2014 Tourism, Innovation and Business Models

E-tivity 4: Nina

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Catherina and I decided to develop a questionnaire for the German Icelandic horse riders market. With this questionnaire, we aim to investigate the potential demand in the German market and the respective motivations and expectations for a holiday at the Danish horse farm “Ruggård Hay Hotel”.

The questionnaire was created with the online survey program “Surveyxact” and was posted into two Facebook groups of German Icelandic horse riders. In addition, it was sent out to 14 Icelandic Horse Riders Clubs and 21 Icelandic Horse Stables throughout whole Germany via email. Within one and a half weeks, we had a total of 54 respondents who are of different age groups, have different riding experience and are from different towns and cities from all over Germany. Even though 54 respondents are not enough to present representative data, our findings can still show a certain tendency as we definitely found quite explicit and meaningful results. However, a further market research is needed in order to be able to holistically cover the potential of the German Icelandic Horse riding market to visit the Hay Hotel.

One of the key findings is that 85% of respondents are interested in horse holidays in Southern Denmark, primarily for enjoying the Danish nature and their passion for Icelandic horses. As this appears to be quite positive, there is, however, one major problem or challenge that the family would have to face if they decided to additionally focus on the German market. This challenge comprises the fact that 60% of those respondents who are interested in horse holidays in Denmark do not or cannot bring their (own) horses with them. This is a problem or challenge since the family of the Hay Hotel only wants to target horse riders who bring their own horses. According to the questionnaire, main reasons for not bringing own horses are that respondents either do not have an own horse, think that Denmark is too far away for horse holiday or stated that this kind of holiday in Denmark is too expensive (especially due to travel costs). Other findings include that this type of holiday requires too much effort as some horses do not like to be transported or are not able to be transported for a longer time, that horse riders feel too old for such a journey or that they think it is too dangerous for their horses. Instead, 97% of the respondents who do not want to bring their own horses for various reasons stated that they would prefer to rent a horse at the farm.

There are various possible solutions or initiatives of which I would like to present three that might be most suitable to the situation. First of all, the family could decide to focus on the Northern German market only instead of marketing Icelandic horse riders in entire Germany. Thus, they could address both the problems of being “too far away” and “too expensive”.  Even though these problems could not be entirely solved, as also people from Northern Germany would still have a relatively long journey time and a fairly high amount of travel expenses, they could at least reduce it. Moreover, the family could then attract Danish and Northern German horseback riders, who can actually bring their own horses, only and thus would not need to buy extra horses for renting. This would, in turn, also save money or at least avoid extra costs at the beginning. Yet, further market research would be needed as we had not a sufficient amount of answers from people from Northern Germany. Consequently, we cannot say if there really is a strong demand. Up to now, we can just state from our results that there is certain tendency towards this demand.

If the family does not want to market the Northern German area only but wants to attract the entire German market instead, two other solutions may be suitable. These might be even better than the first initiative since our research results have showed that there is a demand (or a tendency towards a demand) for the entire German Icelandic horse rider market. Consequently, implementing one of the following initiatives could help the family to attract a broader target group. The first solution would be to buy additional Icelandic horses that would be lent to the tourists. Consequently, the family could still have their own horses for competition and private use and would thus avoid the danger of lending their valuable show horses. From our perspective, the family has a good basis to take care of additional horses on a permanent basis as they already have enough paddocks, stables, space and the right knowledge. With this solution they could also address horse riders who cannot bring their own horses and would thus definitely solve the previously introduced problem and would additionally attract a broader target group. Yet, further investigation would be needed in order to consider the arising expenses. One example is to make a calculation of how many tourists would need to come in order to cover the costs.

The last solution could be to expand the existing network and to introduce a co-operation with nearby Icelandic riding clubs. This means that the family could rent horses on demand for their tourists from nearby horse riding clubs. This would be relatively easy to plan ahead as tourists could state in advance if they want to rent a horse or can bring their own horse. Thus, the problem of not having an own horse or not being able to bring their own horse would be solved. Yet, we need to find out whether there are any riding clubs in that area that would be willing to cooperate. Moreover, this solution might even be more expensive than the second solution. Again, a detailed calculation is needed in order to find the most suitable solution.

Regarding the business model of the Hay Hotel different changes are possible, depending on which initiatives are chosen. Whereas some elements of the business model like key resources, key activities or the customer relationship are not primarily affected by the proposed initiatives, other elements are. Starting with the customer segment, the main focus would obviously be on Icelandic horse riders. These would come from Denmark and, depending on the chosen initiative, from entire Germany or Northern Germany only. If they decided to focus on Northern Germany, it would be probably easier for the family to individually and directly address them as they would then target a smaller group. If they decided to focus on entire Germany, however, it would then be harder for the family to individually address their target group but they get the chance to attract more customers as they have a broader target group.  Regarding the key partners, solutions two and three would add additional key partners to the business model. These could either be, if possible, Icelandic riding clubs nearby or other riding clubs in the area or, for solution three, Icelandic horse sellers that are private Icelandic horse owners, Icelandic horse breeders or professional horse traders. Another element of the business model that would change is the cost structure or the revenue streams. First there would be investments in additional horses. Moreover, the family would need to include the horse renting from nearby riding clubs or the buying of the horses in their Break Even calculation. Lastly, they would also need to come up with prices for the tourists´ horse renting. Another element that would change is the value or value creation. If the family offered horse renting, they would of course add additional value to their farm. This would then attract a broader target group and might also help to differentiate from competitors and thus gives the family the chance to gain a competitive advantage. The last element of the business model, the channels, are generally affected when entering the German market, no matter if Northern Germany only or entire Germany as additional channels are needed for all three solutions. These include additional channels in the German Icelandic horse market, for instance sending out flyers to German stables or contacting the Icelandic Horse Association in Germany to market the Hay Hotel.

All in all, our research has found out that there is a tendency towards a relatively strong demand in the German Icelandic horse riders market. If the family is able to handle the presented challenge of tourists not being able to bring their own horses, they do not only have the chance to attract an additional target group outside the Danish market but could also, if they decide to rent horses to their guests, offer an additional value which might then help to differentiate from potential competitors.

Etivity 4

Friday, April 17th, 2015

We focused our questionnaire on the potential of the German Icelandic horse rider market and if they are, in general, interested in visiting and travelling to the Hay Hotel or not. Also, we tried to identify the motivations that German Icelandic horse riders have if they decide to visit the Hay Hotel.

In order to approach our potential respondents, we posted our questionnaire in two different Facebook groups which both deal with Icelandic horses and their German riders. Additionally, we send out e-mails to 14 Icelandic horse rider clubs as well as 21 Icelandic horse rider stables in entire Germany.

Our questionnaire has been answered by 54 respondents, who differ in age and riding experiences. As the number of completed questionnaires is not enough to really be representative, we can only refer to tendencies so that it can be said that further research is needed.

Our key findings are that 85% of the respondents are interested in horse holidays in Denmark. The main reasons for this are enjoying nature and the passion for Icelandic horses.

The main challenge we found is that 60% of the respondents who are interested in staying at the Hay Hotel and enjoying a horse holiday, do not want or cannot bring their own horses. This has several reasons: some respondents say, that they do not have an own horse, thus, they are not able to bring it there. Others said that the Hay Hotel or Denmark in general is too far away or it is too expensive to bring their own horses there. Other reasons are also that some horses are not in the condition for being transported over such a long distance and consequently think that it is too dangerous. In addition, some horse owners themselves feel too old for such a journey and that it takes too much effort. Most of them state, that it is much easier for them to rent a horse at the Hay Hotel. Consequently, 97% of the respondents who do not want or are not able to bring their horses prefer to rent a horse at the Hay Hotel.

In order to solve the problem of not being able to bring own horses to the Hay Hotel, we came up with three possible solutions.

The first solution would be that the family only targets Icelandic horse riders living in northern Germany. In order to be sure that this solutions works, further research is needed as we focused on entire Germany and only had a few answers from northern Germany. With this solution, the potential guests do not have to travel such a long distance to the Hay Hotel and thus, it is not that expensive which makes it possible to bring their own horses to the Hay Hotel.

