Glamping Business Startup Cost | 6 Available Funding Options For Business Owners

July 29, 2023

Glamping business startup cost:

✅ Establishing your business structure: $500
✅ Business permits and licenses: $550
✅ Business insurance: $350
✅ Glamping tents: $8,000
✅ Furnishings and decorations: $2,600

✅ Amenities and utilities: $6,000

Starting a glamping business can be a profitable idea but it also takes a significant amount to get it up and running. The good thing here, of course, is that the vacation rental industry is a competitive one. You’ll surely get a steady stream of customers among fans of luxury camping if you know how to market your business.

Additionally, there are ways to reduce your startup cost and ongoing expenses. In fact, we’ll share 6 funding options you can explore as a glamping host. Also, we’ll discuss how you can promote your business without breaking the bank, plus the costly mistakes you should avoid as you run your own glamping unit.

How much does it cost to start a glamping business?

It will cost you around $10,000 to $27,000 to start a glamping business. Initial expenses include tents, decors, and furnishings, plus bathroom and fire pit installation. In addition, you will also need to spend on business insurance, licenses, permits, and more. The total amount usually depends on your location, your target market, plus the type of tents and amenities you’re providing. If you’re a property owner, you won’t have to worry about land rental anymore. Generally, glamping business startup cost may average at $18,000.

Now here goes a sample startup cost breakdown for glamping business starters:

1. Establishing your business structure: $500

Before pitching your glamping tents, it’s important to decide which legal structure is best for your business. This will help you determine your tax and personal liabilities, as well as the requirements for registering your business. Some of your top options are:

  • Sole proprietorship - Sole proprietorship is the “simplest business form,” according to Entrepreneur. With this model, the business “legally has no separate existence from its owner.” This means the owner is personally responsible for the business’ income and losses. In fact, even the business’ income taxes are paid under the owner’s personal tax return.
  • General partnership - This business entity is made up of two or more business partners. As with sole proprietorship, each partner is directly responsible for the business’ profits and losses. They also pay taxes on their share of profits on their personal tax returns.
  • Limited liability company (LLC) - This business structure protects owners and their personal assets. Unlike sole and general proprietorship, owners are considered separate from the business. This means they are not liable for the company’s debts and losses. In short, an LLC provides legal and financial protections similar to those of corporations.

For small businesses, it’s best to register as an LLC because it offers several advantages such as asset protection and flexible taxation options. LLC filing costs in the United States often depend on your state’s requirements but they usually range anywhere from $40 to $500.

2. Business permits and licenses: $550

A business license in the US may cost you anywhere from $50 to $550. The overall cost covers processing and filing fees, along with other costs, depending on the location and the industry type. Cities and states vary in their requirements, so it’s always best to check with local government websites.

To operate legally, you will likely need business licenses issued by the city and state. A DBA (doing business as) license and federal tax identification number are also necessary, along with zoning and planning permission.

3. Business insurance: $350

The US Small Business Administration emphasizes that proper insurance coverage can provide you with protection from accidents, lawsuits, natural disasters and other “unexpected costs of running a business.”

Here are the 6 common types of business insurance, according to the government agency’s website:

Business insurance costs may average from $30 to $350 per month, depending on your provider and the type of insurance policy you buy.

4. Glamping tents: $8,000

Unlike traditional camping, tents used for glamping are of superior quality and capacity. So they are naturally more expensive. Case in point, a bell tent ranges around $700 to $2,000, while a safari tent may have a price tag of $8,000 to $30,000. Meanwhile, a high end geodesic dome can cost you anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000.

As you build your glamping site, you can start with, say, 4 bell tents or 1 safari tent so you can immediately begin accommodating guest travelers. You can later upgrade or add more tents, based on your location’s size and capacity. Be sure to look up reputable sellers online, compare prices, and read product reviews to get the most of your money.

5. Furnishings and decorations: $2,600

As a business owner, you want to make your glamping facility as cozy and as Instagram-worthy for your potential guests as possible. The furnishings and decorations can help you achieve the right vibe for your site.

So get glamping beds, foldable chairs, a camping table, a tent chandelier, and others. Also, throw in some nice blankets, pillows, rugs, towels, and a wastebasket. Consider putting a flower or a succulent plant on the table. Install outdoor string lights. Add a small library of books and board games for some downtime entertainment. Also, choosing a design theme (elegant, rustic, western, etc.) will make it easier for you to furnish and decorate the entire place. Prepare to spend at least $2,600 for this.

6. Amenities and utilities: $6,000

Your glamping property should have basic sanitary facilities to ensure guests are comfortable during their stay. While some luxury tents come with their own bathrooms, you may have to prepare one if your tent doesn’t have them. You can build an outdoor bathroom for this, install a bathtub or buy a simple shower tent for this, depending on your budget and preference.

