Campertunity - RVing in the Shared Economy.

How to Find Really Great Sites and Beat the Old Booking System

Interview by Perry Mack Photos Courtesy Campertunity

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S01 E11 - Beat the Old Booking System and Find Really Great Sites

Perry: We're here today with Guita Yazdani and she is with Campertunity. Guita, tell me a little bit about what you've got going on with Campertunity because this is completely new.

Guita: Good morning. What Campertunity does is invite people who own land to list their land onto our website, and for campers to go book them for short-term stays. Basically, what we did is we introduced camping to the shared economy in Canada. If you're looking for a place to camp and you're having a lot of trouble booking into a provincial or other government park, or you're tired of the old scenery, the crowded campgrounds, we welcome you to try these unique experiences on vast acreages. It's with private owners who own property and it's a wonderful way to connect with nature, have space to yourself, and just kind of unwind and relax during your camping experience.

Big Bar Lake

Perry: You used the word land and acreage. Am I going to end up in someone's driveway or literally small backyard in a neighborhood?

Guita: Good question. We just say that if you own land, we welcome you to list on Campertunity because campers are looking for anything from ‘I want a week of camping on a big, huge space’ to ‘I just need a place to park my rv that's safe for the night and isn’t a Walmart parking lot. We do have hosts who just have a driveway or have a tiny backyard in an urban area, but then we have other hosts who have 300 acres of space and it's just for you. That's the great thing about Campertunity, this variety and it suits every camper, RVer or tent camper. Whatever you're looking for.

Call Cabin

Perry: How does it work? How do you become a host, and is it safe?

Guita: Yeah, it is safe. I mean camping is outside so it's less intrusive. It isn't someone coming into your home or even someone coming into your vehicle, nothing like that. There hasn't been a safety issue. Campertunity is set up in a way that works on a review system so campers and hosts can review each other. You can see how many stars a camper has, or how what the what other campers have said about hosts. There's also a messaging system so hosts, and campers can communicate.

Perry: I was excited to see that you're a Canadian company, is that correct?

Guita: Yes for sure. We are Canadian owned and operated, very proudly.

Perry: And you are one of the CEOs and founders?

Guita: I’m one of the uh co-founders of Campertunity and Nora is my other co-founder. We love to camp; I have experience in the tourism industry, and we just have this passion for helping people get outdoors and helping landowners sustain their land.

Crag Lake

Perry: What have you heard back from campers?

Guita: I just really love hearing the stories about how they did find a safe place to go camping. We have hosts who offer things like farm tours, blueberry picking, and goat yoga. The campers will come back and say, “Yeah my kids got to really experience these things, like seeing the animals, riding horses and and jumping into a lake. Some of our hosts have private lakes so those kinds of experiences really stand out. It's also this process of meeting hosts. We have a lot of campers who are from out of country, out of town, and this is about them really getting to understand the Canadian culture, by meeting a Canadian host and learning about the neighborhood, the area, as well in our country.

Perry: What locations are you in right now? Are they across Canada, in the US?

Guita: You can go anywhere in Canada. We are across the country from coast to coast.

Dragon Fly Cottage

Perry: Perfect, that makes it Canadian. It sounds almost too good to be true. What's the cost of these sites?

Guita: Well, it varies. We have places that have been as low as five dollars a night up to 130 dollars a night, where you can get you’re your tent set up for you. It depends on what hosts offer so there really is a variety of pricing.

Perry: And do any hosts have an RV on the property so that if someone's coming from an international destination, or for instance I fly from BC to Nova Scotia, is there anybody that has an RV so that I can park my car up and camp.

Guita: For sure. We do have some hosts that have accommodations in place. It can be either cabin or it can be an RV, or it can be a yurt. It's just a variety. We even have a host with a tree house complete with balcony. There are there are great experiences on Campertunity that you can find.

Perry: Sounds almost like some of them even have RV pedestals. So, there’s everything from rustic to 50-amp power and water.