The second solution we propose is that the family buys some additional Icelandic horses for the tourists. Hence, German Icelandic horse riders, not only from northern Germany but also those who do not have an own horse, have the chance to experience a horse holiday in Denmark. This could be a good possibility as we have proof that a lot of German Icelandic horse riders are interested in that. The family does still have their horses for their competitions and can target even more potential guests. Also, the family already has all facilities needed for accommodating more horses like paddocks, stables and knowledge. Regarding the extra costs which will arise when buying additional horses, again, further research is needed and calculations have to be made regarding the number of tourists which have to stay at the Hay Hotel in order to cover these costs.

The third solution we thought of is a co-operation with an Icelandic horse stable from which the family could rent some Icelandic horses on demand instead of buying them. This also solves the problem of Icelandic horse riders, who want to stay at the Hay Hotel but do not want or are not able to bring their own horses. At least for the family, this solution is easy to plan as tourists could state if they want to rent horses or bring their own horses when booking their trip. This possible solution, however, might be even more expensive than the second solution, buying additional horses, as every time tourists want to rent horses, costs arise. But again, calculation is needed.

All three suggested solutions require some changes in the current Business Model of the Hay Hotel. Especially the elements customer segment, cost structure and revenue streams, key partners, values as well as channels are affected.

Changes in the customer segment depend on the family´s decision whether they want a broad customer segment from Germany or whether they choose to only focus on the region of northern Germany. To focus on northern Germany might be easier for them as the target group will not be that broad. But if they choose to buy some additional horses or rent horses from other Icelandic horse rider clubs and consequently, could target Icelandic horse riders from all over Germany, the customer segment will be very broad and thus probably not that easy to target.

Additionally to the changes in the customer segment, also changes in the cost structure have to be mentioned. The family has to invest into new horses or into renting horses. These additional costs have to be included into the Break Even calculation they presented to us. This might change a lot in their revenue streams as well. In addition, the family has to set prices for renting the horses with the Icelandic horse clubs from which they rent the horses, as well as think about prices which tourists have to pay when renting the horses for a day or even a week.

Another big change in the Business Model of the Hay Hotel is also the element key partners. If the family decides to rent horses from other stables, they have to set up a co-operation or a network with one or more Icelandic horse rider stables in their region. Another potential key partner could also be the horse sellers, if the family decides to buy some additional horses. Then, they should think about working together with either private horse sellers, Icelandic horse breeders or even horse traders.

The element value is also affected by our suggested changes. As the Hay Hotel might get a competitive advantage through additional value, which means through renting horses, they are able to target a much broader target group. Since they do not only have to address Icelandic horse riders with own horses, they are able to differentiate from their competitors which consequently leads to a competitive advantage.

In general, it can be said that when entering the German market as a potential target group, also additional channels are required. In order to address German Icelandic horse riders, a possibility could be to send flyers to Icelandic horse stables or the Icelandic Horse association in Germany, either only in the northern region or in entire Germany. With these flyers, they have the chance to market their Hay Hotel and to reach more potential customers.

All in all, it can be said that the challenge we found during our analysis of the questionnaires, can also be seen as potentials in order to improve the customer segment and target mainly those potential customers that they want to reach. The challenge also gives the opportunity to make the best of it and rethink the Business Model segment and thus to ensure a good basis for a competitive advantage.

E-tivity 3: Survey guide (Anne, Annkatrin, Maren & Romina)

Friday, March 20th, 2015

We plan to create an online survey which we would like to send to riding clubs and association in Northern Germany. We will only send the survey to people with horses.
In the first part of our survey we collect general data (demographics). In the second part we investigate the travel behaviour of horse owners. Afterwards, we ask questions about holidays in Denmark and expectation regarding accommodation.


Dear horse buddy,

We are students from the University of Southern Denmark.  We are currently working together with two horse lovers and owner from Vejle Aadal who would like to open a hay hotel. Therefore we designed a survey to collect data which helps to define the target group and tailor the product to serve the target group’s needs. It will take you approx. 10-15 min. to complete the survey and help to establish a hay hotel horse owner will love!


Participant information

  1. How old are you? (<25, 25-35, 36-50, 51-65, >65)
  2. Are you male/female? (male/ female)
  3. Where are you from? (Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Niedersachsen, Bremen, MV, Berlin, Brandenburg, Other)
  4. What is your marital status? (single, married, married/relationship with children)


Horse ownership and holidays

  1. For how long have you been horseback-riding? (<1 year, 1-3 years, 4-6 years, >6 years)
  2. How many horses do you have? (1, 2, 3, >3)
  3. Are you interested in travelling with your horse(s)? (yes/ no)
  4. Have you travelled with your horse(s) before? (yes/ no)
  5. If so, how often? (1 time, 2-5 times, over 5 times)
  6. How many horses would you take to your next vacation? (1, 2, 3, >3)
  7. How far can you travel with your horse(s)? (<50km, 51-100 km, 101-150 km, >151 km)
  8. How far would you be willing to travel? (<50km, 51-100 km, 101-150 km, >151 km)
  9. Which season do you prefer when travelling with your horse(s)? (Summer, Autum, Winter, Spring)
  10. Why are you travelling with your horse(s)? (Leisure/Competition/Others ….)


Holidays in Denmark

  1. Are you interested in horse vacation in Denmark? (yes/ no)
  2. Are you interested in horse vacation in Veijle Adal (a rural area in southern Denmark)? (yes/ no)
  3. How long do you think you would stay there? (1 night, 2-3 nights, 4-10 nights, >10 nights)
  4. How much would you be willing to pay per person/night? (<26€/ 27€ – 35€/ 36€ – 45€/ >46€)
  5. How much would you be willing to pay per horse/day? (<5€/ 6€ – 10€/ 11€ – 15€/ > 16€)
  6. How many people are usually part of your travelling group? (<2, 2-4, >4)



  1. Would you consider staying in a small apartment, rather than in a small hotel? (yes/no)
  2. If yes: Why?
  3. Do you expect board with your accommodation? (yes/ no)
  4. If yes: full board, half board/ breakfast)
  5. Which amenities do you expect from your accommodation? (Telephone, TV, Wi-Fi, Bath tub, Hairdryer, Other (Platz für eigene Bemerkungen)
  6. What are your expectations (equipment at hay hotel) when travelling with your horse(s)? (Stable, Hay & Water, Pasture, Other)
  7. What kind of expectations do you have regarding the surroundings of your accommodation? (forest, sea, town, farm, meadow, riding arena, possibility to vault, other)
  8. Are you interested in having a special family atmosphere, when travelling with your horses? (yes/ no)
  9. If yes, why?
  10. Is the culinary aspect of importance to you when travelling with your horses? (yes/ no)
  11. If you have the choice would you prefer regional food over conventional food? (yes/no)
  12. If so, why?


Etivity 3: Survey, Group: David, Lisa, Katja, Johanna

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Our survey focuses on Icelandic horse owners. With the questionnaire we aim at collecting data on the general travel behavior of horse owners and the demand for travels with horses. In Addition, we want to collect data on the demand for such a place as the future Ruggård Hay Hotel will be. Our Survey will be done online. The focus group will be danish Icelandic horse owners.


Dear Icelandic horse owner,
as part of our study programme at the SDU in Kolding we work on a project which investigates the demand for horseback tourism in the Vejle Ådal region. Therefore, we created a survey in order to gain an insight into the tourists’ motivation, travel behaviour and attitude, especially concerning the future Ruggård Hay Hotel in the Vejle Ådal region which will be opened by Christopher and Lisbeth Kjær. We would appreciate it if you could spend 10 minutes of your time on this survey. The information gathered in this survey will help the Kjær’s to set up their business.
Be assured that all answers you provide will be kept in the strictest confidentiality. Please click “….” to begin.
The idea of Christopher and Lisbeth Kjær:
Christopher and Lisbeth Kjær would like to open up a Hay Hotel in Vejle Ådal where tourists can stay with their horses to enjoy their holidays or use the farm’s facilities for an overnight stay on their way to a horse riding competition. The guests can stay in a fully equipped apartment which can host up to 4 persons at a time. Furthermore, the family would like to offer additional services such as guided horseback tours, breakfast on the weekends and coffee and lunch arrangements for guests riding out.


