Person walking along mountain path

With walking and activity/experiential tourism on the rise and easy access to one of “the world’s best long walks” (so says the Lonely Planet) walking tourism might be one of your biggest business opportunities. So, if you would like to benefit from more high spending, out of season visitors read on.


I am half way through walking the South West Coast Path with my trusty hound (Luna aka the Tuna) raising money for charity and it’s not as easy as I thought – although why I imagined it would be I don’t know, particularly if you are scared of heights. But it is truly magnificent and it is right there surrounding us, an asset for us all to tap into.

Visitors, me included, and I am sure you too, want life to be less complicated and this also applies to arranging walking holidays. So my advice is to make it really easy to find out about your business and the great welcome you offer walkers.


Top tips

Online – with details about once in a lifetime walks/experiences close to you using film, images, social media and links to great walks

Offline – in any marketing material you produce

Cafes/pubs – use signage to show that you don’t mind if walkers are wet or muddy, you have a fire they can dry off beside (while eating your food) and you don’t mind if they charge their phones or bring their dogs (you might even offer a towel)

Accommodation – what facilities can you provide such as coffee and cake after a hard days walking always goes down well, laundry or drying facilities, packed lunches, book exchange, flask filling, bus times, maps and guide books

Offering little extras – this can have a massive impact for example a B&B gave me a take-away bacon and egg sandwich, so I could get an early start walking, and you can be sure that I will share that picture all over social media

• Make sure that you provide loads of information on walks near you; get out and explore the paths so you can offer expert, accurate and current advice.


In summary

1. Shout about and show (using images and film) the benefits to walkers visiting you e.g. proximity to once in a lifetime walks

2. Give them a reason to return and to tell all their friends about you by providing outstanding customer service and adding value

3. Offer an amazing experience to every single one of your visitors so they go away and share their memories/your story (for free).