Ahead of the summer season, the tourist authorities of Wallonia in Belgium have for the first time defined the concept of glamping accommodation and are inviting recognised operators to apply for grants.
As a result of burgeoning interest in unusual sites, or “hébergement insolite”, the commissariat-general of tourism (CGT) in the French-speaking southern region has stated that a tourist accommodation is considered as glamping, when it has characteristics contrary to its common use, and is “unexpected especially with regard to its architecture, its use diverted from its original purpose, the originality of its activities and services, and its unique geographical location”.
Wallonia draws visitors from all over Europe for its medieval towns, fine cuisine and excellent Trappist beers. Its natural beauty makes it a superb location for campers and glampers, the lakes, rivers, forests and caves of the Ardennes a particular draw.
Sites can be recognised as unusual and eligible for subsidies in their entirety, or the recognition can be applied to a specific lodging — such as a yurt in a campsite, a bubble apartment in the grounds of a hotel or a trailer next to a guesthouse.
Once a site is recognised, the operator can benefit from promotional material as a part of 2018 Wallonia Insolite and may be eligible for grants at a rate 10% higher than standard subsidies offered by the CGT. The application procedure leading to official recognition differs from normal authorisation in that it is granted by the minister of tourism rather than the CGT.
Requests for recognition should be submitted to the Council of Tourism to be examined before being passed to the minister for his decision. For more information, contact the secretariat of the Tourist Accommodation Department on 081 325 630 or email@example.com.
by Mark Curtis-Raleigh, International Editor