Demographic questions

1. What is your age?
□ 18-25
□ 26-40
□ 41-60
□ 60+

2. What is your gender?
□ female
□ male

3. What is your marital status?
□ single
□ married or domestic partnership without any children
□ married or domestic partnership with children

4. Where in Denmark are you from?
□ Syddanmark
□ Fyn
□ Midtjylland
□ Nordjylland
□ Sjælland
□ Hovedstaden

5. How many horses do you own?
□ 1
□ 2
□ 3 or more



6. What is your main motivation to go on a vacation? (multiple choices possible)
□ escape the stressful daily life
□ health reasons
□ to get to know different cultures
□ to get to know new people
□ travel with horses
□ other: __________________

7. Have you gone on a vacation in Denmark in the past?
□ yes
□ no

8. Which other activities would you consider in Vejle Ådal instead of/in addition to horseback riding?
□ visit Legoland and/or Lalandia
□ enjoy nature
□ go mountainbiking
□ go fishing
□ go canoeing
□ go hiking
□ none
□ other: _______________________

9. How do you usually become aware of holiday apartments in Denmark?
□ through social media, e.g. facebook
□ word of mouth, e.g. family and friends, other Icelandic horse riders
□ Visitdenmark.dk
□ website of the Danish Icelandic Horse Association
□ website of Hay Hotels
□ other: ___________________


Travel behaviour

10. How often do you go on vacation (per year)?
□ never
□ 1-2 times
□ 3-4 times
□ more than 4 times

11. How long is your average stay?
□ less than 7 days
□ 7 days
□ 7-10 days
□ 11-14 days
□ more than 14 days

12. When do you usually go on vacation?
□ peak season (during public holidays)
□ off season (rest of the year)

13. With whom are you usually going on a vacation?
□ alone
□ with my partner
□ with my partner and my children
□ with my extended family
□ with friends


Horse tourism

14. Have you ever travelled with your own horse/s?
□ Yes, once
□ Yes, twice
□ Yes, three or more times
□ No


From here, the questionnaire will have to paths. One for those answering with “Yes,…” and one for those answering with “No”:

If yes…

15. What was the purpose?
□ stop along the way (overnight stay) to an Icelandic horse riding competition
□ going on a vacation bringing along your horse

16. Where did you travel with your horse the last time?
□ within Denmark
□ Germany
□ Norway
□ Sweden
□ Other, please specify

17. What would be the longest distance you would travel with a horse?
Open answer

18. In what type of accommodation did you stay when traveling with your horse?
□ hotel chain
□ small hotel
□ apartment
□ holiday home
□ Other, please specify

19. Which facilities do you expect for your horses? (multiple choices possible)
□ stable
□ food and water
□ folding
□ Other, please specify

20. In what kind of additional services offered by the Kjær family would you be interested? (multiple choices possible)
□ guided tours for tourists bringing their own horse
□ lunch and coffee arrangements
□ breakfast on the weekend together with the family
□ using the hot tub
□ sleepover in the hay
□ local products in the fridge at arrival*
*The guests would be able to choose before-hand which local products they wish to have in their fridge to cook their meals.


If no…

15. Could you imagine a future vacation in which you take your horse along?
□ Yes
□ No

16. How far away from your home could you imagine to travel with your horse?
Open answer

17. Which facilities would you expect for your horses when choosing an accommodation? (multiple choices possible)
□ stable
□ food and water
□ folding
□ Other, please specify

18. In what kind of additional services offered by the Kjær family would you be interested? (multiple choices possible)
□ guided tours for tourists bringing their own horse
□ lunch and coffee arrangements
□ breakfast on the weekend together with the family
□ using the hot tub
□ sleepover in the hay
□ local products in the fridge at arrival*
*The guests would be able to choose before-hand which local products they wish to have in their fridge to cook their meals.


The following questions will be for both Groups (Yes and No to question 14)

Sustainable tourism development
The Kjær plans to implement sustainable tourism development in the hotel. Sustainable tourism development can be defined as an ongoing process which aims to make optimal use of environmental resources, to respect the socio-cultural life of the host community and to ensure viable, long-term economic operations. In the following we will ask you about your travel behaviour in relation to sustainable tourism.

21. How often have you bought ecological food throughout the past year?
□ once
□ several times
□ regular basis
□ never

22. Do you try to reduce waste in your household?
□ yes
□ no

23. How important is sustainability in your daily life?
Skala 1-6

24. Is sustainability relevant for you when travelling?
□ yes
□ no

25. How important is it for you to have local food during your vacation?
Skala 1-6

26. How important is it for you to interact with locals during your vacation?
Skala 1-6

27. Would you be willing to pay more for a sustainable vacation? If yes, how much?
□ yes, …
□ no

28. Do you think sustainable tourism development should be an aspect to be considered when setting up the Hay Hotel?
□ yes
□ no


Booking channels

29. The family would prefer telephone booking to get a first impression of their guests and to create personal customer contact. Therefore, you can see online when the family is available or you can make an appointment via e-mail for your phone call. What do you think of this kind of booking?
Open answer

30. What kind of booking channel would you prefer?
□ online booking on own website
□ telephone booking
□ e-mail booking



31. How much would you be willing to pay for a fully equipped apartment (including kitchen, bathroom, washing machine, 1 double bed, 1 sofa bed) for 4 persons per night?
□ less than 600 DKK
□ 600-700 DKK
□ 700-800 DKK
□ 800-900 DKK
□ more than 900 DKK

32. How much would you be willing to pay per horse per day?
□ up to 50 DKK
□ up to 100 DKK
□ up to 200 DKK

33. Do you think the idea of the Kjær family to open the Ruggård Hay Hotel could be successful?
□ yes,
□ no,

34. Would you stay at the Ruggård Hay Hotel in the future?
□ yes, because…
□ no, because…

E-tivity 3, Carina Legl, Collaboration between the Ruggård Hay Hotel and Bindeballe Købmandsgård

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

The research topic will focus on collaboration between the ‘Ruggård Hay Hotel’ and ‘Bindeballe Købmandsgård’. Here, the research question on how

the two local key partners ‘the Ruggård Hay Hotel’ and ‘Bindesballe Købmandsgård’ could work together in a promising, potential and successful collaboration to attract potential tourists/guests/visitors, will be tried to answered. By following an exploratory and explanatory research approach, within the world’s view of Interpretivist social science paradigm, the researcher (Carina Legl) will participate on meetings (including informal conversation interviews) with Christopher & Lisbeth Kjær; Margit; her neighbour; and the Head of Bindeballe Købmandsgård (store), interpret and (re)construct (analyse) the collected empirical material and find the answer to the research question. The attendance of two separate meeting will be set place in Ruggård in March 2015. The first meeting will be (was) with Christopher & Lisbeth Kjær; Margit; and Carina Legl (researcher). The second meeting will be follow (no date yet!). Within this meeting informal conversation interviews will take place.


The first meeting focus on the field for horses next to Bindeballe Købmandsgård store; whereas the second meeting focus on sustainable tourism development and collaboration (here regarding establishing events in Ruggård for tourists).


For the second meeting we (Christopher Kjær and Carina Legl) created an information sheet (in Danish) for the Head of Bindeballe Købmandsgård. This information sheet serves as an approach to the Head of Bindeballe Købmandsgård and askes for a meeting (in March). The following information is stated (translated by a Danish friend of mine, Carina Legl) in the information sheet:


Information sheet (Danish to English translation, Carina Legl 18. March 2015):

For the Head of Bindeballe Købmandsgård

As I (Christopher Kjær) arranged on the phone with Kaj, we here send you a short description of our (meaning my wife Lisbeths’ and my) thoughts regarding a possible cooperation with Bindeballe Købmandsgård.



From our property in Oustrup, we often are back-riding down to Bindeballe Købmandsgård on our Icelandic horses, together with our two girls – to eat ice cream, drink soda, or do a little shopping in the store. Within a few years we are thinking about opening a hay hotel, where the point is, that the guests can sleep over, and have their horses in fences, and use the Hay Hotel as a base/start – where they can go from. We will of course point out the trip to Bindeballe Købmandsgård, as one of the favourite tours.


In Denmark there are several hay hotels. Connected to this we know about 10 to 15 Icelandic horse riders in the local area, and all of them have the possibility to ride from home to Bindeballe Købmandsgård. Furthermore we arrange during the year several group riding to Bindeballe Købmandsgård with friends or our Icelander club www.gandur.dk. The next group-riding tour is on the 25. April 2015.



