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Basubu -the online marketplace for the world’s best yoga and wellness retreats

Business Name and what it does

Basubu is the online marketplace for the world’s best yoga and wellness retreats. The site was co-founded by George Burgess and launched in September 2021 as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, aiming to offer consumers an easier way to browse, discover and book wellness retreats. Basubu offers guests a carefully curated selection of international retreats, while providing hosts with the appropriate traffic to display and promote their retreats to.

Founder’s/Owner’s story and what motivated them to start the business

After selling their previous business, Basubu co-founders noticed the demand for wellness related holidays as a result of the pandemic. The team spent two months thoroughly testing the idea with a basic prototype of the website and only 15 retreats to begin with. Running Google ads to support the idea, the website generated over £10k in bookings for our retreat hosts. This made it very clear that there was great opportunity in the space, and enabled the team to feel comfortable committing to the idea, long-term. Basubu’s first booking occurred in just a few days and was valued at £1,500. This high-value purchase showed there was a level of trust in Basubu that indicated big possibilities for the future.

The challenges the business/market is facing

Post pandemic travel is inherently still quite complicated. With rules and regulations changing daily and from country to country, it can be difficult to keep up. Because of this, Basubu has put plans in place to help you book with confidence. Guests will receive a full refund if they cannot attend their retreat due to government restrictions. Furthermore, each host has their own additional cancellation policies and protections in place, with Bausbu always encouraging maximum flexibility.  

The opportunities the business/market is facing

Post-pandemic, there has been an increased interest in wellness related travel. Basubu saw a 106% increase in bookings in the first three weeks of April, compared to March. Covid shone a spotlight on both physical and mental health and this is accelerating growth in wellness travel. This was one of the fastest growing segments of travel before the pandemic but is now increasing even faster. 

Healing retreats that focus on mental health improvement are one of the fastest growing niches on Basubu, accounting for 5 times more enquiries in March compared to September.

When we talk to those booking, many cite specific reasons, varying from work stress to serious burn out, and they’re seeking a solution to help tackle this

Advice to others about business

Our co-founders encourage the thorough testing of an idea. Move beyond just speaking about starting a business, and start! Testing must begin immediately and develop quickly. Use your time testing ideas to figure out what works and what doesn’t, be sure to operate accordingly. If you realise your idea isn’t working, don’t be afraid to move onto something else. It took 7 months of market research, coming up with ideas and testing prototypes before our co-founders landed on Basubu.