The coronacrisis as a trendaccelerator: nature.house
3 December 2020
In the ScaleUp Dashboard 2020 special edition ”Scaleups in times of crisis” we offer an overview of how Dutch scaleups have been dealing with the coronacrisis. Travel & Leisure is one of the sectors that have experienced the most difficulties as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 (CBS, 2020). nature.house, one of the Top 250 Scaleups 2020, falls within this sector. Nevertheless, this fast-growing company expects to emerge stronger from the crisis. In this case study, Dick Vulto, COO at nature.house looks back on the scaleup’s experience with the coronacrisis over past six months.
nature.house is a marketplace for holiday accommodations located in the nature.Besides having the Netherlands as their home base, they also operate in many other European countries such as Germany and France. The platform experienced extremely uncertain times during the start of the coronacrisis. “It’s been a huge rollercoaster over the last few months. There was a lot of uncertainty in the market. No one knew what the measures were going to be and you saw that people were just waiting” says Dick Vulto. First, the question was whether people could go on holiday at all, then the question of how to do it safely and according to the rules. After a short period, people felt more secure to rent an accommodation and demand started rising again, which was an opportunity for nature.house to continue its growth.
“Vacation in your own country” will stay
After a period of uncertainty, the tide turned for nature.house, thanks to the rapid introduction of a contactless check-in service. “People are forced to go on holiday in the Netherlands this year, or at least closer to home. The demand for holiday accommodations around the corner has increased considerably this summer, resulting in an increase in the number of bookings for nature.house. The challenge was to find enough supply for this demand: ‘’Last summer we had even less than 1% of our supply available’’ Dick Vulto adds.
This growth came as no surprise to nature.house:
‘’We see that people have experienced that you don’t necessarily have to travel far to see beautiful nature, it can also be close to home. We have anticipated this trend for some time but Corona has really accelerated it. We expect this trend to continue and demand for domestic holidays will remain very high”.
In addition to ensuring ‘healthy’ company growth, nature.house also pursues a higher goal: to create awareness of nature and climate. They expect a lasting change within the sector as a result of the coronacrisis. “The increased demand for domestic holidays is good for the world in general. In addition to COVID-19, we are still dealing with climate change. This summer, people have started to look for and appreciate nature a lot more. We think that this will make people more aware of their flight behaviour in the future.“What we do hope and expect from the government is that they also want to work hard to combat climate change,” Vulto concludes.
Want to read more scaleup stories and find out more about the scaleup landscape in times of crisis? Visit our ScaleUp Dashboard webpages (in English and Dutch) or directly download your own English copy of “Scaleups in times of crisis” here and the Dutch version here!