For example, after we have been riding around on the Bindeballe-path, Slotsbjergvej and other ways – Bindeballe Købmandsgård is the obvious place to eat lunch, eat an ice cream, or something to drink, and look around at the shop. Købmandsgård is also and obvious place to meet and ride from there. There is just one problem, which is that it is not possible to put the horses into fences during the stay at Købmandsgård. There needs to be somebody to hold the horses, while people are shopping at the store. Furthermore it is not possible to use the coffee and lunch room, because we can not park the horses. If the horses could be put into small fences, as they do on Kristinelyst at Randsbøl Hill, the coffee & lunch room on the Købmandsgård would be an obvious goal for the back-riding trips in Ådalen. Here you could enjoy lunch, or coffee and cake, and at the same time you can have this peaceful moment, when you can take some time to shop at the store. An Imagination/Possibility could be that maybe it would be possible to pre-order lunch as in beer/water, Smørbrod and sandwiches or other thins in the lunch room.


Thursday, 12. March 2015 at 5pm, we had arranged a meeting with Margit and her neighbour because they are maybe willing to give us some of the land for the mentioned faeces. We will try to get something about the subject on script from Margit’s neighbour.


Besides the above mentioned, we cooperate right now with a Professor in Tourism and her students from Syddansk Universitet in Kolding. Carina, who is one of the German students, has in her project assignment focused on development of cooperation between Partners, which in this case is hopefully Bindesballe Købmandsgård and us.


More information about Carina

My name is Carina Legl and I am an exchange student in B.A. International Tourism and Leisure Management of the University of Southern Denmark in Kolding. I am currently undertaking research into the collaboration between the Ruggård Hay Hotel, of Christopher and Lisbeth Kjær, and potential partners. Here the focus is set on the collaboration and contribution of each partner to manage Ruggård as a tourist destination. The objective of the research is to develop a greater understanding of the role of each key partner in the collaboration in order to support mutual engagement and development between partners (Købmandsgården and Christopher & Lisbeth).


Meeting in March

This letter is meant to be used as a presentation/introduction for a meeting with you, where we can discuss ideas and possibilities. Lisbeth, Carina and I would love to meet with you during March if it is possible. This is important for Carina, because she would like to refer to this meeting in her assignment for the University, but she will say more about the matter, when we meet. Carina will at the meeting also contribute with some perspectives for possible development on our possible cooperation.


We also suggest that Margit is on this meeting too, if it is possible and makes sense. We will talk more about it later.


Suggestions for topics

–       short introduction on the background for the meeting – Ruggård Hay Hotel (from Christopher and Lisbeth Kjær)

–       small presentation regarding perspectives on sustainable tourism and collaboration

  • sustainable tourism development
  • innovative initiatives
  • quality of life
  • ideas and possibilities


Following upon the meeting with Margit and her neighbour, regarding the fences

Next step




Information sheet in Danish: 

Til bestyrelsen for Bindeballe Købmandsgård

Som jeg (Christopher Kjær) aftalte i telefonen med Kaj fremsenders her en kort beskrivelse, af vores (dvs. min kone Lisbeths og mine) tanker vedrørende et muligt samarbejde med Bindeballe Købmandsgård.


Fra vores ejendom i Oustrup rider vi ofte ture ned til Bindeballe Købmandsgård på vores islænderheste sammen med vores to piger, for at spise is, drikke sodavand og handle lidt i butikken. Inden for en kort årrække påtænker vi, at åbne et Hø-hotel, hvor pointen er at gæsterne kan overnatte og have deres heste på fold samt bruge hø-hotellet som base, til at ride ud fra. Vi vil selvfølgelig fremhæve turen til Bindeballe Købmandsgård, som en af favoritturene. Det findes flere høhoteller i Danmark. I tilknytning hertil kender vi omkring 10-15 islænderryttere i lokalområdet, som alle har mulighed for at kunne ride hjemmefra til Købmandsgården. Derudover arrangerer vi flere gange i løbet af året fælles rideture til Købmandsgården med venner eller vores islænderklub www.Gandur.dk  . Næste fællestur er den 25. april.


Efter blandt andet at have redet rundt på Bindeballestien, Slotsbjergvej og andre veje er Bindeballe Købmandsgård et oplagt sted at spise frokost, tage en is eller noget at drikke og kigge lidt rundt i butikken. Købmandsgården er også et oplagt sted at mødes og ride ud fra. Problemet er bare, at det ikke er muligt at sætte hestene på fold under opholdet på Købmandsgården. Der skal være nogen til at holde hestene, mens der shoppes i butikken. Derudover er det ikke muligt at benytte kaffe- og frokoststuen, da vi ikke kan parkere hestene. Hvis hestene kunne sættes på små folde som det f.eks. et tilfældet på Kirstinelyst ved Randbøl Hede, vil kaffe- og frokoststuen på Købmandsgården være et oplagt mål for rideture i Ådalen. Her kunne frokost eller kaffe og kage nydes samtidig med at man i ro og mag, også kunne tage sig tid til at handle i butikken.  Man kunne forestille sig, at der måske kunne forudbestilles frokost i form af øl/vand smørebrød, sandwich eller andet i frokoststuen.

Torsdag den 12. marts kl.17.00 har vi aftalt et møde med Margit og hendes nabo, som måske er villig til at lægge jord til de omtalte folde. Vi vil forsøge at få noget på skrift om dette fra Margits nabo.

Udover ovenstående samarbejder vi for tiden med en professor i turisme og hendes studerende fra Syddansk Universitet i Kolding. Carina som er en af de tysk studerende har i sin projektopgave fokus på udvikling af samarbejde mellem partnere, hvilket i dette tilfælde er os og meget gerne Bindeballe købmandsgård.

Mere information om Carina

My name is Carina Legl and I am an exchange student in B.A. International Tourism and Leisure Management of the University of Southern Denmark in Kolding. I am currently undertaking research into the collaboration between the Ruggård Hay Hotel, of Christopher and Lisbeth Kjær, and potential partners. Here the focus is set on the collaboration and contribution of each partner to manage Ruggård as a tourist destination. The objective of the research is to develop a greater understanding of the role of each key partner in the collaboration in order to support mutual engagement and development between partners (Købmandsgården and Christopher & Lisbeth).

Møde i marts

Dette brev er ment som et oplæg til et møde med jer, hvor vi kan drøfte idéer og muligheder. Lisbeth, Carina og jeg, vi vil meget gerne mødes med jer i løbet af marts måned, hvis det er muligt. Det er vigtigt for Carina, da hun meget gerne vil referere til mødet i sin universitetsopgave, men det vil hun selv sige mere om, når vi mødes. Carina vil på mødet også bidrage med nogle perspektiver for mulig udvikling af vores eventuelle samarbejde. Vi vil også foreslå at Margit deltager på mødet, hvis det er muligt og det giver mening. Vender tilbage herom senere.

Forslag til dagsorden

·         Kort intro om baggrund for mødet  v./  Lisbeth og Christopher (Ruggård Hø Hotel)


·         Lille oplæg omkring perspektiver på bæredygtig turisme og samarbejde v./Carina

o   Sustainable Tourism Development

o   Innovative Initiatives

o   Quality of Life

o   Ideas & possibilities


·         Opfølgning på vores møde med Margit og hendes nabo vedrørende folde


·         Next step


De bedste hilsner

Christopher Kjær

Ruggårdvej 5, Oustrup

6040 Egtved

Tlf. 20585114


Concluding with: what I (Carina Legl) will try to find out, is how collaboration works on specific partners in a specific setting. Hereby, qualitative methodology will be used to collect empirical material. This will be interpreted and (re)constructed to find an answer to the research question.


Carina Legl, 18 March 2015

E-tivity 2: Questions for Lisbeth and Christopher (Romina, Anne, Annkatrin & Maren)

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015


So far, we have little to no knowledge about existing competitors, neither on a local,  nor on a regional level. When it comes to competition it is important to think outside the box and not only in terms of specialised B&B’s, but any kind of accomodation service and also possible competitors in terms of horsetraining, etc. Since the Kjaer’s are the expert, when it comes to Vejle Adal, they can answer the question about possible competition best.

  • Did you analyse your competition?
  • If so, who do you consider your competitors?
  • What is your competitive advantage?



The infrastructure already existing is a good starting point, but not sufficient for the endeavor, the Kjaer’s have in mind. Right now, the farm does not provide adequate accomodation for future guests, therefore infrastructural measures are required. Not only for the guests, though but also for guest horses. Further, Lisbeth and Christopher have to define which service they would like to offer to their guests exactly. And what they plan to do about horse lovers who are travelling without their horses. Another very important aspect is the question of personell. We came to the conclusion that an undertaking like the Ruggard Hay Hotel is hardly viable without any outside help, an aspect that the Kjaer’s will have to think through and consider carefully.

