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There's never been a better time to take a clothing optional holiday but ...

Main Photo : The lack of appealing clothing optional holiday destinations in 1991 meant Denise and I ended up wild camping in sandunes near the town of Carteret in France.

 

Back in 2005, when Denise & I first decided to establish a clothing optional holiday resort, we felt the odds for success were stacked in our favour. We had been taking clothing optional holiday breaks for almost 15 years. Each year we trawled through websites and brochures trying to decide where to visit next. Frankly, there weren’t too many clothing optional holiday choices. We were never the type to visit the same destination twice. The world was simply too big a place but the same old resorts appeared time and time again. Each year the list of untried destinations seemed to shrink. By the mid “noughties” the demand for new naturist/nudist/clothing optional holiday destinations appeared to outstrip (sorry) supply:  an ideal time to start a new clothing optional holiday business.

 

10 years on and how things have changed!!!  Attitudes to nudity have certainly changed. A clothing optional holiday is no longer seen as a euphemism for a swingers sex holiday. The idea that nude = rude is being increasingly eroded by positive media references to naturism and nudism. Today, public, non-sexual nudity is more acceptable: Skinny dip events; world naked bike rides; charity events; the performance arts; all are challenging people to accept nudity in non-sexual contexts. Advertisers are realising that the demographic of those susceptible to the exploitation of nudity and the pursuit of the “perfect” body is narrowing. This YouTube video from cosmetics company Dove is an example of how advertisers are changing their approach.  The body image movement, especially among young women, is more vibrant than ever.

 

More women are also challenging and gaining equality with men in relation to being legally topless or nude in towns and cities around the globe (even if they’re not yet exercising that right very frequently – yet).  Parents are realising that there is little evidence that their children will be scarred for life at the sight of a naked body. Quite the opposite.  Many parents are waking up to the idea that creating mystique around the naked form can be detrimental. More of that in a later post perhaps. I could go on. The point is that these changes in attitudes have created a demand for genuine naturist, nudist or clothing optional holiday destinations. Great news for the clothing optional holiday provider … or is it?

 

Does the “supply” of clothing optional holiday destinations now outstrip “demand”?

 

Croatian campsite Politin (now Camping Krk) no longer a clothing optional holiday resort

Naturist Camping Politin, now non-naturist Camping Krk.

 

The problem is that the “supply” of clothing optional destinations has grown even more. There’s never been a better time to find a naturist, nudist or clothing optional holiday. At the time of writing, a Google search for “Clothing Optional Holidays” returned over 1.3 million pages!.  Great news for the naturist holidaymaker. Whether you are a first timer or a long time convert, there are clothing optional holidays to suit all ages, budgets and interests.

 

Sadly, this is not such good news for clothing optional holiday providers. It’s now a highly competitive market. It seems Denise & I were not the only ones planning to earn a living from a clothes free life. Early retirees or those with a level of financial independence rushed to set up what venture capitalists in the TV series “Dragon’s Den” would describe as “lifestyle” businesses where the reward is more about quality of life than financial gain. Less likely to hit the mark as a business for profit, many are now at risk of falling by the wayside. 2015 saw a number of well known resorts close, change hands or become non-naturist destinations. Adapt or die is how the market in 2016 seems to be heading. Simply offering the opportunity to enjoy a skyclad holiday is no longer a unique selling point.

 

Fortunately, at our resort,  Camp Full Monte, we have a number of unique selling points that go beyond providing a safe, welcoming space to be natural in nature.

  • Our Montenegro location is a huge advantage. An up and coming destination with amazing natural beauty not yet spoiled by mass tourism.
  • Our campsite facilities, to use the “Carlsberg” approach, are probably  the best in Montenegro.  And definitely the most eco friendly.
  • Our commitment to preserving the environment is another advantage. Over 37% of guests cited our “eco friendly” approach as the primary reason for visiting us.
  • Guest feedback on sites like TripAdvisor is fantastic. We score well in all categories.

Despite these differentiators and an increase in returning guests, Camp Full Monte is not always filled to capacity. Again, great news for guests who relish the peace and quiet but there are plenty of other resorts to choose from in a similar situation. We too would have to adapt in 2016.

 

The obvious choice was to abandon the clothing optional approach completely and open up to more conservative campers not yet ready for a “skyclad” camping experience. Changing attitudes aside, this is still a much bigger market. Whilst our clothing optional policy is not central to the guest experience it does allow us to follow a clothes free life for the entire summer. Giving that up would have a huge impact on our quality of life.

 

We have therefore decided to limit the period that Camp Full Monte operates as a clothing optional campsite.  In 2016 our clothing optional holiday season will run from July 15th to August 26th. It’s when the mercury can reach 40 degrees C and guests relish the opportunity to work on their all-over tan.  For the remainder of our season we will operate as a non-naturist, eco-campsite. We’re confident this will provide enough income for us to continue to serve naturist/nudist holidaymakers in the years to come, albeit over a shorter period. Time will tell.

 

It also remains to be seen how many other clothing optional holiday resorts will survive 2016. We live in hope that we will see a better balance of supply and demand in the coming years. One thing is certain, there has never been a better choice of clothing optional holidays. So grasp the opportunity now while you still can.

 

Whatever your plans, we wish you a happy summer holiday in 2016.

This article was first published on our blog site on January 9th 2016


Article Tags: #future #clothing optional holidays #market size #supply and demand
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