Ruggård Hay Hotel

The development of a special interest B&B is a complex endeavour which should be thoroughly thought through. Lots of requirements have to be fulfilled in order to be able to cater to one specific target group, in the case of the Ruggård Hay Hotel, Islandic horse riders who would like to travel with their own horses. In order to be able to provide a satisfying holiday experience for the target group, elements such as surroundings, arrival possibilities, accomodation/accomodation facilities for horses, catering, profitability, marketing, etc., have to be considered.

The Kjær family, who are very welcoming and warm hosts, have a farm which is located in a charming and idyllic landscape with lots of riding trails. The highway is in close proximity to the farm, and the airport as well as Legoland are within 30 minutes reach by car. The landscape consisting of fields, hills, forrests and rivers offers possibilities for a wide range of leisure activities, such as horseback riding, biking, canoeing, hiking, collecting mushrooms and fishing. The accommodation that could yet be provided, would be an extensive attic room on the farm. At some point of time, one of the two fully furnished flats could be used as guest accommodation, too. The Kjær family owns the land which surrounds the farm, so it would be no problem to accommodate at least a dozen horses on the crops. Currently there is only one stable for their private horses. Dependant on how profitable the endevour is, either Lisbeth, or Christopher would be willing to work only part-time in their everyday job; the catering opportunities are closely linked to this fact, because the Kjærs’ would only be able to cater for breakfast on an everyday basis, if they would not have to work full-time anymore. Otherwise, this service would only be available on weekends. This venture would only be possible if the revenue would be at least 60,000 DK a year, since this is the price they would get for renting out the apartment on a long-term basis. In terms of marketing, the Kjær family would like to focus on word-of-mouth.

The target group on which the family would like to focus is extremely specified, since the group of horsebackriders is narrowed down to riders who have a special interest for islandic horses and amongst this group, only those riders who have the wish to travel with their horses. In the decade in which I was riding myself, I only ever met one girl who actually travelled with her horse to go on vacation. From my experience, due to the effort that is connected when travelling with horses (the requirement of a trailer, lots of stops along the way, a vast amount of luggage due to the horse equipment, slow speed…), lots of riders prefer to travel without their horses and instead go on riding vacation where horses are provided. This would be a possibility that has not been considered by the Kjærs’ yet. Since they compete in horse shows, understandably they do not want other people on their horses. To enhance their target group and with that achieving the required revenues, they could consider to get horses, specifically for the use of their guests. That way they would still adress the basic target group of islandic horse riders, on which they lay there focus from the beginning , but they would have the possibility of enhancing their revenues. By adressing guests who do not have to travel with their own horses, the Kjær family would also extend their radius. Whilst riders travelling with their own horses would in most cases due to the circumstances only be willing to drive 4-5 hours utmost, riders who are travelling without horses could easily travel longer distances and for instance fly in and arrive in Billund. This would also be a way to make use of the great location of the farm, in proximity of the airport.

Another additional target group that should be considered in order to to meet the monetarial goals, are the bikers, as already proposed by the Kjærs’ themselves. The surroundings of the farm offer the perfect playground, especially for mountain bikers. This would also be a great opportunity to make use of the attic room, which could be developed into a dorm, for bikers who are on their journey through. Another benefit emerging through this target group would be the possible gains which face relatively small efforts, compared to the main target group.

One additional target group that was barely mentioned are the overworked, burned-out business people. The calm, idyllic surroundings of the farm would provide a fantastic background for a rehabilitation of stressed-out managers. The fresh and clean air and the silence on the farm would help the business people to find some peace and the various outdoor activities, which they could engange in, would be the perfect distraction from the busy, superficial business world. As Janne mentioned on our trip, there might be the opportunity of arranging guided tours through the woods with a ranger, who would educate the business people about the nature and with also help to get their minds of work. This specific target group has a high appeal due to their financial means and their willingness to spend money on a product that meets their expectations.

What this all amounts to is that, in my opinion, the prerequisites for this endevour are already given, but in order to meet the monetarial requirements, the Kjærs’ might have to consider widening their target group profile.

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