A time to hibernate & innovate

Ollie Law Chief Bushman at Bushman Tours Ollie
3 min read

After a few intense walks and the advice from loved ones, close friends and senior business advisors, I’ve decided to move Bushman Tours into a hibernation state.

This careful consideration is in an attempt to create the space and environment to revisit the core functionality and purpose of the business. 

It’s time we slow things down, take a breath, and look to innovate without the stress of a pandemic. 

Why make this decision now?

There probably aren’t many industries that have been hit as hard as tourism, that’s unlucky

A recent discussion over dinner.

I always knew this, but refused to take it as a personal hit to our business, believing that our youth was on our side.

While that’s probably still the case, it does begin to take its toll. When taking a step back and considering the big question, are we trying to do too much with so little, it became obvious that the environment and market is currently unstable.

It’s important to understand there is ‘so little’ right now. Around the period of writing this article, one of our biggest bookings was cancelled due to the covid outbreak in New South Wales and Wellington. We’d planned this trip for months and even had a few of the customers here in the country (specifically Wellington) who had to fly home.

If it only takes a few people to shut the borders and cause such panic, I can’t see this type of reaction going away in the next few years – there will always be someone out there with covid-19 and I think the current government has written off the international tourism sector.

Contrary to the tourism industry, I run a marketing agency (Fixinc) that deals with the more business to business world. We see these concerns shared throughout many varieties of industries.  

As entrepreneurs, we must give opportunities 100%, at full throttle, all the time. Lift the pedal even a fraction, and you’re neglecting your passions. 

We had set up Bushman Tours to allow Bushmen and women the chance to connect with their Visitors, and visa-versa. But one thing that happened almost immediately after the 2020 NZ lockdown was the domestic market’s approach to booking guided tours. 

The turn around to a booking tripled. Customers didn’t want to speak to Bushmen, they wanted travel-agent-type support. And while we’ve looked to pivot to this offering, it was ultimately not what we’d headed out for and the work involved was too significant considering the landscape right now.

The covid-19 situation is still not in a steady position, no matter what way you try to swing it. 

My work in the resilience space – through clients of Fixinc – allows me to see the more broader picture and response to this pandemic. With more cases coming from unknown origins throughout NZ and Australia, a very slow uptake in vaccinations, and constant variants, I don’t see the NZ borders opening to the world until the first half of 2022.

I hope I’m wrong.

What happens next?

A hibernation state typically means no spending of funds, it means keeping the business registered but not actively seeking to grow. It’s a place a business can visit core strategies with less day-to-day demand.

Customers will still be able to book a Bushmen, but it’s a minimum 30 day notice for trips under 2 days, and 60 days for anything longer. Your booking would be 100% managed by the Bushmen.

We’re currently not taking any applications from Bushmen, Lensmen or Bushbloggers. 

Current booked tours

All booked tours will remain as planned and continue throughout the year.

If you have a tour booked for later this year, this will still be going ahead as planned. 

Is Bushman Tours shutting down?

Absolutely not. 

The key thing to know is that I’m creating space. I am focused on getting rid of unrealistic deadlines and targets for a business that is run by a very small team. We were never into that corporate stress anyway – it’s all about getting outside in a whenua.

When the global pandemic comes to an end (and it will), life goes back to some form of normality, and I am able to have reliable people look after Fixinc, we will release what we’ve worked on behind the scenes…

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to [email protected], but please expect a delay in response.

Stay in touch

When we look to re-release Bushman Tours, bring out new tours, bring on new Bushmen and showcase our new offering, you may want to hear about it. Join the individual mailing list to get notified when it this happens.

Register to stay in touch ➜

We’ll see you out in the bush somewhere, come say hi!

Hei konā mai.

Ollie and the Bushman Tours Tribe.

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Ollie Law Chief Bushman at Bushman Tours Ollie

I have been blessed to travel much of the world over the last few years and there are three things I’ve come to learn: 1) nature NEVER disappoints, 2) if EVERYONE knew who fragile the planet was, they’d try harder 3) people are remarkable if you give them the opportunity. These, and some other topics are what I love to write about.

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