution (Muñoz, Wood, & Solomon, 2006). The high number of Irish immigrating to the US between 1820-1930 led to the importation of iconic Irish institutions such as Catholicism, Irish pubs, athletic clubs, and labour unions. Prior to the 1990’s traditional Irish pubs either faithfully mirrored their Irish counterparts (or an Americanised version of it). Since 1992, a branded and themed concept was developed called the “Irish Pub Concept”, which has since thrived globally and supplanted the original:

Ironically, the proliferation of simulated Irish pubs has become so acute that they are replacing original pubs in Ireland itself. In Ireland’s capital of Dublin, pubs are being redesigned to meet the expectations of tourists. ……. It could be argued that there is no longer such a thing as an authentic Irish pub (at least in Dublin).
(Muñoz et al., 2006, p. 224)

Here, little authenticity remains in the modern Irish pub, being replaced by a themed notion instead. Signifiers of authenticity, modified to suit, are imported through “Irish employees, Irish food and drink, and Irish music” (Muñoz et al., 2006, p. 224) all curated to suit the particular regional audience being catered for. Further:

Beyond the physical structure of the pub another factor that contributes to its perceived authenticity is the selection and placement of cultural artifact. These include the use of artwork, photographs, newspaper clippings, beverage merchandise, and musical instruments to create a realistic set.
(Muñoz et al., 2006, p. 224)

Is the glamping industry suffering from the same disease? Hospitality businesses located in places and spaces not customarily associated with glamping are being developed and touted as glamping. Increasingly, novel accommodations distinctive in their own right are being promoted as authentic glamping experiences. While backcountry huts and cabins, shepherds’ huts, and various forms of traditional wheeled conveyance may claim some legitimacy, others are clearly contrivances. The incursion of substantial permanent structures such as tiny homes, boats, castles, and villas illustrate the level of infiltration. The latter is noteworthy and is perhaps the most deceitful attack on the concept of glamping. Buildings akin to urban residences are being designed/redesigned to present an outdoor ambience, dressed and appointed with furnishings and imagery associated with nature and activities in the wild. Fishing, hunting, trekking, foraging and birding artefacts are strewn everywhere. The incorporation of symbols of rurality, such as potbelly stoves, old skis, open canoes, along with photographs of people being out and active in the wild, are carefully curated. The resultant effect is not to provide customers with any actual experiences but instead to engender various degrees of simulation, whereby customers believe they have.

The Future is Pseudo-Glamping: Glamping as opposed to Glamping?

Finally, is the tactic of substitution eroding the value of the term glamping to the point that as an expression, it should be excommunicated by the glamping industry?

It is clear that the term glamping has been hijacked, and it no longer serves as a signifier of the foundational form of glamping. This is a destructive impact on the industry, mainly affecting smaller niche glamping entrepreneurs and glampers, both of whom suffer from conflicted tourism products being increasingly touted as glamping. Glamping has become commoditised; the signifier has been removed from what it signifies.

The difficulty for the glamping industry is that the brand glamping is in the process of supplanting the originating concept of glamping. Regardless of any ethical considerations of how this has come about, the process is cementing itself within hospitality and appears to be irreversible. Given the analogy with the commoditisation of Irish pubs, it is likely that forms of pseudo-glamping will increasingly infiltrate and dominate glamping space:

glamping >>>> glamping >>>> pseudo-glamping

In the same way that mass tourism invaded and captured venturesome tourist space, pseudo-glamping will capture and occupy glamping space. Faced with this usurping, what are the choices for the originating concept of glamping? There is only one, to rebrand itself. While distancing itself from its iconic moniker, glamping must find a new brand or signifier that clearly signifies its identity. Further, it must ensure ownership of this moniker, not to stifle, but to encourage entrepreneurial innovation and keep the notion of glamping one that continues to excite and stimulate holidaymakers.


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