Bleriot Blogger – The Vale of Glamorgan, The Glamping Show, European Open-Air Tourism

Posted 5th October 2021

The Vale of Glamorgan, a forgotten gem.

On a recent sales excursion to South Wales, I was surprised to learn of the lack of holiday accommodation in the Vale of Glamorgan. Predictably, in nearby Cardiff which borders the Vale, there are hotels aplenty which you would expect in a capital city. However, move away from here and despite holiday attractions like Barry Island and Fonmon Castle there is precious few glamping and holiday accommodation facilities. The inland area, nicely away from chemical, steel and cement manufacturing plants, there is charming tracts of countryside around Cowbridge and beyond. If one leaves the main highways, you’ll discover an interior full of old-fashioned charm, characterised by narrow lanes with high hedges, woodland and farmland. Further north when entering the Rhondda Valleys, the land opens to sweeping vistas of recovered land from the vestiges of coal mine workings. There would appear to be plenty of tourism opportunities for the entrepreneurial.

The Glamping Show

I was pleased to meet our friends at Glamping International Business and Open Air magazines at the recent show at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. It was heartening to see a good turnout of visitors although on the Friday of our visit the numbers were down, but the previous day was said to be heaving. The fact that none of the usually informative seminar sessions were staged live but on-line, took away some of the buzz of the event. What was noticeable was the lack of genuine innovation on display. Plenty of ‘upturned boat’ pods and of course the ubiquitous Shepherd’s Huts, some which were eye-wateringly expensive. As the industry matures glamping operators and the consuming public are going to demand more in the future.

European Open-Air Tourism makes a come back

It comes as no surprise that In France and Italy the staycation market has experienced a similar upturn as the UK. Glamping Business magazine claims that open air tourism has reached similar levels to 2019 and that is with their seasons only opening in June 2021, post pandemic. The French Sett expo (Salon des equipment et techniques du tourisme) will host 550 exhibitors over a 550 sq.metre in early November. There is clear appetite for investment and the theme for 2022 season is innovation. At the recent Salon del Camper in Italy they recorded 100,000 visitors with a similar enthusiasm for more open-air holidays embracing the usual tents, lodges and an increased interest in glamping in all its forms.

– Bleriot Blogger

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