Bella Given set up Longlands in North Devon with three safari tents in 2012. Her 18 years of marketing experience on brands such a Beefeater Gin and Huggies nappies helped generate 95% occupancy in the first year and a turnover of almost £200k in year two.
In response to many prospective glamping entrepreneurs wanting to know the secret of her success, Bella set up courses and also offers bespoke consultations (www.learningsfromlonglands.co.uk). She divulges a range of tips from practical considerations such as laundering linen, to hiring experts (she found she needed an experienced consultant for the planning application) and to “never to take no for an answer.”
Despite being a marketing expert, she put Longlands on several specialist marketing and booking sites, including Sawday’s Canopy & Stars, partly for the endorsement and confidence these sites provide. “Guests return again and again; one has even stayed five times, so you need to keep the product exciting,” Bella said. “We are constantly evolving, whether it is tweaking the tents, adding a giant chess set or deciding that paraffin lamps don’t do the job and putting in low level LED.”
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