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Help with idea. Is there a market for this type of holiday?

(11 Posts)
JakemanCarvers Sat 30-Jul-11 11:42:40

Need a bit of input before we take the plunge!

Welsh borders impoverished farm thinking about setting up an exclusive use campsite to help keep the wolf from the door.

Be lords of all you survey.
Emphasis would be on secrecy, retreat, privacy and single occupancy.
Providing a rustic eco luxury safari tent on 2 acres of tree lined disused railway line for your sole occupancy, surrounded by farmland, wildlife and river access.
To suit individuals, couples, small and larger family/friend groups.
Isolated but not remote (close to historic market towns).
No sharing, No gimmicks - just privacy, freedom, peace and rustic comfort.
Set price for week/weekend/short breaks, not per person.

What do you think? Would it sell? Any ideas on price threshold?

Thank you so much for reading and (hopefully) giving us some feedback.

NormaStanleyFletcher Sat 30-Jul-11 11:44:55

What facilites would there be?

Personally I like having other families around so the kids can play together, but I can see it would work for groups.

What capacity - ie how many people

JakemanCarvers Sat 30-Jul-11 13:11:09

We'd provide water, but the site is too far from 'civilisation' to have electricity. We thought something along the lines of shabby chic meets the Flintstones; compost loo, woodsman wash house, proper beds/cots, woodburner, firepit, bbq... that sort of thinking. A real alternative to busy modern life, a retreat from society. Finding the "glamping" movement leaves little alternative for those needing to escape from busy, socially demanding lives. We thought there may be room for something less 'organised' and social, providing the opportunity to chose the amount of privacy or contact with others. As to group size, think a limit of 12 or so might be workable depending on accommodation. But idea flexible just now, ready to bend to a market......!

Thanks so much for your comments. So useful to hear different points of view.

fluffles Sat 30-Jul-11 13:16:55

i love both these places -
www.comriecroft.com/
and
www.marthrownofmabie.com/

both a bit less 'private' that what you are thinking of, but gives you an idea of some of your best competitors (i got married at comrie and have been going to marthrown for years)

MerylStrop Sat 30-Jul-11 13:17:00

Check out www.canopyandstars.co.uk. They do this kind of thing, at a more intimate scale - have been to a couple - lovely.
We would like it.
How's the microclimate?

cazzybabs Tue 02-Aug-11 10:28:40

we have just come back from a fab place - hidden valley yurts. They do have electricity but from solar panals - kids loved the stream and tire swing! It was fab

cazzybabs Tue 02-Aug-11 10:32:45

(I can't imagine they are far from you either - there are several "glamping" sites on the welsh border! so i'd be careful the market isn't saturated - also i would worry about the inital investment needed)

JakemanCarvers Tue 02-Aug-11 21:56:03

Thanks everyone for all your comments, advice and links. Much food for thought. Think it might be worth a punt!
Look out for further updates and be first to make a booking!
Thanks again all, you've been enormously useful.

QuintessentialShadows Tue 02-Aug-11 21:57:51

Is there something else to do? Walking paths? Cycling?

NettleTea Wed 03-Aug-11 00:10:13

Just a word of warning about planning permission. If you can afford to do it without a huge investment and think it can go under the planning radar, then give it a go, but safari tents dont come cheap, nor the kind of furnishings which you are talking about, especially if you want to go for the 'glamping' market - the customers will want quality even if it is rustic, especially if you wish to command a decent return on your initial investment and time. The tent, although temporary, will be considered a structure if it is to be used for over 28 days, and I dont think you have enough land (believe it is 5 hectares) to do the '28 day permitted development' route, though check that out as a possibility for a trial, if you can put together a unit on a budget by beg, stealing or borrowing as much as you can. The compost toilet and woodsmans wash will also count as structures, and if you have any NIMBY neighbours you could find yourselves involved in a planning permission/enforcement situation, which is ALOT of work, costly and with no guarantee of success (we are a year and a half down that road - Ive basically had to reduce my self employed work to undertake over a years worth of filling in application forms, undertaking various surveys, etc etc to satisfy the local planning dept, and we are onto our second application now)
Get a business plan together, looking at local competition, your unique selling points, strengths and weaknesses. Cost everything to the penny, and produce a cash flow projection over 3 years. Look at your management structure (who is going to do what), emergency contingency, insurance, marketing. Will you promote yourselves, and how, can that draw enough custom or will you approach a company like Canopy and Stars, who will take a commission, but will guarantee your exposure to alot more people, and get a higher rate per night.
There are alot of glamping sites popping up, you need to really focus on what makes you different, and what you have to offer - can you teach anything, can guests have a 'hands on' experience of anything you do on your land? Can you up the service to include meals, etc The market is far from saturated at the moment, its worth contacting your local tourism dept and seeing if they have any figures for the 'staycation' market. Talk to similar sites in the area and see how they fare with customers, what kind of problems they have had, etc.
And good luck!

NettleTea Wed 03-Aug-11 00:12:22

Another idea would be to have the basic unit, but to allow groups to bring their own tents to pich alongside, but you would need to consider parking. And open fires are a must, though you could build a communal fie pit to etsablish a single burn site.

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