Luxury and Green Tourism

Slovenia is a global pioneer of quality assurance in glamping

Glamping, a portmanteau of glamour and camping, is a rapidly growing trend in global tourism. Recent years have seen an increase in both demand and supply in this sector, which along with new, innovative forms of outdoor experiences has brought a certain amount of confusion because of the absence of clear and unambiguous rules. The World of Glamping brand, created in Slovenia, is the first in the world to introduce segmentation and categorisation of providers of glamping services and in this way offer professional and systematic regulation of the sector on the basis of clear and transparent criteria.

Glamping is the fusion of two concepts: the glamour and comfort offered by the best hotels, and the relaxation and contact with nature offered by camping. For modern travellers constantly on the lookout for special, different, unique experiences, glamping offers an opportunity to get to know undiscovered corners of the world – hidden oases in the midst of mass tourism – and enjoy wonderful natural surroundings without giving up any of their usual comforts.

A wealth of glamping options are available, both in Slovenia and around the world. But while originality and imagination are the rule when it comes to "glamorous camping", there is also a certain amount of confusion, largely because of the lack of a clear definition of what glamping actually is, an absence of norms regarding the basic conditions that must be met in order to use the term, and the fact that there are no quality standards like those found in the hotel industry.

Glamping Olimia Adria Village Photo: Lili Pušnik/STA

World of Glamping Brand

It is gratifying that the idea of introducing systematic and professional regulation to the glamping sector, along with the definition of transparent criteria introducing the segmentation and categorisation of glamping operators, should have seen the light in Slovenia. The result is the creation of the World of Glamping (W.G.) brand, the first in the world to focus on current conditions in glamping tourism, both in Slovenia and internationally. The W.G. brand is managed and represented by Maja Dimnik, a globally recognised glamping expert, while the project is supported by Slovenia's Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and the Slovenian Tourist Board. The brand supports the green story of Slovenia, the world's first Green Country, as certified by Green Destinations; a country that thanks to its "Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism" has won the prestigious National Geographic World Legacy Award in the Destination Leadership category (ITB 2017) and the title Best of Europe (ITB 2018), and has been classed as one of the top 10 sustainable countries in the world.

The W.G. brand is a global concept with two distinct areas of activity. On the one hand it regulates criteria in the glamping sector, with the aim of arriving at a clear categorisation of different types of glamping accommodation providers and promoting the quality of the services offered. There are a total of 150 criteria divided into six categories: uniqueness, landscape architecture, sustainability, overall offering, individual accommodations and staff. 

Garden Village Bled, Three house from inside Photo: GW Bled Archives

Scouting, glamping and lodging

Scouting represents a level of quality between camping and glamping. While it does involve higher standards, scouting accommodation is not designed as a resort-style architectural whole. Individual accommodation units do not have their own bathrooms and do not include luxury fittings and additional, complementary facilities and services.

Glamping itself is an exclusive form of "boutique" tourism, with thoughtfully designed accommodation providing a sense of luxury and glamour in a unique setting. Accommodation types include tents, tree houses, yurts, etc., with a generous array of additional facilities and services of the kind found in luxury hotels, but still maintaining a genuine and direct contact with the natural environment.

Lodging is essentially the same as glamping, with the main difference that accommodation units (lodges, wooden huts, etc.) are of a permanent nature. Additional facilities and the level and scope of services represent the pinnacle of luxury and glamour.

Within each segment, glamping operators will receive between one and seven stars, depending on the services and quality they offer. The system of segmentation and categorisation is standardised and applies equally to all glamping operators, wherever they are located around the world.

The second area of activity of the W.G. brand is as a global promotional platform for its members, who obtain certificates and ratings according to W.G. criteria. As well as marketing support, presentations on the World Glamping website and annual awards for the best operators from around the world, members will also receive advice on sustainability, the quality of their services and the development and construction of innovative glamping properties.

Chateau Ramsak Photo: Chateau Ramsak Archives

Text by Alenka Čebular