  • What kind of infrastructural measure are necessary in order to be able to host guests (upper room, apartment)
  • How will you accomodate additional guest horses?
  • Would a cooperation with other horse owners to give guests who are travelling without their horses a chance to participate in horseback riding, be an option for you?
  • Is it possible for you to accomodate more farm animals to create an additional experience for the guests (hens -> egg collecting)?
  • Are you considering your children as an integral part of the personell?
  • Who will be the contact person on the farm when you are at work and the kids are at school?
  • Is it a possibility for you to only open the B&B on the weekends (also in terms of revenues)?
  • What services do you want to offer (breakfast, lunch, horse trainings, transport, etc.)?


Cost structure:

Up to this point, we have no information in what kind of scope the investments will be. It is essential to consider which investments are necessary in order to get the business going and how high the leeway of the Kjaer’s is. Of course the needed investments have to be compared to possible revenues.

  • For which prices do you want to offer your services (Accomodation, Horse-Trekking, Picknick-Service, …)
  • How high are you fixed costs?
  • How much are you willing to invest in renovation and  furniture?
  • Are you willing to pay for additional stables and fences for guest horses?
  • Would you be willing to invest in additional farm animals, such as hens?
  • Would you invest in additional horses?

E-tivity 2: Questions for Lisbeth and Christopher (Katja)

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Questions for Christopher and Lisbeth

Revenue stream
We do not know much about the revenue stream yet (price for the accommodation, guided horse tours etc.).

  • Did you already think about prices? How much should the guided horse tours, the lunch arrangements, the apartment,… cost?
  •  If you would earn enough revenue through the hotel, could one of you imagine quitting his job and focusing just on the hotel?


Cost structure

It could be very busy and chaotic if the guests that stay in the room upstairs would use the kitchen and bathroom of the family, especially if there are up to 10 people.

  •  Would it be possible to build an additional bathroom/ kitchen for the guests who would sleep upstairs?  What do you think about this idea? Would it be a        possibility (spatially, financially)?
  • Would you like to invest money to build an additional kitchen/bathroom?
  • How much money would you like to invest in the hotel? How much money do you have available for the hotel?

There are people/families that would like riding a horse (which don’t have an own horse) during their vacation, especially on a farm that has horses.

  • Could you imagine to buy two or more horses for your guests that don’t have a own horse, but would like to ride one during their stay?/ Or could it be a possibility to borrow some horses from one of your neighbours for the time you have guests that would like riding a horse, but don’t have a own one?
    (–> could increase the target group)
  • Do you have space for an extra or bigger stable for the horses of your guests?


Key partners

  • Have you already talked with your key partners about cooperation (Margit, Jørgen Kruse, Kurt Smidt)?


Key activities

There are a lot of key activities that come along with the hotel.


  • Do you want to do the cleaning of the apartment and the room upstairs by yourself or could it be an option to hire somebody?

Check-in/ -out

Christopher and Lisbeth work fulltime and won’t be at the farm during the day. How can you handle it, when guest arrive during Lisbeth and Christopher’s working time?

  • Would it be an idea that the guests can pick up the key for the apartment at a neighbours house, e.g. a retired couple or neighbours that work from home?

Many people do not like to carry around much money.

  •  How would you like to handle the payment? Would you buy a card reader or do you want that your guests pay cash?

A B&B implements that one offers bed and breakfast to his guests every day. This won’t be possible if both work fulltime.

  •  Is there somebody else in the family who could prepare breakfast during the week for the guests?
  • Could you imagine hiring somebody who is in charge of the breakfast?
  • Could one of you work halftime or go a later to work?

Guided horse tours

  •  Do you only want to offer guided horse tours on the weekends, since it is not possible during the week? (work, school)
  • Do you know somebody who would like to do the guided horse tours for you during the week, when you are working and the children in school?


Key resources

  • Would it be an alternative to hire a couple of employees that could help during the week with the hotel?
  • Do the children really want to participate in the hotel in a long-term perspective?



Since both of them work fulltime, it is not possible to answer telephone calls all the time. Therefore, it would be advisable to have a booking/ reservation tool on an own website. This would also make it easier for people from abroad, since they don’t have to pay too much for the telephone call.

  • Is it possible for Christopher to set up a homepage for the Hay Hotel, including a guest book and booking tool?


Value proposition

  • Is it allowed to set up fences at the different places you have showed us?

Further questions

  • Would you like to focus on sustainable tourism?
  • Would you like to host events like a farmers market,…?


How to proceed
It has to be discussed with the Kjaer Family, which of the ideas are good and possible to realize, and which ideas should be further developed or cannot be realized. Furthermore, it is necessary to find out if there is a demand for the Hay Hotel. (à Questionnaire)

Etivity 2: Booking Channels & Customer segments (Johanna & David)

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Customer Segments

There are several possibilities for target groups, but we recommend the Kjær family to focus on a small amount of target groups. Since they already made clear that they would like to focus on Icelandic horse riding, we suggest that the additionally target groups are also active or nature oriented. This may include Icelandic Horse riders, horse riders, bikers and hikers. Those target groups have similar needs.

We do not see business travelers or Billund visitors as their main target groups, since they may need different facilities.


Booking Channels

Besides an E-Mail-Address and Phone number, we recommend the Kjær family to create their own website. This can serve as an information platform but can also include a booking tool.

Bookings via the Homepage or E-Mail have the advantage that the Kjær family can reply to them in their spare time. Phone calls on the other hand should be answered immediately, which we see impossible since both have a full-time job.

We also thought about the implementation of Social Media, such as a facebook site. However, this needs to be fed with content on a regular basis. If the Kjær family cooperates with the Danish Icelandic Horse Association, we see a chance of posting offers on their facebook site (Dansk Islandshesteforening).

VisitVejle could be an additional platform on which their accommodation could be offered. They also have a special site for accommodations for bikers.

Guests as co-creators

We talked about the guests as co-creators. This can be possible in so far that they share their experiences with the Kjær family to help them improve their service/hotel. Additionally, the own website may include a form of a guest book in which the guests can write recommendations and share pictures. This can also be seen as word-of-mouth.


Next steps

It is necessary to do research on the target groups. It has to be investigated whether there is a demand for such a form of holiday. Moreover, the special needs of the target groups have to be identified. Additionally, a survey may indicate how much the target groups are willing to pay for a stay.


Questions for the Kjær Family

Customer Segments

  • Are you willing to focus only on active/nature-based tourism?

Booking Channels

  • How do you plan to answer booking phone calls while working full-time?
  • Can you imagine to have your own website?
  • Do you have the skills to create and maintain an own website?

Etivity 2_STD Nina Witt, Catherina David

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Sustainability or STD might be a big issue for the family and their Hay Hotel.  To make sure that we are all on the same level, we would like to mention the official definition of STD and its four key principles. According to the UNWTO STD “meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future”. Moreover, it is a long term approach and includes the ecological, economic, social and cultural principle.


We would now like to briefly go through these four elements and present some of our ideas and findings and thus show how the family could implement the STD at their Hay Hotel.


Ecological Principle

–          Implementation:

  • not necessarily organic products, recycling or renewable energies
  • other possibilities (cheaper and easier to implement)
    • place bins, wooden fences + signs to protect the nature
    • offer local products
      • work together with other local farms
      • food events/ farmers´ markets/ harvest festival

–          Questions:

  • Do you want to follow this?
  • Do you think it is possible to implement one of these events or ecological aspects?

Economical Principle

–          Not as a hobby but alternative for long-term renting à more fun

–          Questions:

  • When do you want to open the B&B (only on weekends, only summer season, ….)?
  • Do you want to keep your current jobs?
  • Did you think about prices yet?


Social Principle

–          Three implementation possibilities

  • 1. Link with other local stores and facilities
  • 2. Network in horseback riding scene
    • E.g. Icelandic horse association
  • 3. Treat all family members equally
    • Involve girls
    • Support the personal relationship between hosts and guests
  • Educate all key partners and build up a relationship

–          Questions:

  • Do the girls really want to help in the long term?
  • Are there other family members/friends who could help? (instead of employees)


Cultural Principle

–          Implementations:

  • Sharing tradition & culture
    • Involve  in farm life, offer traditional food, teach them Danish –> build up a personal relationship with the guests


  • Teach tourists about sustainability  (e.g. through flyers, personal talks)
  • Family culture, fun & experience in the nature
  • Tradition of calmness/relaxation to escape city life

–          Questions:

  • Is it possible to offer local food and/ or to involve guests in your farm life?


