The past 18 months was a challenge for the Tented Adventures team with continuous changes to the lockdown rules, the travel bans and all things COVID19. When we started Tented Adventures in 2016 we had very little "locals" support, we were the new kids on the block, we targeted a market that very few others even considered and our guests were international with nearly 95% of our bookings coming from the international market.
Then the COVID19 Pandemic arrived and what was a growing business and industry suddenly came to a grinding halt with very little notice. The first few weeks I honestly thought this will pass and that by May 2020 we will start with opening our camps and then latest June 2020 we will be back to normal. How wrong was I. The sudden realization that our business is at risk and that the 28 employees we have together with their dependents are at risk of being unemployed and not having any financial support and this in an industry that was most probably the hardest hit got to me. I had a few moments thinking wow, is this how we end our dream, is this where we call it quits?
In July 2020 we realized it is to no ones benefit to just accept our fate and accept we are going to end our dream. I explained to our employees that this is not going to be easy, it is most probably going to be the most difficult task that they are ever going to face but together I believe we will get out of this and one day prosper and reap the benefits of our fight to survive.
In July 2020 we changed our marketing focus to the domestic (local traveler) market and with this we had to seriously look at our own budget. One promise I made is that even though we will have to drastically cut our prices we will not reduce our offer, it will simply not be fair to the domestic market and will also be totally against our promise of service excellence. With this decision we went to the market and offered heavily discounted special offers yet stayed with our best product promise.
We were blessed with an fantastic uptake from the domestic market, LOCAL is TRULY LEKKER! The rates we are selling at is definitely not a money maker and not allowing me to spend on improvements and repairs, much needed I agree BUT, your support kept 28 people with a total of 107 dependents employed, earning salaries and sustaining their self worth. With your support we were able to settle a few accounts, support a few local businesses and stay in the game. Yes, there is still a very difficult and uphill battle ahead but I believe that with the local support and our fantastic team we will survive and make it work.
Thank you to all of you that support our dream, we appreciate this and thank you all on a daily basis.
Wynand, Founder Tented Adventures