HAMILTON, MONT. - Yonder, a platform for nature tourism, launches its new travel booking site dedicated to connecting people to enriching experiences in nature. Using Yonder's new website and app (available on iOS and Android), you can discover and book a variety of overnight stays and activities at farms, ranches, vineyards, and other nature immersive properties. The company also announces a $4 million seed round of funding from private investors. The new funds will be used for hiring in engineering and operations, product development and global expansion to other English speaking countries, such as the UK, Australia, and Canada.
According to QYResearch, the total available market for Nature Tourism (also known as Agri-Ecotourism) is huge at almost $13 billion worldwide. Yet despite the fact that 47% of millennials travel to relax and avoid stress, nature tourism is underserved as most platforms focus on urban areas. Yonder was founded by Montana-based Tim Southwell, permaculture farmer and farm stay owner, who was frustrated by mainstream booking sites under-serving the farm stay community. This led him to discover the tremendous opportunity for a platform that not only connected guests to farms but to a diverse array of nature immersive experiences.
Whether it's learning about organic farming, trekking through a canyon, sampling grapes on the vine or taking in a majestic view, Yonder features experiences that immerse guests in the natural world. Yonder understands that travel is about more than a price and listing, so it spotlights what guests will take away from the experience that they might not find elsewhere, such as the personal philosophies of the Stewards. These Stewards are the owners and operators of the properties listed on Yonder whose livelihood depends on the protection and sustainability of their land and heritage.
"With the stress of our digital lives, it's important for everyone to just get out and enjoy the natural world, and people often overlook the amazing nature-rich getaways that are close to home," said Freyr Thor, CEO of Yonder. "Nature tourism also helps local communities by creating jobs and inspiring guests to protect the environment. Our carefully selected Stewards offer unique, immersive experiences that they're ready to share."
The Yonder Difference for Guests
- Hand-Selected: Stewards and properties carefully selected and vetted for exceptional hospitality, natural surroundings and activities.
- Easily-Discoverable: Reduced search time to find lesser-known, nature-based accommodations and activities.
- Personalized: Guests provided with option to build custom itineraries centered around their stay - activities, food, local attractions.
- Transformative: Experiences deliver on the many benefits of nature connection (mental, physical, spiritual) and support ecological harmony.
The Yonder Difference for Stewards
- Exclusivity: Dedicated focus on nature immersive accommodations and activities.
- Storytelling: Content platform that highlights Stewards and their stories (not a catalog of listings competing on price).
- High-Touch Service: Support that includes a dedicated Yonder representative and elevated 1:1 service.
- Recognition: Recognition programs for Stewards who excel in demonstrating positive environmental and social practices.
In addition, Yonder launches today with an exclusive group of iconic travel industry leaders who serve on the company board of advisors. Scottie Jones (Farm), Russell True (Ranch) and Lisa Frank of Rettlers (Agri-ecotourism) are on board to provide direction and guidance for their respective travel categories.
"Most booking sites are a transactional experience where you enter a location, compare prices and book," said Scottie Jones, Yonder Farmstay Advisor. "Yonder's approach is much different. It encourages a path of discovery and exposes people to unexpected, lesser-known stays and activities that connect them to nature."