Guita: I do have quite a few hosts that have RV hookups.

Driftwood Canyon

Perry: What would you say to anyone who perhaps has a hesitation about trying Campertunity.

Guita: I would say check out our website, read the testimonials, read the reviews, and get comfortable with it. You’ll see how easy it is to use the website and hey, I would even give that extra little push and say give it a try, it's fun. I think shared economy is our future. We are wasting less and we're sharing more. This is the way that we're naturally moving to. I mean it started with libraries where we share books, then you see Uber and Lyft. It just makes sense that camping enters the shared economy. I can totally understand the initial hesitation, but I think once you jump into it, you’ll see how this is really an economically great way and environmentally friendly way to travel.

Perry: I like the idea of the new experiences. People, especially kids, that haven't ridden a horse or petted a goat or pulled a corn off the cob or grabbed a prune off a tree will be really amazed at the experience. It's special and the first time it happens it has a very positive impact.

Guita: That's a great point and even for me I remember going camping on one of our host properties on Vancouver Island a couple of years ago, and it was a cool experience where I did get to meet a goat. They had a couple of goats on their property and the goats were following us around as we were doing a farm tour. I didn't realize that goat’s kind of have dog personalities. They're curious, they're coming up to you, they let them pet you and it's just really cool. Like you said Perry, it's kind of this process of people and kids understanding where their food comes from. It’s having an appreciation for nature and an appreciation for animals. Really getting that connection and it's an awesome way to do it with a host on Campertunity.

Farm House by the Pond

Perry: Now you’ve kind of got me excited. I have a farm; I even have an RV pedestal. What's the process if I want to become a host. What do I have to do; what does it cost?

Guita: It's free. That's the beautiful part. You just go to the website, click on start hosting and it takes about 10 minutes for you create a profile, which is very basic. You can upload photos of your property, a description, if you have rules like for example no loud music after a certain time, you know, put your garbage in the garbage can that kind of thing. And then you're going to go live so all you have to do from there is manage your listing and accept bookings and start earning thousands of dollars. And it really is thousands of dollars we have one host who made almost two thousand dollars in two days so it's a great way to sustain your land and live better. That's what we're all about, putting money back into the Canadian economy.

Perry: Are there any restrictions on lengths of stay? Or is it up to the landowner?

Guita: There isn't any restriction. We've seen everything from just one night to someone wanting to stay for about a month.

Goonieland Sauna

Perry: What would you say is the biggest benefit to an RVer to using Campertunity?

Guita: Well, we all know that camping is good for you mentally and physically, so I think that's the number one thing. Campertunity helps people get outdoors easier and quicker. Booking a campsite in provincial parks and government parks is a stressful process. Maybe you'll get a spot, and it's a crowded spot, it's a small spot, it's gravelly, and your neighbor's just a few feet away from you. So, the biggest benefit to Campertunity is getting that ease into nature. I mean, Canada is one of the largest countries in the world, it shouldn't be this hard to get outdoors. We just make it easy, so that's the big benefit for our campers. It's the ease of using the website. You know, you're on the move, you're driving, you think, “You know what, I just want to take a detour here and stop at, you know, little town Alberta.” You can do that last minute change of plans. “I’m going to stay here, I’m going to check out Campertunity, I’m going to book this”, and there you go.

Perry: It's a website on a desktop, do you also have an app or is it is it phone friendly?

Guita: It's phone friendly, and we will have an app coming shortly, but it is mobile, tablet and desktop safe to use.

Surrounded by Nature

Perry: It’s

Guita: That's right.

Perry: Guita that was terrific, I'm excited. maybe I’ll become a host. I’m going to have to run it by a significant other. Any final words for guests, hosts, RVers?

Guita: Hey, if anyone has any questions please email us, check out our website. We are a Canadian company, we want to support Canada and our fellow Canadians, so please help us to grow and we'll be happy to see you out there in the camping world.

Perry: Thank you so much for speaking with us today.

Guita: Awesome, thanks for having me.

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