The UK’s first dedicated glamping construction company will help North Wales become Britain’s top destination for adventure holidays, according to the Wales tourism minister.
Ken Skates, who is also the AM for Clwyd South, was speaking during a visit to the Carbon Zero Group in St Asaph who are creating 17 new jobs this year, taking their total workforce to 35.
According to Mr Skates, the timing is perfect because 2016 has been designated as the Year of Adventure in Wales.
North Wales is already leading the way with initiatives like Zip World, Bounce Below and Surf Snowdonia putting the region on the international map.
The glamping construction company was set up by award-winning entrepreneur Gareth Jones who’s aiming to capitalise on the growing popularity of the staycation market which is set to be worth £1.7 billion in the UK in 2017
The aim is to offer customers complete packages, including planning, design, construction and even the furnishing.
Gareth is also planning to expand his renewable energy company, Carbon Zero, and joined forces with former TV Gladiator Diane Youdale aka Jet to run courses to combat absenteeism at work via his training company, You Train, which he established with fellow Director Steve Williams.
Mr Skates said: “It’s an incredibly exciting company with a huge amount of innovation and it’s the future of accommodation for the great outdoors.
“It’s something we can be very proud of in North Wales especially during The Year of Adventure. The development of this form of accommodation is incredibly exciting.
“The glamping company is a perfect fit not just for The Year of Adventure but also for The Year of Legends and The Year of the Sea as well, in the next two years.
“This sort of accommodation will generate a huge amount of interest in North Wales, provide a great unique selling point for what has become synonymous with great adventure and in doing so will be drawing a vast increase in spending by visitors in the area.
“It has huge potential to overtake Scotland and The Lake District as Britain’s premier destination for adventure and it’s this sort of innovation, this sort of development that’ll help us do just that.
“We want to be number one in the adventure market and it’s by developing innovative business ideas like this that we’re going to get there.
Gareth Jones was thrilled Mr Skates had taken time out of his busy schedule to find out more about their glamping plans.
He said: “Mr Skates can see how what we’re offering will complement the rest of the tourism industry here in North Wales and I think he can see the vision of what we’re trying to create.
“We’ve had a fantastic response from organisations of all sizes and we’re very soon looking to be breaking ground here on the site in North Wales and then obviously, when we’ve got our initial first site, it won’t be long before other sites follow suit.
“The range of potential customers showing a real interest is really diverse – including zoos, hotels and landowners.
“Glamping is a fantastic way of earning extra money but also capitalising on the fantastic resources here in North Wales.
“One of the things that makes our package so attractive is that the return on the investment is about two years and that’s a conservative estimate based on a 35 per cent occupancy across a year.
“We are unique because we’re the UK’s first dedicated glamping construction company.
“Essentially, we’re a one-stop shop and do everything, from securing planning permission through to full construction – we’ll even put the cutlery in the drawer.
“Our accommodation units are installed on very low impact timber framed bases which are simply concreted in. If we have to remove one from the site, it can be done very quickly.
“We can return the site back to nature, back to how it was before so it can be deployed in areas which are sensitive and we’re working with the nature organisations to introduce biodiversity back into the area to offset any minimal damage we do during construction.
“We can even offer solar power options and make any of our combinations completely off-grid working with the group of companies we have at the Carbon Zero Group.
“In that way people can be at one with nature and have a minimal impact on the environment, solar powered eco-tourism is where we see the future.”