As we proceed through 2020, it is becoming more apparent that as a nation we will have to start accepting the “new normal” way of doing most things we all took for granted, one of which being how we take our holidays. With travel restrictions still in place to most overseas countries, this summer will consist of “staycations” for many.
Campsites, holiday lets, farm stays and hotels are hopefully allowed to reopen on the 4th July in England and the 20th July in Northern Ireland, with dates yet to be confirmed in Scotland and Wales.
These types of holiday were becoming increasingly popular before the pandemic, it’s looking like they will be the “go to” for many holiday makers this year, and potentially the next, due to many people experiencing a downturn in their disposable income.
Equine Tourism Opportunity
According to the British Equestrian Trade Association there are 27 million people in Britain with an interest in the equine industry, and the number of regular riders (that have ridden at least twice a month for the past 12 months) has risen from 1.3 million in 2015 to 1.8 million in 2019. They also state that lack of access to horses and facilities is the main barrier to 22% of riders thinking of returning to equestrian based activities.
This presents a great potential for landowners looking to diversify! Initially there are several steps to climb and knowing where to start can be intimidating and even seem impossible. Equine Business Consultancy has experience in all financial, commercial, operational and compliance matters in this sector, so we can guide you in your potential business venture.
Many established equestrian yards reside on a farm because they can present a wonderful environment for an equine business to thrive. Farms have land for grazing, plus buildings which can be easily used for stabling and often connection to local bridle paths for hacking. Those fortunate enough to be near local equine friendly beauty spots can also promote such things as amazing riding through woods, over hills and dales, along beaches and lakes.
However equestrian diversification does not only apply to a single diversification plan, for example:
- Farms may have previously taken the step into diversification by offering camping or glamping, converting farm buildings into holiday lets or offering B&B stays. However, they could easily create more revenues to enhance income by offering stables and riding on or close to their land. Many equine owners who come from more built up areas would love to “holiday” with their horse. What a missed opportunity this could be, so farms should consider offering lucrative packages for visiting riders!
- If a farm already has equine facilities there is the potential for further developmentthrough having long term livery customers, a riding school, providing a show jumping course and a cross country course that could be hired out. For example, riding clubs and pony clubs are always looking for new venues to hold clinics and camps, which would create additional income for the farm plus increasing footfall by driving more customers to your facilities!
- This could be a real opportunity and first movers always capture the market first. A quick conversation with us can easily determine the potential that you may be able to unlock.
Written by Alice Maundrell – EBC Consultant
Equine Business Consultancy can advise on a single aspect or a whole project. Our services can include a full or part managed service solution from start up, growth through to the mature phase of the business.