Would you also like to camp, but not on a dime-a-dozen field? Bee camp space you spend the night in the most beautiful and special places. In a cozy backyard, in the middle of the polder, in a forest or among the animals. From the salty beaches in Portugal to the orchards in the Betuwe and the vast valleys in the UK, everything is possible. So you can just set up your tent in the backyard of complete strangers!
In some places you can go with your own tent or camper, other places offer accommodation on location. Especially during a road trip or walking holiday, a tiny house, tree house, yurt, pipowagen or tipi tent might be more convenient. Discover beautiful and sustainable locations, and their often special owners who have done their best to furnish their place.
How did the idea of Campspace come about?
“The idea of Campspace arose when Alexander, one of the founders, traveled through Australia in a campervan with his girlfriend. He was tired of all the massive campsites or they were full. The couple decided to ring the bell at a house with a beautiful piece of land. The residents thought it was a fantastic idea and pointed to the most beautiful spot on the land. The best sunset could be seen there. Back in the Netherlands, Alexander decided that he wanted to turn the concept of sharing your country into a business. That is how the platform was created.”
What do you want to achieve with Campspace?
“Our mission is ‘Reconnect Outside’. We believe that being outside with the people you love is an important part of a happy and healthy life. We want to offer this as close and as unique as possible through the beautiful and exclusive places of our hosts. We also want to keep it as accessible as possible through an online platform where you can find and book what you are looking for.”
“The great thing about our mission is that it is sustainable at its core. Travel distances (normally accounting for more than 70% of CO2 emissions from tourism) are short and camping, ecolodges or caravans with a second life are the most sustainable holiday accommodations.”
“We distinguish ourselves from our competitors with the most unique and sustainable offer. That offer consists of the most exclusive camping spots with private individuals on the land to yurts, cabins and tree houses. Moreover, we visualize this well thanks to our scouts. Scouts are community volunteers who visit, photograph and assess (most of) our new places. Occasionally there are also places that the scouts say do not fit on our platform. That does not come up. With these hundreds of scouts we ensure a well-curated and photographed offer on the platform.”
Is Campspace a kind of Airbnb for campsites/campers?
“A greengrocer is also not a kind of butcher because he also has a shop, counter and cash register. Yes, we are both sharing platforms, but that’s about it. We want to make a big contribution to making tourism more sustainable. We do this by making it possible for landlords to offer their unique and sustainable locations via our platform to an explosively growing group of people who see conscious travel as an indispensable part of a more conscious life.”
In which countries are you active?
“We have locations all over the world, but especially have a strong representation in the BeNeLux, Germany and the United Kingdom. New destinations are added every day. Together with our scouts, we are always looking for the latest hidden gems.”
You are very committed to sustainability. What does this express itself in?
“We don’t bet on it, we are. Outdoor tourism close to home is the most sustainable form of tourism. You limit your travel distance and don’t sit in hotels with lots of small plastic shampoo bottles and air conditioning. Our landlords are located in the middle of nature and treat it with respect. This is expressed in all kinds of sustainable activities on and around the campspace. Furthermore, it is our goal to give both the individual traveler and the landlords even more insight into their footprint. In addition, we will offer tools with a number of partnerships to further reduce this footprint.”
“We believe in CO2 reduction through behavioral change rather than compensating like people do by planting trees for a plane ticket. The sad thing is that from a spatial perspective, planting trees to compensate for aviation is a completely unfeasible idea. And if we planted the whole world with trees, we would ruin all the biodiversity under the trees because the sun no longer shines there. That is why we believe in a change in behavior and we want to contribute to this by offering a unique and sustainable alternative together with our landlords for your thirteen-in-a-dozen weekends to Barcelona, London or Venice.”
You claim to achieve up to 95% CO2 reduction. How does this work?
“Over 2020, we have calculated the average CO2 emissions on the basis of transport (distance and mode of transport) and on the basis of accommodation. We used various scientific sources for this. On some points we had to make assumptions and we never counted on them. If you compare an average campspace trip to a weekend trip to Barcelona with a hotel, you come to the sad conclusion that for such a weekend trip you can go on a campspace trip at least 15 to 20 times. This year we are taking a number of steps to measure our community’s carbon footprint even more accurately. By the way, you don’t have to be a scientist to realize that outdoor tourism closer to home is the most sustainable form of vacationing.”
What does Campspace expect in the coming years in terms of sustainability?
“We are already seeing a strongly growing enthusiasm among our travelers for more conscious travel. From a large study by Edelman (commissioned by Booking) shows that 40% of the respondents find it important to book sustainable accommodation. A bottom-up growing awareness of the impact of travel is a very positive development. As far as we are concerned, real (European/global) government intervention is not in line with expectations. There is a very high economic dependence that is placed above the ecological arguments in any discussion. It takes political leadership and the courage to go against the grain to intervene in the ridiculously low prices of flying. We contribute to that bottom-up behavioral change about how we all want to travel.”
How can you join Campspace as a private individual?
“By registering as a host on our website via: campspace.nl/rental you can make your own garden available. Our conditions are that it is small-scale and in nature. For the rest, anyone with a piece of land can rent it out as a campspace. Of course, if the basic facilities such as toilet and shower are arranged, the chance of more bookings is increased. But you don’t need much to start as a landlord.”
What is your top 3 favorite ‘Campspaces’?
Ooh, that’s a tough choice. All campspaces are unique and have their own charm. Some nice ones are:
- Camping on a fort along the Waterliniepad
- Camping in a Bell tent among the alpacas
- Ecological camping in a food forest
And what is the most special ‘Campspace’ in your offer?
“Here too, we don’t actually have the most special Campspace. If we look at which is booked the most, it is this one: Camping & Chalet Rosée, near Maredsous.
Where can people find you?
On our website at campspace.com, through Instagram and via facebook. Despite the fact that the offer is enormously different, all campspaces have one thing in common: it is about living in the open air. Just look for your favorite camping spot in nature!