UK: John and Laura Lewis, the founders of Welsh luxury glamping business Squirrels Nest, have launched a new online luxury accommodation directory to capitalise on the demand for staycations – Wanderlist.
The Powys-based couple created Wanderlist earlier this month as a resource showcasing commission-free listings of treehouses, tents and shepherd huts across the UK in primarily rural staycations. Property owners are able to list their accommodations on the platform by paying a gold package fee of £295 or a silver package fee of £195.
With support from NatWest’s accelerator network Entrepreneur Accelerator Hub, which mentors and advises businesses seeking to scale up, the pair were able to drive forward with their plans for launching Wanderlist. They were already operating their own holiday lettings business, Squirrels Nest, which they founded in 2018 on their sheep farm in Powys, mid-Wales.
Speaking to Wales247.co.uk, they said two of their treehouses are fully booked until December and they are currently building a third, which is scheduled to open in November.
Laura told the website: “When we launched our own holiday lettings business, we originally signed up to a popular glamping website but couldn’t get our heads around the 25 per cent commission, which is why we wanted to launch a directory of our own.
“The website is a friendly place where owners and their properties are given the care and attention that they deserve, these truly are amazing spaces that should be shouted about. With domestic tourism set for a boom thanks to the relaxing of lockdown rules just in time for the end of the summer, we hope that property owners will take advantage of commission-free exposure and holiday-hungry Brits will be inspired by their newfound appreciation of UK beauty spots.
“Once the website is established, we hope to expand the business and the NatWest Accelerator Hub has allowed me to take a step back from both Squirrels Nest and Wanderlist, to look at our strategy and plan for future growth,” she added.