Warren Katz uses a post at the Elephant Bites blog to discuss the recession-driven microtrend of "glamping"—a freshly coined portmanteau for glamorous camping. In essence, its proponents want the low-budget benefit of a holiday in the great outdoors, but don't care to leave all the luxuries of home behind.

"So, who cares about a silly trend like glamping?" asks Katz. "For me, the interest is not necessarily in the details of the opportunity, but rather the overriding inference that, even in a recession, there are plenty of growth opportunities (and budding new markets). Trends like the increase in revenue for outdoor equipment retailers are sending a clear signal about the U.S. tourism market."

Just look at REI, a purveyor of outdoor clothing and equipment that has experienced a 20-percent spike in sales of family-sized tents, Katz notes. "Anyway you slice it," he concludes, "glamping offers opportunities for ... retailers, travel websites, hotel chains, park operators, and more."

The message for the rest of us is simple: Especially in this topsy-turvy marketplace, it pays to pay attention to emerging trends and markets as they develop—and prepare to pounce.

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