Italy has become totally enamoured with the idea of glamping. Campsites all over the country are exploring the possibilities of luxury camping, and guests seem to love it! In this business case, our Italian client Sergio Civettini of Camping al Lago recognises the success; glamping was the suitable investment with high occupancy rates and many repeat bookings. Read more about their journey and find out how glamping tents can be a valuable addition to your existing offering
Camping al Lago was the first campsite to open its doors on Lake Garda more than 60 years ago. From the very beginning, they have been known for outdoor holidays with an edge and excellent service. ‘Our guests love the family atmosphere; most of them even become repeat guests because they appreciate our hospitality’. It is what owner Sergio Civettini and his family are most proud of.
‘During the pandemic, we reflected on our business and the future. We decided to go ahead and start a huge renovation, but at the same time preserve the charm of our location.’ The result is spectacular, with multiple accommodation types and different experiences to give their guests precisely what they are looking for. ‘Guests can stay by the lake and enjoy a wonderful holiday with a broad choice of accommodation types; comfortable mobile homes, glamorous luxury tents, convenient hotel rooms or a stay on our adventurous camping area.’
One thing all guests have in common is their love of the outdoors. ‘All our guests, regardless of accommodation preference, are avid cyclists, water sports enthusiasts, or simply looking to experience la dolce vita.’ Due to their size and the space they provide, glamping tents and mobile homes appeal most to families. ‘They even prefer an outdoor stay to our hotel accommodations.’ It’s the combination of comfort, style and being outdoors that truly makes the difference.
Our glamping guests appreciate the privacy and comfort combined with the charm of camping.
At Camping al Lago, they didn’t buy the glamping tents because they knew they were popular; they simply fell in love with them. ‘We were captivated by the combination of comfort and a true camping experience. Our guests get a holiday experience close to nature while enjoying the luxury of a private bathroom.’ In the end, it was a good decision, because their guests also fell in love without hesitation. Camping al Lago once again proves the immense appeal and success of glamping.
At Camping al Lago, they witness this appeal every time someone walks past their glamping tents. ‘People walk past them at the entrance of our campsite and always take a second look.’ The style of the glamping tents attracts guests who book a stay. ‘Many of our glamping guests used to be campers looking for more comfort. They appreciate that glamping gives them that added privacy and comfort without losing the charm of camping.’
Even though it was love at first sight, the tents had to meet several requirements. Sergio explained: ‘First of all, the design perfectly matches the surroundings at our campsite. Secondly, we love that the frame and furniture are made of wood. It creates a natural appearance and gives the tents a distinct, forest-like smell.’ Last, and most important, was the quality. ‘We looked for tents that could endure rain, storm and wind, that were sunproof and safe. Safety is an important issue; the fact that YALA offers completely certified tents and materials convinced us.’
The only challenge Camping al Lago faced when buying glamping tents was administrative: ‘These structures are quite new, which made it difficult to obtain a permit, especially since the laws in our region are stringent. Other than that, it was smooth sailing’.
Managing a successful business means that you are constantly on the lookout for new ideas. Sergio agreed. ‘We always look abroad to discover new travel trends and find ways to incorporate those into our own business. Our Dutch origins also make us value the Dutch mentality of “gezelligheid”, a combination of fun, togetherness and just the right ambience. YALA seemed to encompass these values, and when we met their sales agent in our region, we knew for sure.’
They eventually bought two Sunshine 27 and two Sparkle glamping lodges. ‘Initially, we only chose the Sunshine lodges because they were a perfect size and met the needs for standard family accommodation. Then we discovered that we could add two Sparkles in the same truck delivery, so we decided to add them to our order. It was one of our best decisions – we can rent them in addition to the more extensive Sunshine lodge for larger families and separately for couples. They proved to be a good investment.’
I recommend YALA because of their vision and philosophy, which are both reflected in their materials and designs.
The occupancy rate was also on par. ‘It was the first year that we introduced glamping to our campsite and we did not promote our glamping tents. Nevertheless, we achieved an occupancy rate of 65% throughout the season, compared to 85% for our mobile homes. We cannot but be satisfied with this result in the first year, especially since all the guests who enjoyed it this summer have already booked their stay for next year!’
Although the glamping tents are proving successful, Sergio has no plans to expand any further in the near future. ‘We value being a small campsite, therefore we don’t try to expand our range of services. We are, however, interested in new possibilities to extend the glamping season. For instance, the infrared heating system from YALA.’