How A Wellness Tour Operator Sold Out Retreat Bookings 2021-2022

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Traveling with heart

A few weeks ago, Run Wild Retreats, a US-based wellness tour operator and YouLi client, has announced 2021 to be the BIGGEST year in group bookings in 10 years of the company’s history, of course our team rushed to ask for the insights of their success. Here are the highlight of our interview:

Source: Run Wild Retreats, trip photo

— ”How did you manage to grow your audience and bookings during the pandemic?” 

— “During the Spring-Summer of 2020 when nobody was traveling I was really reaching to the members of the travel community, to the Transformational Travel Council members and other organization we belong to… and everyone was saying how traveling closer to home, domestic travel, and travel with greater intent are going to come back first, as well as outdoors based activities that are focused on wellness. So we knew that we were perfectly positioned to ride that rebound wave, but a lot of our trips were in Europe. We decided to refocus on developing a whole bunch of new US-based trips, and that’s when those heart aligned connections became so critical…” — Elinor Fish, Run Wild Retreats.

Learn about a new collaboration between Run Wild Retreats and Roam Beyond at Stillwater Lake, Montana as a result of a community forming around the transformational travel principles.

— “What operational changes did you make during the pandemic?”

— “We were really committed to improving customer experience around booking and onboarding process. We wanted to make it easy to book the trips and we had to improve the onboarding process to make it more clear what was important for participants to do before they arrive. We improved all our intake forms.

We also introduced “Traveling with H.E.A.R.T.” concept to our customer onboarding process with a video that I made for our clients, and used YouLi Tasks to make sure participants watched it prior to arriving. I love how YouLi clean and easy interface helped deliver that message.”

“Traveling with H.E.A.R.T.” principles were originally developed within the Transformational Travel community and adapted by the the TTC Allies, including Run Wild Retreats. Learn more.

Traveling with heart
Traveling with H.E.A.R.T. – source: Run Wild Retreats, Onboarding Package

— “How did you manage health requirements and travelers’ expectations on your retreats?”

— “We developed a whole set of new Covid safety protocols and made sure they were front and center on our website. We added a banner on top, and revamped our cancellation and booking policy to make it more flexible. We did a ton of communication around what was expected and what was required. I bought rapid Coivd tests so we have those on sight for every retreat. We had to address safety and wellbeing from every angle.

— “What are you seeing that is different travelers’ behavior comparing to prior the pandemic?”

— “There is a change in customer attitude. First of all, they have never been more open to what it means to have a transformational experience than they are right now. And that’s because there is a deep sense of gratitude for one’s health and ability to travel and spend time with other people. The level of openness to connection is much greater than it ever was before.”

“I find that people now are so much more open, thankful, and hungry for deeper connection.”

Learn more about Elinor’s running retreats success story and the YouLi travel platform that made it possible.

Sign up to YouLi for free — Itineraries, Payments, Tasks, Documents in ONE place.

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Viktoria Ayrapetyan
Viktoria Ayrapetyan
Marketing & Community Management. I believe "community" is what empowers the change makers to make a real impact on the world, so I challenge myself and others to be the most authentic self and build real connections.