We know that these are quite detailed questions. Thus, we should first find out how the family feels about the STD approach in general. Therefore, after our explanations, we investigated the general question if they can now imagine to implement the STD at their Hay Hotel at all and if yes, to which extent.




Reflections, recommendations and questions for the Kjær’s

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Blackboard Entry No. 1, February 9, 2014

Group work: Lisa Vinke & Carina Legl – E-tivtiy No. 2


Reflections on ideas, including recommendations regarding changes in the Business Model of the Kjær’s Hay Hotel in Ruggård, Denmark

Group work in finalising questions for Lisbeth and Christopher


Focus on key partners & key activities, specifically “events”

Destination: Vejle Ådal valley, Denmark

Combining the focus on Infrastructure Management of key partners and key activities –specifically “events” with Sustainable Tourism Development and innovative Initiatives in the tourism destination of Vejle Ådal valley, Denmark

Potential key partners:

  • Bindesballe Købmandsgård, a nostalgic grocer’s shop, merchant’s museum with its heritage grocery store, which offers historic / local products
    – a relaxing place for the guests of the Hay Hotel & their horse(s)
    – indulge in a cosy, welcome atmosphere, where they can have a picnic or coffee break
    – playground and bonfire place for children
  • Local community with inhabitants and local associations
    – can enable activities
  • [Icelandic] horse association
  • Tourist/guests of the Ruggård Hay Hotel (Information for improvement, sustainability and innovative Initiatives)
  • Nature school
  • University
  • Tourism providers
  • Destination management – Visit Vejle
  • Farmers / Farmers markets
  • Schools / Teachers (history about the valley and/or Denmark; creating events)
  • Festival organisations
  • Restaurants
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Neighbours (sharing horses)
  • Legoland
  • University à education concerning STD
  • Networks and collaboration with experts from the tourism industry
  • Local stores/shops / store owners

Key activities, specifically events:

  • Active participation of guests (working & living together on the farm)
  • Active part of the local community
  • Tørskind Grusgrav
  • Kristinelyst
  • Nature school

Combining the Business Model elements with Sustainable Tourism Development and innovative Initiatives:

  • Treasure hunting, paper chase event at Tørskind Grusgrav (on horse back)
  • Viking Festival at Kristinelyst  (with horse)
  • Food Festival at Bindesballe Købmandsgård
  • Additionally to consider: Accommodation package incl. discounts for guests
  • Usage of local food, local ingredients
  • Local tour (guides)
  • Sustainability events


Points to be considered:

  • Value proposition: competitive advantage through supportive ‘experiencing’ elements, but competitors have to be analysed, as well as, what the product of an accommodation makes it ‘special’
  • Key partners: specific focus on horses and specific interests of [Icelandic] horse riders à information collection about target groups’ interests; creating ‘experiencing’ aspects for horse riders / guests as being part of the family and the community
  • Key resources: collecting information on what the valley can offer specifically for the horse riders, additionally focusing on the aspect of possible training at the Kjær’s family farm (to be considered: Licence of training on horse back?); Further local food – farmers markets, harvest festival; to build up a food-market gardening for harvesting at the Kjær’s family farm
  • Key activities: specific focus on what stakeholders could do/provide
    – Tørskind Grusgrave: collecting more information what activities could kids do there (with/without horse)
    – Kristinelyst: playground for kids, information collection on what activities kids could do there with horses
  • Viking festival: information on Vikings history for storytelling & myth, here to create specific event elements based on historical events/elements
  • Food festival: collecting information on local food and when best to harvest
  • Education of key partners in STD



Especially potential (other) key partners have to be considered. Here, the possibility of more than just the above mentioned key partners could be an important aspect of creating a network for sustainability of a future Hay Hotel in Ruggård.


General questions from the literature concerning key partners (will not be asked):


  • Who is willing to cooperate in a network?
  • Which key partners are necessary for a sustainable concept of a Ruggård Hay Hotel?
  • How do these key partners profit form the network?
  • How to build a strong network? How to establish trust?
  • What are the barriers to an effective and efficient network? (External, internal)


Questions for Christopher and Lisbeth Kjær regarding key partners:

  • Which networks do already exist?/Who are already key partners?
  • Would you consider the guest/tourist as a potential key partner? – Establishing a website – homepage, where the guest is able to leave comments, blog entries and pictures? Hereby taking the opportunity to involve the tourist/guest in the marketing strategy of promoting the Hay Hotel.
  • Would you consider a horse-sharing collaboration with neighbours a possibility, so that the tourist/guests could lend/rent a horse for a tour/event?
  • Who is willing to cooperate/collaborate in a network of the following potential key partners?
    • Bindesballe Købmandsgård – store/museum
    • Local community with inhabitants and local associations
    • [Icelandic] horse association
    • Tourist/guests of the Ruggård Hay Hotel
    • Nature school
    • Tourism providers à cooperation with travel agencies
    • Destination management – Visit Vejle
    • Farmers / Farmers markets
    • Schools / Teachers (history about the valley and/or Denmark; creating events)
    • Festival organisations
    • Restaurants
    • Non-profit organizations
    • Neighbours (sharing horses)
    • Legoland
    • University
    • Networks and collaboration with experts from the tourism industry
    • Local stores/shops / store owners


General questions from the literature concerning events/innovation (will not be asked)

  • How could they profit from a collaboration/cooperation?
  • What could every partner bring into a collaboration/cooperation?
  • What might be/are barriers to an effective and efficient network? Do you already know barriers, which might exist?


Questions for Christopher and Lisbeth regarding events:

  • What kind of events could you imagine for the Hay Hotel? (food festival, Viking festival, Farm day, rallye, paper chase, sustainable food event…)
  • How often could these events take place at the Hay Hotel?
  • Considering the key activities, what and where to get the information regarding the following events:
    • Paper chase festival (on horse back)
      • Guide, who could guide the treasure hunt?
      • Facilities (Toilets, breaks for horse and rider)?
      • Combining the treasure hunt with historical/local elements – Where to get the information?
  • Viking festival at Kristinelyst
    • Where to get the information about history/local history?
    • Who could be the organizer of that event? Local community or local association?
  • Food festival / Farmers markets
    • Who could provide information regarding local food, local ingredients, local recipes and harvest times?
    • Who could provide local food for a festival or farmers market?
    • Who would be willing to organize the festival or farmers market?
  • Farm Day

Applying sustainable aspects to the business model – Regina Puig

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Continuing with my comments on the previous post, now I’m going to explain the consequences of applying sustainable aspects to the business model.

– Key partners. The key partners settled in the first business model won’t be affected by these changes. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t any change. As said in the previous post, I would propose a new key partner: local food producers. As they are smaller, they are more aware of the environmental impacts than bigger ones, so they are more ecological. Furthermore, as they can go for themselves for the products, the Kjær family can pay less and they help the environment reducing the pollution emitted.

– Key activities. The key activities don’t vary too much. The ones that the family has to do are the same: prepare the apartments for the hosts and do the check-in and the check-out. In this case, the only thing that changes is the way of making them. The cleaning must be done using products not aggressive to the environment. They may be expensive, but it can help to raise the attractive of the place. The activities done by the hosts can include an active attitude towards animals. Apart from the guided tours, the Kjær family can teach the host’s kids to recycle as is an easy way to start being sustainable.

– Key Resources. About the key resources, I would like to add to the manpower resource, the renewable energy. As explained in the previous post, a good way of saving money and being sustainable would be the collocation of some small wind turbines that allows you to use the wind to create the extra electricity the guests will use in their apartments. Despite of the big investment it requires, there are some second hand wind turbines in good use and the investment can be recovered in no more than 5 years, as during the time the apartments would be empty, the wind turbines continue producing energy for the family, and that can be a significant reduction in the electricity bill.

– Value Propositions. I totally agree with the actual value propositions. I would add, just to remark, the sustainability of every activity realized in the house, as cleaning or cooking, for example.

– Customer relationship. The customer relationship is not involved in the sustainable changes proposed. The only ting I would like to add is about the website, which should have a section on sustainability in the house.

– Channels. The channels can be improved. I agree with the ones presented in the business model given to us, but I would recommend having in mind different sustainable or organic agriculture associations as a great place to sell the hotel as many of the components of this type of groups, when on vacation, look for ecological and eco-friendly places to stay. Another option is to be present in sustainable tourism fairs.

