Aug 2021 Wild View Retreat Survival and Recovery
Erika and I are delighted to report that Wild View Retreat has survived (just about!) the worst of the pandemic – the greatest test of our lives – and we are busy planning and preparing for an exciting recovery year next year.
With 80% of credited bookings now honoured and only 20% still to be taken, we feel we can finally breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to putting on amazing retreats this Autumn and next year.
A remarkable amount of work has taken place behind the scenes to get through the crisis. Being a small brand new tourism project reliant on income from clients dependent on international travel, this really has been the toughest test of lives. It’s been significantly more difficult and stressful than building the retreat itself back in 2016-18. A miracle that we survived under the circumstances especially given we were not able to access any Government/EU support in Portugal.
In 2020 we were looking forward to our first sold out retreat season when C19 hit. We only managed to do 3 retreats in 2020 instead of the planned 18 and ultimately our survival is down to support and loyalty of returning guests over the first few years.
Friends now rather than clients, nearly 90% of our guest bookings in 2020/21 were offered up to us as credits instead of refunds. This is ultimately why we did not go under.
Without this support, we would not have made it through and we are eternally grateful for the human kindness of all of you who kept your payments with us until we were able to open up and honour your bookings. THANK YOU!
In 2021, so far we have put on 3 fantastic weeks in June (off the back of the May Green List Window) – and a further 6 weeks are secured and nearly fully booked for September and October. These retreats will tick off many of the credits and take us over the red line and financially back to where we started in 2018.
Erika and I also took second jobs to continue to pay loans, debts, staff and fixed costs. After 5 years of determined perseverance Erika finally managed to secure her dream job in film production in the UK. She has been doing 14 hour days every day since her recovery from Covid in January and absolutely loving her job. Its a very exciting new Apple TV 10 part series about WW2 but she had to sign an NDA and I swear I wouldn’t tell anyone, so sadly I can’t share what it is for now. Exciting times for Erika and truly well deserved. I also started working a second job, for the fantastic nutrition and genetics company / start up called LifecodeGX offering practitioner support on 4-5 zoom consultations a day – deciphering client genetic DNA report, tailoring nutrition and dietary protocols based on their genetics – an amazing new chapter in modern preventative health care.
Thank you all for your amazing support these first few very difficult years of our little retreat business – we really couldn’t have made it though with you all!
With best wishes Andrew and Erika x