A private toilet is also important. In some areas, having a traditional flush toilet may not be possible because it requires sewage and plumbing. In such cases, dry toilets are better since they are eco-friendly. Options include chemical toilets, compost toilets, incinerating toilets, portable toilets, and RV toilets.

Of course, you also need to have your own electricity, drainage, water, and internet. This can be a challenge if your glamping campground is located in a rural area. So research available local providers to get the best service you need. In addition, add a fire pit and cooking gear because these will be useful for glampers who want to prepare their own food.

You will spend about $6,000 for this, more or less, depending on your area and if you already have any existing utilities.

What are the ongoing expenses for a glamping business?

Some ongoing expenses for a glamping business include business insurance, property taxes, repair, maintenance, and utilities (gas, electric, internet, water, etc.). Along with that, running a glamping site may also require spending on consumables, marketing, and staffing.

Examples of consumables include bath soap, shampoo, conditioner, hand sanitizer, dish soap, toilet paper, paper towel, and others. As for marketing, you’ll have to try which methods are most effective for your business, whether digital, traditional, or both. Also, hiring staff members may be necessary, especially as your startup grows. Sooner or later, you will need people to run routine tasks so you can focus on more important matters.

6 funding options available for glamping business owners

Some of the funding options available for glamping business owners include:

  • Personal savings
  • Family and friends
  • Crowdfunding
  • Business loans
  • Government grants
  • Venture capital and angel investors

1. Personal savings

You can use your personal savings for funding your glamping business. With this option, you get full control of your startup, plus you won’t have to worry about chasing lenders and investors. This also means you get to keep 100% of your future earnings.

When self-financing, however, you have to be careful not to overspend and make sure not to mix your business and personal money. So stick to the limits you set and do not buy or invest in anything that may put your finances at risk.

2. Family and friends

Reaching out to your family members and friends can also help you raise startup costs for your business idea. In fact, it can be an advantage for you as a new glamping entrepreneur because it can mean flexible repayment terms and low or zero interest rate. It’s definitely a much safer and more practical option than borrowing from traditional lenders. Just make sure to meet your commitments without delay to avoid damaging relationships.

3. Crowdfunding

Another excellent idea for raising business funds is by hosting a crowdfunding campaign. With this option, you ask people to help you reach a specific amount. Willing donors send you money to fund your glamping site as you clearly share your business plans and ideas. This can be a viable alternative if you’re having a hard time convincing banks and investors to bring your vision to life.

Popular platforms for business crowdfunding today include:

4. Government grants

You can also seek out local, state, and federal funding programs to help turn your glamping dream into reality. When applying, learn about the requirements and strictly comply with them to maximize your chances of getting approved. For entrepreneurs in the US, go check out to find available financial assistance opportunities.

5. Small business loans

For small business loans, you have two options: commercial lenders and banks. For commercial loans, you can approach nonprofit micro lenders or online lenders. If you have collateral and good credit, banks can be a better option.

Ken Riley of GTF Event Equipment Financing points out that bank loans can be the cheapest funding alternative for glamping industry entrepreneurs. In an interview with the Glampitect Podcast, Ken shares that banks offer “probably the lowest interest rate.” This is because they “take charge over your land, so they've got plenty of security.”

6. Venture capital and angel investors

Since glamping is a profitable business model belonging to a trending market, it’s also possible to approach venture capital and angel investors.

In fact, a 2019 report by Venture Capital Journal tells us how two glamping businesses found funding through this method. Collective Retreats raised $12.5 million from First Round Capital and Slow Ventures, among others. Meanwhile, Autocamp managed to raise $115 million with help from real estate private equity firm Whitman Peterson. Of course, you’ll need a solid glamping business plan to boost your chances of succeeding in this funding option.

Are glamping businesses profitable as a vacation rental business?

Glamping businesses can be profitable as vacation rentals because there is a wide global market. An online report by Grand View Research confirms that the global glamping market continues to grow year by year. Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2023 to 2030 is expected at 10.2% while 2030 revenue forecast is at $5.93 million.
According to the market intelligence firm, industry observers point out that many potential customers now prefer “nearby getaways for long weekends” than far destinations. Local vacationers who love spending their free time on staycation contribute to glamping's popularity. Besides, it provides them the option of enjoying outdoor experiences in luxury amenities without leaving town and staying in traditional hotels.

As a glamping host, you will likely provide accommodation to couples, young families, digital nomads, content creators, and groups of friends, among others. Most glamping guests are middle to upper class nature lovers between the ages of 18 to 35 years old.

To find more of your target customers, list your business with platforms such as Airbnb,, FlipKey,, Glamping Hub, Hip Camp, Pitch Up, The Dyrt, and Vrbo. Use photos and videos that highlight your campsite’s facilities and amenities. Remember that aside from maximum comfort, glampers love booking Instagrammable glamp sites.