– Customer segments. Here I would like to add one of the most important target groups: the sustainable/ecological tourist. As the improvements I’m proposing are all about sustainability and being more ecological, a new customer group must be added and be taken into account.

– Cost structure. In order to be ecological and sustainable, the buildings and the land need some improvements. First of all small wind turbines need to be installed in order to redeem them from the start, as it is explained in the previous post. A second improvement I would like to suggest would be a water recycling system. Installing the system is not expensive and it can be done easily and quickly. Then, a furniture change or improvement need to be done in order to have at least one apartment and the big room upstairs producing money from the very beginning. The last part of the building that needs is a bathroom upstairs in for the hosts staying in the large room.

In conclusion, the first model presented by the Kjær family is correct for a non-sustainable hotel, therefore I add what I think it needs to be improved in each section to guide the hotel to a more ecological and sustainable life.

Ruggård Hay Hotel – Business Model Canvas & Attractor-Based Innovation

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Business Model Canvas

The Kjær family prepared a Business Model for their future B&B, the Ruggård Hay Hotel, using the Business Model Canvas from Osterwalder. The canvas includes 9 categories that the family looked into. After meeting the Kjær family and discussing the business model in the lectures, there are aspects that could be added.

Customer Segments

The Kjær family’s initial idea is to create value for Icelandic horseback riders. The family owns Icelandic horses and therefore posses the knowledge of what this particular customer segment needs and wants. Moreover, they meet the physical requirements such as living on a farm, having a space for the horses, that the guests are supposed to bring along, and being surrounded by a beautiful countryside with plenty of trails to explore.

In addition the Kjær family considers racing cyclists/mountain bikers and fishers to be a customer segment they would like to address. The bikers bring their bikes from home or rent them.

The Ruggård Hay Hotel is also an interesting destination for Billund visitors who want to experience the Danish countryside at the same tame. People who want to go to Billund only for visiting Legoland for example could go there but stay with the Kjær family as the farm is really close.

After writing several blogs and discussions in class we came up with the idea of looking into the customer segment of business people who want to relax from their stressful lives. Those people could go biking, hiking, canoeing or fishing.

Another customer segment could be nature lovers. They could go hiking, canoeing etc.  as well. Unfortunately both the business people and the nature lovers will not be able to horseback ride, unless they bring their own horses, so we were discussing in class if it is possible for the Kjær family to provide horses to expand the offer for those two customer segments. With providing horses they could even address another customer segment, namely people who fancy a vacation with horses even though, or even because they do not own horses.

Value Prepositions

There are values theKjær family wants to deliver to all the customer segments. The experience of nature is a top priority. The family wants to show people the place they live in and wants to share the beauty of the Danish countryside with their guests. As all the customers segments will spend a significant time outside in the nature, it would be appropriate to provide the guests with maps and introduce them to the possibilities they have in the area. Another value preposition is the accommodation. This is the key element of their business idea as they want to open a B&B. The Kjær family would like to provide breakfast for their guests and make lunch and coffee arrangements for them when they are on a ride for example. They are also willing to prepare lunch packages for the guests to bring along to show that they care about their guests.

The Kjær family considers other value prepositions in their business model that could also be offered to guests. Those prepositions are not as elaborated as the ones stated above but are rather ideas they are interested in looking into more closely. The family could expand their accommodation offer in the summer time by providing tents for sleeping in the garden. Moreover, they are interested in wellness, e.g. setting up a hot tub in the garden.

Aside from the value prepositions important for all customer segments there are also values created specifically for different customer segments.

For the Icelandic horse riders the Kjær family has to build a folding for the horses and provide the horses with food and water. The guests bring along their own horses and therefore have to be sure that they are taken good care of. Moreover, the Kjær family has to ensure that the riding trails are in good condition and that they recommend different trails suitable for different types of riders. Also, the guests can use the riding arena behind the house.

For bikers who bring along their bikes the Kjær family has to make sure that there is a dry place where the guests can put their bikes. Moreover, they could provide special bags for bikers to bring on their rides. Also, they have to ensure that they have certain tools, in case a bike needs to be repaired. Furthermore, the family should have some spare bikes, in case a group of bikers is staying at the B&B and one guest’s bike breaks down. They could either provide the bikes themselves or recommend a local bike rental company.

The Kjær family needs to provide value for fishers as well. There are lakes and rivers nearby, so the key element is given. The family either needs to provide expertise and equipment or has to collaborate with local fishers. Many fishers are skilled and bring their own equipment but the family needs to be prepared to assist the guests when questions arise or they need any kind of help.

The nature lovers need to be provided with different activity choices such as biking, canoeing or hiking. Like stated above, the Kjær family should provide maps and make sure they collaborate with local companies who have the expertise and the equipment for outdoor activities. Another possibility is to offer guided tours with experts that, for example, focus on exploring and explaining the flora and fauna.


The Kjær family would like to appear on different websites that their customer segments most likely visit. Examples are websites for Icelandic horse riders or websites for hay hotels in Denmark. They family most definitely will have to set up a website of their own. Yet, they also have a strong interest in Word of Mouth and would like to gain more guests through recommendations from their friends.

Customer Relationships

It is crucial to the Kjær family to establish a relationship with the guests and to have personal contact with them not only during the stay but also beforehand. The family prefers booking via telephone only, which might be a competitive disadvantage in a world full of online booking engines. The point of wanting a more personal relationship with the guests is valid but the family also needs to consider that someone would have to be available throughout the day to answer the phone.

Revenue Streams

The guests have to pay for the accommodation. As it is a B&B, I presume that the breakfast is included. Guests have to pay for other services such as renting canoes or having lunch. The Kjær family states that the minimum revenue per year needs to be DKK 60,000. As we don’t know how much guests are supposed to pay for a night or how much they are charged for additional services it is hard to make a statement about different revenue streams and their impact on the business.

Key resources

The key resource is manpower. The family has to physically work to maintain the property and be there for their customers. The whole family will participate in working at the farm. If Lisbeth and Christopher both want to keep their jobs on a full-time basis they might need to think of hiring a temporary help.

Key activities

The most important key activity is the maintenance of the apartment. The family has to clean it and keep it in good condition as this value preposition is the main revenue stream. All in all, they have to make sure that they provide excellent service at all times and establish a good relationship with the customers.

Key partners

Apart from the partners the Kjær family has already selected, e.g. Bindeballe Købmandsgård, they could collaborate with canoe rental companies, bike rental companies, fishers and with rangers or nature experts. Moreover, they could make some arrangements with local stores or even with Legoland.

Cost Structure

There are no high investments to be made. The apartment is already there and the the Kjær family only needs to spend a small amount of money on furniture and kitchen equipment. The key resource, manpower, is not that costly either, because the family itself will work at the B&B. Yet, they need to invest in a creating and maintaining a website and into advertisements.

Attractor-based Innovation

This innovation model contains 5 components that need all to be present in order to ensure the model’s viability. The components are ‘Scene’, ‘Scene-maker’, ‘Scene-taker’, ‘Attraction’ and ‘Attractor’. The Kjær family is making use of this model by including all  this components into their business model. The ‘Attractor’  is in this case an activity that attracts people, namely the horse tourism. The ‘Attraction’ is the experience of nature, sports and culture combined into one experience.  The ‘Scene’ shows the context the ‘Attractor’ is embedded in, in this case it is Veije Aadal. The ‘Scene-maker’ is the Ruggård Hay Hotel, respectively the Kjær family, because they got the idea of using the ‘Attractor’ for increasing the number of visitors. The ‘Scene-taker’ is everybody who maintains the ‘Scene’, in this case the hay hotel itself, the canoe company, , Bindeballe Købmandsgård, the local community etc. This component has the most crucial function because the ‘Scene-takers’ bring the model to life.

Business model and innovative initiatives

Monday, November 10th, 2014

It is known that the rural guest houses surrounded by a natural environment, situated in the countryside, have a plus value against the normal guest house.

First of all, as an owner of a rural guest house, I must say is a great sacrifice run this kind of business, because it’s necessary be in constant attention with the customers.

In this cases, the volume of business is not high enough to hire a receptionist, or a housekeeping worker. Most of times the earned money is not enough, so it can not be the only source of money.

It means you need to combine 2 different jobs to earn the desirable quantity of money.

As I mentioned before, a rural house of this characteristics, can take profit of a huge variety of business models.

