Glamping USA: Our Director Gary Flaks Breaks It Down
Updated: Mar 28, 2019
After years of servicing the camping and outdoor community in North America, Bushtec USA spent 2018 solidifying their place in the Glamping and Luxury Safari Resort markets on the continent.
The glamping market in US is projected to reach a revenue of around $1 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of over 15% during 2018-2024. Head of Bushtec USA, Gary Flaks, tells us more about his business in the wake of this sudden market boom.
1. What was your biggest success of 2018?
Our biggest success for 2018 was to close several luxury tent deals in the USA. We closed on 6 deals for luxury tents, some of which were already supplied and installed, while others are now in production.
2. What were some of the industry challenges in 2018, and how can they be overcome?
The challenge in the USA is that glamping and luxury tents are a new phenomenon in the tourism industry. Things such as permitting and certification are grey areas, and customers don’t know who they can trust. There is so much uncertainty. Customers need to understand more than just the tents, such as decking, plumbing electrical, air conditioning, heating, insulation and more.This is why we spend so much time building trust and conveying our expertise, rather than just dangling a product before our clients. Suppliers have to spend more time on the awareness phase of the customer life cycle, providing extensive information, sometimes over months, before the customer gains confidence in the potential project. Luckily, Bushtec has 30+ years of experience in installing safari tents across 6 continents, and our resorts speak for themselves.
3. What are some exciting projects you worked on or are working on right now?
We are working on a number of very exciting projects including Open Sky Glamping in Zion, Utah; Spoon Glamping in Wimberly, Texas; The Destination near Auburn, Alabama; Congaree and Penn Farm in Jacksonville, Florida; The Wahwhataysee Resort in Texas Hill country (between Austin and San Antonio), Camp Aramoni in Illinois and several others.
4. Your comments on the current climate in Glamping Resort Development in the USA? Good or bad? Anything note-worthy?
Luxury canvas tented lodges are very new in the USA, and haven’t truly been exploited for their extraordinary profitability. Both the operators and customers are still learning. But as we know, Glamping is the most exciting new phenomenon in the struggling tourism industry. The challenge of introducing a new concept to the market is always educating potential clients and investors, to equip them with the knowledge and skills to thrive. While some customer experiences have been particularly challenging, each has given us an enormous opportunity to learn as much about evolving customer needs, as they learn about our company and the industry. It is important for all of us in the industry, that operators give the customers staying in resorts, a great experience.
5. What are you looking forward to achieving in 2019?
2019 is a huge year for us in the USA and the region as we establish ourselves as the leading brand of luxury tents. We are so excited to open our first resorts and install our own showroom tents. Look out for our first showroom available to customers in Austin, Texas within the next few months and in Atlanta, Georgia later in 2019.