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Life is Simple: Interview with Nancy Beckham GM Tensing Pen

Ben Kilbey in London

Tensing Pen is a very special part of the world. Perched on cliffs and nestled by jungle-like vegetation there is a calming ambiance and relaxation inducing nature to the place. “Tensing Pen, you want to know why it’s called that?” said GM Nancy Beckham as we sat down to another wonderful dinner on the safari like veranda. “Well the owners had a dog called Tensing and this was his home, or his pen.” So there you have it. Another Tensing now roams the dramatic property, a young Ridgeback of beautiful temperament. All of this makes you feel at home. The property is made up of, as one tour operator put it, “Kenyan style accommodation,” it’s true there really is a different feel to the simple yet up market rooms. An aura. I made my home for two nights in an octagonal shaped room perched on stilts (Pine Pillar) with a large bed and mosquito netting. The balcony doors opened onto the sea and it was possible to fall asleep to the lapping ocean and be awoken by the Caribbean sun and the gentle singing of birds. Over dinner Nancy and I also discussed some other matters.

How is business at Tensing Pen?

Business has been great through May and we are expecting a busy summer. We are currently taking confirmations for November and December visits, which means next high season should be better than ever!

How is your market share broken down?


Our breakdown is: AMERICAN 75%, CANADIAN 22%, REST OF WORLD AND EUROPE 3%.

How important is the European market to Tensing, what marketing strategies do you employ to gain more market share from Europe?

Tensing Pen would like to attract more UK and European visitors as we feel that this is a market that can be truly appreciated by the European traveler. Our casual atmosphere, no telephone or televisions, the close contact to nature and warm staff have been the highlights of most European visitors in the past. As a small property with small marketing budgets we are trying to attract press and high end tour operators to assist in driving business to Tensing Pen. The more familiar our product the more people will come.

Also with more charters originating out of Europe we hope to attract the traveler that does not want an all-inclusive gated environment.

How important is the Internet to you and the marketing of Tensing? On a marketing note how important is the intimate group that you have created in assisting with global and regional marketing?

The Internet has been extremely important to increasing sales for Tensing Pen. We have just revamped our website which should launch around June 10 ‘04. It has more information and more photos and direct access to our offices for information and reservations. We find the fewer questions and more information the client has - and also the speed with which we supply the answers - drive more sales.

Are we correct in thinking that the marketing group that you are part of, Intimate Negril, are also thinking of updating their website?

Yes indeed, intimate Negril is also planning to update the website which should be complete by late summer ‘04. The better placement on search engines and more information available should also make this a viable tool for driving increased sales globally.