As we move closer to the tail-end of 2020 (everyone’s annus horribilis), The Yak decided to meet some of the fearless few who have planned or opened new businesses in these tougher-than-tough times. Here we talk to tented venue Bali Beach Glamping…
Tell us your name, your business name, what industry it is in?
We are PT Tampih Griya Wisata, trading as Bali Beach Glamping – a fabulous beachfront resort that hosts its own weddings and offers stylish accommodation under canvas for guests attending weddings at Villa Vedas, and also generally to guests who want an amazing glamping experience.
What experiences or services does your brand offer?
BBG weddings (BBG Wedding Presentation) are unique in Bali. BBG is a fabulous beachfront resort 30 km from Ngurah Rai airport that has no curfew (every other wedding venue in Bali, apart from the adjacent Villa Vedas, is subject to a 10pm to midnight curfew), it is very reasonably priced at Rp 60,000,000 net per night for up to 90 guests, including complimentary breakfast, and if a couple books the whole resort, they can use BBG’s restaurant, pool and wedding lawn (representing about 80 metres of absolute beachfront) for their wedding.
There is nothing even remotely comparable to BBG in Bali, and Bali’s wedding planners have simply said “wow” when they first saw it. BBG is already Bali’s premier wedding venue where an overnight stay is contemplated (the wedding chapel “sausage factories” that host several weddings per day will host more weddings than BBG). We expect BBG to host between 50 and 100 weddings in 2021, and 150 or more in 2022 and in subsequent years.
BBG also plans to offer “Glamping Tours of Bali” together with a selection of other glamping resorts in Bali, pursuant to which guests can stay for a few nights in each resort.
When did you first start planning this business?
BBG has been long in the planning. Villa Vedas hosted 13 weddings in 2018 (its first full year of operations), 41 weddings in 2019, and it had 86 weddings booked in 2020 (and 30 in 2021) before Covid struck in March 2020, and with its absence of curfew we were regularly arranging transport for weddings guests to distant accommodation between midnight and dawn.
When Villa Vedas took 86 wedding bookings in 2020, it became obvious that stylish and well priced accommodation next to Villa Vedas would be a fabulous addition for Villa Vedas’ wedding guests, and would further enhance Villa Vedas; burgeoning popularity.
But how to build accommodation next to Villa Vedas when it had 86 wedding bookings in 2020, and having a construction site next to your wedding venue is every couple’s worst nightmare?
A glamping resort is fast and relatively inexpensive to build, and most importantly, construction of a glamping resort is relatively quiet.
The charts below show the effects of Covid on Villa Vedas’ wedding bookings.
Is your business open yet and if so what date did you open?
BBG opened in October 2020
While everyone around you was laying-off workers and closing businesses what was it that made you keep going and continue the dream within the unfolding nightmare?
We started construction in January 2020, and by March (when Covid hit) we were already heavily committed, and unable to pull out without incurring substantial costs, and leaving a half built resort next to Villa Vedas.
Furthermore, interest from guests was enormous, and it rapidly became apparent that BBG was a fabulous wedding venue in its own right, and not just accommodation for Villa Vedas wedding guests, for which it was originally conceived.
Indeed, BBG had so much momentum that we were even able to raise new money during Covid at a business valuation that was significantly above the cost of construction. There was only one way out when Covid hit in March, and that was forwards – retreat was not an option!
How long have you been in your chosen field of business?
Villa Vedas’ first full year of operations was 2018.
How many people do you employ?
BBG will employ between 50 and 100 people.
What are the factors that you appreciate about this C19 business hiatus?
There is nothing to “appreciate” about Covid. However, BBG has been born in a cradle of fire, and it has risen like the Phoenix from the ashes. If BBG was born during Covid, it can survive anything.
What upcoming challenges do you foresee?
2021 is going to be another hard year, with the Australian government suggesting that there will be no meaningful international travel until late 2021 following widespread distribution of a vaccine (50% of Villa Vedas’ guests have traditionally been Australians and New Zealanders), however BBG is seeking to diversify away from the Antipodean market, and is generating huge interest among Indonesian guests in particular.
What star sign are you? And do you think that your particular horoscope characteristics emboldened you to take this plunge and carry it on through?
BBG is the product of careful planning, skill, experience, doggedness and sheer hard work, and it has nothing to do with luck or cosmic benevolence!
Are you currently running any promotional campaigns and / or amazing offers?
We are offering very inexpensive stays at BBG until the border reopens (approximately 25% of normal prices) in order to attract Bali residents.
Do you have a mantra, music or a motto (or YouTube video or similar) that you have used, weekly or daily, as you have completed and opened in these trying times? We would love you to share with us.
On its way! We have our first influencers checking in today.