Guita Yazdani, CEO and Co-Founder Of Campertunity, Top-Five In Canada’s Total Mom Pitch, On A Mission To Connect Campers With Unique Canadian Campsites
Beyond proud of Campertunity’s new website that offers all the features clients need for customizing campsite reservations, Guita Yazdani and her team are on a mission to match campers with one-of-a-kind campsites providing the amenities each camper requires to ensure they can have authentic, rewarding experiences in Canadian nature.
Driven by a list of problems she wanted to solve and an aptitude for entrepreneurship, Guita Yazdani, CEO and co-founder of Campertunity, claims it did not require rocket science to recognize the supply and demand problem in Canada’s camping industry. Too many campers are competing for too few campsites. Having grown up in a family that appreciated outdoor activities and time spent in nature, her love for camping took off when she was old enough to get away on her own with friends.
“What could be better than hiking, eating together, and sharing meaningful conversations in the midst of a beautiful environment” says Yazdani. “It’s the best! But there simply aren’t enough campsites to meet campers’ needs in Canada.”
Yazdani’s mission was grander than just solving a supply and demand problem. As one who has experienced positive payoffs from incorporating movement, activity, fellowship, and outdoor beauty into her life, she wanted to support a cause that would encourage others to similarly experience the mental, physical, and emotional health benefits of spending time outdoors.
“As numbers of people suffering with stress, anxiety, and depression continue to grow, I wanted to be part of a cause that would support people in feeling better,” states Yazdani. “I am also attracted to the added bonus camping offers in the form of opportunity for relationship-building since campers are more likely to unplug from devices and tune in to fellow travelers and the beauty surrounding them.”
Adding one more prong to her “why” for launching Campertunity is Yazdani’s big heart for property owners who can benefit monetarily while helping to diminish the nation’s campsite shortage. With great appreciation for the fresh local food provided by ranchers and farmers, she finds it extremely rewarding to offer them the opportunity to earn extra revenue that can help them cover ongoing operating expenses.
Yazdani’s commitment to her vision led her to become one of hundreds of others who applied for Canada’s Total Mom Pitch. Her passion for making a positive difference in the world through the company she founded, Campertunity, landed her among the top five finalists in the competition. Describing the experience, she says, “It was such an honor to stand shoulder to shoulder with such amazing entrepreneurs, all engaged in the balancing act of motherhood while contributing to businesses and causes we have poured heart and soul into. I had the opportunity to tell my story about launching Campertunity on-stage and to meet amazing Total Mom Pitch contenders and supporters.”
When asked what inspired her to fill out the application for the competition, she responded without hesitation, “My heart’s desire was for increased awareness about Campertunity and the services we offer! It is always heartwarming to share Campertunity’s mission and purpose and to credit those who are partnering with me in making a positive difference in the world.”
Campertunity was a pop-up business when Yazdani and co-founder Nora Lozano launched the business in 2016. They were incorporated in 2017, and offered their first full camping season in 2019. Although activity in early 2020 was quite slow due to the onslaught of the pandemic, as people discovered all the things they could not engage in safely and figured out that camping was one of the safest options available, interest in Campertunity skyrocketed.
Although a large number of campers use their website to explore distant areas of Canada, Yazdani’s team has discovered a surprising percentage of their clientele select campsites that are within a few hours from home, which makes camping possible over a weekend without depleting precious vacation days. They also like knowing they can return to home base fairly quickly if the need arises.
When asked about the best features of Campertunity’s website, Yazdani explains, “Nora and I brought a tech genius on board as our Chief Technical Officer, Joris Suppers. He completely rebuilt our website which changed the face of the company and significantly improved the user experience for campers and campsite hosts. We launched it in March 2023, and we are extremely pleased with how customizable and user-friendly it is.” Campers are able to choose from a long list of amenities, activities, and terrain, which will produce a list of campsites offering those features. They can search by date, location, and number of guests for each booking. Campsite listings include photos, descriptions, booking fees, check-in and check-out times, and reviews from former guests. Hosts who meet Campertunity’s guidelines can be tagged as a “Stellarhost,” an indication that several clients left glowing reviews claiming to be “happy campers” based on their stay with them.
For campers who are not willing to compromise on creature comforts, Campertunity allows them to select from a generous list of amenities like Wi-Fi, flush toilets, and showers. They can opt for cabins instead of tent campsites, and if bringing a pet along is a must, many hosts also include “pet-friendly” as an amenity.
Some hosts offer special amenities, such as the opportunity to tour the property, mingle with farm animals, or purchase farm-fresh eggs and produce. Campers looking for unique rural experiences are likely to be pleasantly surprised as they search through Campertunity listings.
In a shared economy that is opening itself to making one’s assets available to meet others’ needs in exchange for monetary gain – like Uber and AirB&B – it is no wonder that the concept is catching on in the camping industry as a growing number of private landowners are testing the waters as new campsite hosts. They are in complete control of dates they are willing to host. They can regularly host several campsites with individual Campertunity listings – or they can host one campsite once in a while without any pressure from Campertunity to do more. Each host sets its own rates, cancellation policies, and campsite rules, which are posted online with each campsite listing.
There is no sign-up fee for becoming a campsite host. In a clean and straightforward arrangement, Campertunity retains a modest percentage of the total collected from each booking. For campers making reservations, other than the campsite fees they agree to pay the host, the only additional fees Campertunity charges are taxes and a reasonable service fee per booking.
Yazdani lights up when she talks about feedback her team has received from satisfied campers and campsite hosts: “We have been called ‘Campertunity Angels,’ and we frequently receive feedback – letters, emails, cards, and even containers of homemade granola bars – all lovely expressions of gratitude and praise. Proud property owners, eager to show off their land and campsites, invite us to sample their amenities. We try to visit as many as we can, which is very rewarding because they are truly wonderful people.”
The problem is far from solved – there are still too many prospective campers and a scarcity of campsites. However, Campertunity is on the move, continuously working to attract more campsites and create a win for all stakeholders. They are hard at work, making it easier for people to book adventures near and far from home, rustic or upscale, remote or just a few miles from cities. The choices are just a click away for those hoping to unplug, move their bodies, and commune with nature, solo or with companions. In addition to the website, Campertunity is easy to find on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
It is no wonder Guita Yazdani was a Top Five Finalist in Canada’s Total Mom Pitch. She and her team are full of good intentions and offer solutions that are aligned with their mission and purpose in promoting good experiences, good health, and sustainability for private landowners. True to their name, Campertunity is all about connecting campers and campsite hosts with opportunities for health, happiness, and success.