The Campanyon team [Credit: Campanyon]

Campanyon buys Owayy to spur eco-tourism growth

Norway: Oslo-based nature stays digital marketplace Campanyon has announced the acquisition of Danish glamping brand Owayy as it seeks to redefine the eco-tourism landscape in Europe.

Founded in 2020, Campanyon offers accommodations in nature, such as treehouses, micro-houses and glamping spots. The startup previously raised more than €1.5 million [NOK 15.5 million] in funding in January 2022, with backing from the likes of Schibsted Ventures and the former Google Norway country manager.

The acquisition will enhance Campanyon’s presence in the Nordic eco-tourism market by consolidating more than 2,500 distinctive stays in the region. It also sets the stage for an ambitious pan-European expansion, with a combined offering of more than 10,000 nature-based accommodations and camping spots.

The strategic expansion follows a year in which Campanyon reported 267 per cent growth in GMV [gross revenue] in 2023. From the first quarter of this year, the company has already seen a combined 69 per cent increase in bookings compared to the previous year.

Magnus Schou, co-founder and former CEO of Owayy, said: “Uniting Owayy’s leadership in Denmark with Campanyon’s strong footprint in Norway was a strategic step towards our goal to lead in Scandinavia.” 

Kristian Qwist Adolphsen, co-founder and CEO of Campanyon, said: “In light of recent challenges, market consolidation through mergers presents a ripe opportunity. Merging with Owayy is pivotal in our mission to emerge as a leader in the European eco-tourism market.”

Aja Guldhammer Henderson, the former Nordic country manager at Airbnb, and new board member of Campanyon, said: “This acquisition significantly bolsters Campanyon’s Nordic presence and leverages synergies that pave our way to becoming Europe’s premier eco-tourism platform.”

As Europeans show a growing inclination towards eco-conscious travel, and despite prevailing economic uncertainties, there is confidence among European travellers regarding their 2024 travel budgets, according to Campanyon, with a notable shift towards sustainable travel behaviours. The shift is further evidenced by a surge in Google search volumes for “glamping”, which have increased by more than 100 per cent since 2019 across European markets.

The trend of travelling to Scandinavia is on the rise, partly driven by the increasing demand for “coolcationing” in the north as opposed to traditional southern destinations. All Scandinavian countries reported an increase in foreign tourists last year, a trend expected to continue [SSB 2024, Dansk Industri 2023, Tillväxtverket 2024].

Campanyon, which was also recently shortlisted at the 2024 Shortyz Awards, added that favourable currency exchange rates across Scandinavia are also making the region more attractive to Eurozone tourists.

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