How much money can you earn from a glamping business?

You can earn $50 to $3,000 per night or up to $5,400 per month from your glamping business. Some of the key factors that will determine your income are your glamping site’s location, the type and number of tents you have, the amenities you offer, the number of bookings you receive each month, plus your operating costs. 

In their Airbnb listing, Andres and Chelsea of Newport, Tennessee attract glampers to their property with a barn, outdoor tub, and private sauna. Their glamping tiny home has, so far, gained a 4.97-star rating out of 162 customer reviews. In a YouTube video, the owners share they expect to earn a profit of $72,000 a year from their English Creek Hideaway - Glamping Resort.

What are free ways to promote your glamping business?

You can promote your glamping business for free by listing with popular booking platforms, signing up with Google Business Profile, and using social media strategically.

Listing with popular booking platforms

To attract customers looking for glamping sites in your area, you should list your business with top booking platforms like Airbnb,, Glamping Hub, HipCamp, and others. It’s usually free to create listings on these websites but take note that most will charge you a fee for each booking. For example, Airbnb takes a 3% flat service fee from the booking subtotal. 

Signing up with Google Business Profile

Having a Google Business Profile will allow you to establish your presence on local search engine results. This free tool helps you “take charge of the way your business appears on Google Search and Maps.” You can customize your profile by uploading photos of your glamp site, updated information about your business, your contact details, and your logo. Guests can also leave ratings and reviews for your business. These can come handy when other prospective customers browse your profile.

Using social media strategically

Everyone’s on social media these days and so you’ll miss opportunities to gain attention from your market if you have poor presence there. Case in point, a Statista report tells us that Facebook gets up to 53% of all social media visits in the US. Also, Americans use 7.1 social media accounts on average.

So make sure you’re taking advantage of the right platforms in marketing your glamping site and building your brand. In addition to Facebook, you should likewise consider creating profiles on services such as Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. Regularly posting content online can be the key to boosting your customer base. You can also use their sites to communicate with customers faster and easier.

What are expensive glamping business mistakes you should avoid?

Some expensive glamping business mistakes you should avoid include:

  • Purchasing low quality furnishings
  • Not posting enough pictures of your glamping site
  • TV: $500
  • Double bookings
  • Skipping local permit requirements

Purchasing low quality furnishings.

While looking up Amazon for great deals on furnishings can be tempting, it’s always a good idea to check reviews to see what people have to say about certain products. So while it's a wise move to try to save on startup costs, you also want to invest in premium materials to ensure you’re buying something that will last you a long time. Otherwise, you may just have to spend twice on the same furnishings.

Not posting enough pictures of your glamping site

Writing detailed descriptions of your listing is not enough. People want to browse pictures to get a feel of what your site looks like and help them decide if it’s something they’d really like to book. So post photos from different angles of your tent and property. This way, you can avoid disappointing guests - who may eventually end up asking for refunds or leaving you negative feedback online.

Double bookings

One of the tricky things about using multiple online booking platforms is the possibility of a double booking. For example, a customer from Airbnb and another from GlampingHub may book the same unit. So you have to keep track of everything to avoid this type of problem.

Skipping local permit requirements

When building a glamping business, it’s important to comply with local requirements, such as the required licenses, permits, and fees. In his YouTube show Keep It Tiny, host J Esperance talked about Stephen Pellicano’s “rollercoaster journey” as a glampsite operator.

An entrepreneur from upstate New York, Stephen was heartbroken when local authorities shut his business down for about 2 months. He had 1 greenhouse and 2 tiny cabins at the time but he lacked the needed permits. Luckily, he was able to bounce back and got his sites up and running again before the busy season. 

As you can imagine, this can be a nightmare to deal with, so it's best to do it right from the start.

Related Articles on Kindle Publishing

  • Is Glamping A Good Business? - Thinking of starting your own glamping business? We show you how much you need as a startup capital, plus we also share the advantages and disadvantages you can expect from the business model.
  • How To Start A Glamping Business - What are the do’s and don’ts of the glamping business? We tackle the basics in this article. Also, we take a look at the fun, simple ways you can furnish and decorate your glamping tent rental.
  • Glamping Business Income - In this blog, we discuss how much you can earn from glamping and how you can grow your revenue. We also give you a brief profile of some of the successful glamping business owners today.


Starting a glamping business can be rewarding in the long run but you’ll also have to be ready to face the challenges that come with it. Of course, you can always learn from your mistakes and from customer feedback. In any case, you want to make sure you’re getting the attention of your target market.

Learning lead generation can be an effective way for you to get ahead of your local competition. As you boost your rankings on local search engines, you can expect organic traffic, relevant leads, and increased revenue.

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