As part of our Adventure Uncovered Conversations series, we’ve been catching up with adventurers, filmmakers and partners and friends of ours to see how they’re getting on in this changing landscape.
Most recently Rosie spoke to Alex Shirley-Smith, Managing Director of Tentsile UK.
Tentsile UK is on a mission to help conserve the world’s forests with their innovative range of tree tents. You might remember seeing them at the Adventure Uncovered Film Festival in London in February!
Alex, how is COVID impacting Tentsile?
We have seen a surge in sales this past month as people reassess how they entertain their kids and re-evaluate how they plan their holidays closer to home. Sales and enquiries have been 40% up from the same period last year.
What are the new challenges facing Tentsile now?
Global logistics have been a challenge as our products are deemed 'non-essential goods' and our packages get understandably bumped down the queue as medical supplies take priority.
What sort of products or services are people asking for now?
Bigger ticket items. Our “stacks” have been very popular.
How do you think COVID-19 might affect the outdoor industry longer-term?
I believe that people will be seeking adventure and wilderness more and more. Adventure closer to home and with minimal travel seems to be a pending trend.
What are the positive impacts you foresee?
Lower carbon emission due to fewer flights, local economies getting a boost, more environmentally friendly vacation choices being made, less travel for work, more understanding for family needs.
What changes are you making to prepare for the different travel/adventure landscape?
We have been trialling Tentsile Experience Camps (TEC’s) for the past four years. This is a network of low-impact, experience-rich camps in some of the most secret, beautiful and unspoilt spots near and far.
You can find a Tentsile Experience Camp near you here.
What needs to happen to enable a move to more local and sustainable adventure?
We need to remember the lessons we’ve learnt over the past three months: communicate more, work less, value your time.