One of our local blueberry farms does this with an app called HipCamp. Folks literally camp in the middle of a historic fruit farming operation. Well, not quite the same; they don’t trade blueberries for campsites, but you DO get access to the pick-your-own, and that is completely worth it. Best blueberries I’ve ever had.
Yes, it’s a somewhat historic property…. but the blueberries….are simply out of this world.
That’s the big difference: HipCamp sites charge for the stay and offer more amenities.
HipCamp hosts offer:
- tent camping
- RV parks
*Glamping is glamorous camping, or comfortable camping with lots of amenities like regular beds.
Hosts are sharing their private property. Some offer added experiences like picking berries at the blueberry farm or meeting the sheep at the Tin Willows Milk a Sheep Camp in Oregon.
The HipCamp website also lists public camping places like state park campgrounds, though some have to be booked direct through park websites.
You’ll notice a theme of protecting and regenerating the environment at HipCamp, with features on supporting Monarch butterflies, protecting wild places and stargazing.
Rural tourism potential
HipCamp sites are almost all in rural areas or small communities.
For rural tourist businesses like wineries and agritourism farms, it may make sense to sign up as a host.
Want to try it out first? Consider something like Harvest Hosts at first, while you’re still building up your amenities.
Tourism pros: practical steps to take
For rural tourism promoters, this is a tool to watch. Whether you work at a tourism bureau, chamber or other organization, make time to learn more about this.
Find out which of your businesses are listed by searching the site.
Recommend it to appropriate local businesses. Start with wineries, farms, breweries, museums, and your agritourism folks who already offer camping or cabins.
Tie in with your blogger or influencer tours. Get inspired by Deb Brown’s story of a Harvest Tour you could copy.
What about local RV camps? Won’t this competition hurt them?
HipCamp will attract a different kind of camper than standard RV campsites. They’re targeting different parts of the market.
Photo from HipCamp: screenshot of Historic Blueberry.
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