I've just returned from a campervan trip that inspired me to share some ideas and observations around this hospitality niche.
That's me - working from a little campsite in the Pyrenees ⛰️
This was already my second long road trip with a camper van. Last year we drove from Amsterdam to Norway and this summer we decided to go to the south of France.
We didn’t have anything booked in advance, and almost each of the 16 nights, we slept at a different spot. Our main help to find the spots was the park4night app.
I wrote about unbundling Airbnb some time ago.
The idea is quite simple
Airbnb is a massive business, and if you can cut just a micro piece, it can still be enormous.
With park4night is different. Their business model is to sell premium access to power users. It's a discovery app, not a marketplace. There are no transactions.
I assume that they might be making about 2M Eur revenue a year - nice for a small indie project with a few contractors and a huge margin.
With some niches, you can build a business much bigger than park4night.
A quick overview of park4night
I should share some specific ideas now, right? Let's go:
1. Autonomous campsite
2. Wine camping
There are dozens of micro wineries in France offering free night stay for camper vans.
You get a parking spot in the vineyard and sometimes a few more services (access to bathroom, electricity, or kitchen). You even get a free tour with wine tasting. Amazing experience!
I talked to 2 owners, and both said it’s great marketing and at the same time, a nice revenue stream (people buy a lot of wine).This is just a super niche use case of park4night app (use the filter "Farms") where you can find these unique places.
I can imagine someone taking this concept and developing it more as a standalone business.The wineries can sell wine subscriptions (you get a six-pack of bottles every few months), and there are probably many other ideas.
Who is building the HarvestHosts for Europe?
3. Activities near campsites
Do you know anyone building such projects?
I created the first coworking and coliving space for digital nomads. It went well until it didn't. We closed it and I started to focus on building a productized service for companies that organize offsites.
This one went better and together with an amazing team I work on it on daily basis. We built a solid booking channel for hotels, I talk about it quite often in the Hotel Nuggets newsletter.
Around 2019 I started to play with an idea of building a coworking cabin. My plan was to operate hundreds of them across Europe. Then Covid came to say hello and I pivoted this project into Epic Monday - a site full of resources for people who are planning to start a glamping business.
Once I'm passionate about something, I deep dive into the topic, run tons of experiments and sometimes come with monetization ideas (not always, unfortunately).
Hoodpicker started as simple survey, then I created a tool to compare neighborhoods in Lisbon and now it's a set of tools for people who want to invest into real estate in Portugal.
I constantly research ideas that combine hospitality, real estate and tech. And share them in my personal newsletter. You can subscribe now:
"Hi Peter, I have subscribed to your newsletter for a while now and am loving it. The hospitality industry fascinates me and your newsletter always gets my brain to go prrrrrr brainstorming ideas."
"Really cool newsletter. Thanks for sharing. Too many interesting ideas to work on."
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"Very comprehensive. Not working directly on the space anymore, but following your content closely as it is so engaging actionable and without noise 🙏"
"Lovely newsletter again Peter! I’m a fan of your ideas and how your brain works.Always sees opportunities ad niche business. Keep up the good work!"
"Love your newsletter! The posts are very inspiring and I love how well you break down the business side of it."