The number of walking festivals is increasing and growing in popularity. Stay up to date with your local destination management organisation to see if there is a festival near you and link with the promoters. Walkers who come for a festival (usually a series of guided walks) will often go back to the same area independently.
Check out this handy resource from Natural England
Promoting your business to England Coast Path user on the National Trails website. Natural England is creating a new National Trail around the whole English coast - the England Coast Path. If your business is near a National Trail, the National Trails website is a great opportunity for free and easy promotion. Check out more info here.
Make sure your potential customers know why your business would be an ideal base for a walking holiday. Make a feature of walking on your website. Describe the area, distance to walking routes, type of landscape etc. Include photos of walkers in coastal setting.
Describe the facilities specifically provided for walkers such as a boot or drying room, maps, storage and so on. Don’t forget to mention your comfortable accommodation for relaxing afterwards.
Include reviews from walkers stressing how ideal the locality is as a walking base.
Consider advertising with organisations and websites that specialise in walking provision.
Walking is popular as a group activity – sometimes as families but often single sex or other groups of friends. Consider advertising with specialist single sex holiday providers and websites or link up with operators.
Research suggests that people go on active holidays not just to improve their health and fitness but because they enjoy being outdoors in a natural environment, off the beaten track and to de-stress. These points can be used in promotional material to help sell the more holistic benefits of a walking based holiday.
Although the majority of walkers act independently some prefer guided walks, particularly in more remote areas. Link up with local guides and walking holiday companies.
To meet the needs of keener walkers staying in different establishments each night you could offer to take luggage to their next accommodation – or collect it from where they were the previous night. You could also link up with other local businesses to offer this service.
Customers often wish to combine their walking holiday with other hobbies such as photography or wildlife viewing or to experience gourmet or local food and drink. Consider offering walking weekends with a wildlife expert on hand or develop a walking trail that includes stopping points at local food and drink providers.
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