But is really important to know in which way we have to focus our idea, our business segment, which we pretend to make more money.

A rural house, with the characteristics of Ruggard hotel can be sold itself to the customers who are seeking a peaceful environment in the nature to spend some days with friends, family, children…

But in that case we have also a value added, as can be the guided trips through the mountain tracks, horse riding, fishing, close to Lalandia and Legoland.

Would be interesting find new ways of business who can attract the attention of other market segment.

I am proposing to, create a plan, a feasibility study about some new attractions. As can be Gastronomic seminars, wine tasting, stage for some group work…

All this variability is focused on catching new market segments, trying to take advantage of the environment, the situation and characteristics of the building.

Is possible to try run this kind of business by different roads, but never forgetting which is the main reason which makes this Ruggard hotel special, the nature that surrounds this place, and also the close relationship between costumers and owners.

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Business models are an important tool to explain how the Kjaer family can “do business” and to explain how value is created, not just how it is captured. To establish their tourism product/service successfully it is important to understand the needs of their target customers and to develop a specific service for them that creates at the end a value for the tourist, for that they are willing to pay.


The service of the Kjaer family is not only to give their guests an accommodation, where they can sleep…their service should also be the creation of a holiday experience ,they will never forget. Important to mention here is the point, that not only the Kjaer family is responsible for the value creation, the target customers are also co-producers and not only consumers and determine the individual value of the end-service-product.

In the last years a lot of business models were developed to analyze and push the effectiveness and efficiency of business.  Osterwalder studied the components of a various models and identified 9 blocks:

1 Product:

-Value Proposition: Gives an overall view of a company’s bundle of products and services. (As mentioned before, the service is not only the accommodation, it includes also the discovery of the nature, guided tours, experiences with the Kjaer family, riding trails (with the own horse)…

2 Customer Interface:

-Target Customer: Describes the segments of customers a company wants to offer value to. (I think the family should here expand they target group “islandic horse riders” by “other horse riders”)

-Distribution Channel: Describes the various means of the company to get in touch with its customers. ( own webside, Icelandic horse association (maybe other horse associations), friends, local facilities/ firms (links on their websides, flyer), general horse-events/tournaments (flyer,poster), facebook..)

-Relationship: Explains the kind of links a company establishes between itself and its different customer segments. (Personal contact during the stay of the tourists (breakfast, tours, barbecue events, mailcontact after the customers visit, or over a blog on their websideà friendship)

3 Infrastructure Management:

-Value Configuration: Describes the arrangement of activities and resources (mix of nature experiences, new experience with the own horse, Danish culture experience, fun, restà resources are the landscape, the farm and the power & character of the kjaers)

-Core Competency: Outlines the competencies necessary to execute the company’s business model. ( Accomodation and organization of tours with expert knowledge about Icelandic horses and Danish culture)

-Partner Network: Portrays the network of cooperative agreements with other companies necessary to efficiently offer and commercialize value. ( partners could be the Bindeballe Købmandsgård and the Bindeballe Station)

4 Financial Aspects:

-Cost Structure: Sums up the monetary consequences of the means employed in the business model. (Investments are the furniture of the apartments, expansion/development of the stable)

-Revenue Model: Describes the way a company makes money through a variety of revenue flows. . (Revenues from the renting of the accommodation, tours/events, breakfast..)


Business Model Canvas & Attractor-Based Innovation

Monday, November 10th, 2014

The business model canvas is a template for developing a new business or documenting the exist business. According to A. Osterwalder, it includes 9 sectors that are: customer segments (CS), value proposition (VP), channels (CH), customer relationships (CR), revenue streams (RS), key resources (KR), key activities (KA), key partnerships (KP) and cost structure (CS). The canvas is a tool for describing, analyzing and designing business models; meanwhile it also helps with collecting the ideas to start a new business.

For the Kjær family’s dream B&B hotel, Christopher has informed us their model canvas, in which there are still some space to improve or complete the model, especially under the blocks of CS and VP.

Customer segments

According to Christopher and Lisbeth, they put their focus on:

  1. The groups of Icelandic horse rider
  2. Racing cyclists
  3. Mountainbikers
  4. Fishing lover
  5. Families visiting Lalandia and Legoland in Billund.

First of all, it is a wise decision to focus the groups of Icelandic horse rider as the main segment for the hotel, because the Kjaer family knows pretty a lot about the horse and the surrounding for the horse riders as well. Furthermore, the nature in Ruggård provides the base condition for the Hay Hotel to focus on this customer segment.

Secondly, it is a doubt to think of fishing lover as one the segments for the hotel. During the instruction, the family didn’t show that they have same interest in fishing as in horse riding, besides there is no fishing place with large scale, so that the hotel doesn’t have a condition to attract many fishing lovers.

Thirdly, I think the Kjaer family can also consider the groups of hikers as a potential group due to the nature surrounding. In the mountain, we were showed the camping place, BBQ place, and small local businesses, kiosks and bistros for instance. All of these facilities are good for the hikers. Therefore, the group of hikers would be really potential segment.

Value propositions

In this block, the Kjaer family showed a lot about what values they are able to deliver to their customers. All the values that the Kjaer family delivers can be divided into 2 parts, nature experiencing and local culture experiencing.

For the nature experience, of course, the key factor is their natural surrounding, forest, mountain, and the fresh air, which is very important for the horse riders.

Meanwhile, since the Kjaer family would show up in the hotel in every weekend and have many chances to spend time with guests, they can also deliver their family value to their guests through chat, cooking and coffee time together, which will be impressive to their guest, because I was really impressed with the harmony between the family members, and their relationships to the local community as well.

At last, the culture of the local community can also be a value for Kjaer family, such as the coffee shop, the little museum in the town and the old train station.

Innovative initiatives

The innovative initiatives can be talked on the base of the Attractor-Based Innovation System. In this system, it includes 5 factors: actractor, attraction, scene, scene-maker and scene-taker.

For the case of the hay hotel of Kjaer family, the actractor is definitely the nature surrounding of the hotel, because it provides good condition for the horse riders. Scene could be the nature surrounding and also the amusement parks in the neighbor town LEGOLAND and LALANDIA, meanwhile the hotel self can also be a scene due to the farm and its animals there. Because of this possibility, the hotel is the scene maker and scene taker as well. As a scene maker, the hotel can also make cooperation with the local school to create an educational tour for the children to introduce the nature and the horse, so that a new revenue channel can be created.

Besides, the hotel can also expand the scene maker to the whole town through the cooperation with other local businesses, such as bars and restaurants, such as an creation of an event for Icelandic horse.

Business Model & Innovative Initiatives at the Ruggård Hay Hotel – Annkatrin Lange

Monday, November 10th, 2014

The business model canvas

The business model canvas is a strategic management tool used by companies to simplify and to illustrate how money and success are made.
Alexander Osterwalder, one of the inventors of the business model canvas, says that: “A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value.” A business model needs to be simple, easy to understand and has to contain all relevant factors of a company.
The Osterwalder business model canvas combines nine blocks to build the business model. The nine elements are costumer segments, value proposition, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activites, key partners and cost structure. 

The first block, the customer segments block, defines the target group the company aims to reach. The place in the market, which the company tries to reach, is regarded in this block as well (e.g. mass market or niche market).
The block of value proposition describes the products and services the company offers to create value and to satisfy the specific customer segment.
The third block, the channels, is very important because it describes how a company reaches and communicates with their customer segment. The channels connect the first, the customer segment, and the second, the value proposition, block.
The customer relationships block shows which type of relationship the company wants to establish with its customers. It can range from personal to automate.
The fifth block, the revenue streams block, represents the money the company earn from the customer segment. It’s important to find out for which value the customers are willed to pay.
The sixth block, the key resources, describes which resources are needed to create and offer the value proposition. But the key resources are required in distribution channels, customer relationship and financial aspects as well.
The key activities, the seventh block, are the most important activities to make the company work successfully.
The eighth block, the key partners, shows the partnership and alliances of the company.
The last block, the cost structure, shows all incurring costs to set the business model into operation.


The Ruggård Hay Hotel

The Ruggård Hay Hotel needs as a new business a business model as well.
The owners, Lisbeth and Christopher, had already filled in the Osterwalder business model canvas before our first meeting in September 2014. 

Hereafter, the Kjærs idea of the business model will be regarded and explained and some new ideas will be added.

1.    The customer segment

Family Kjær mentioned the Icelandic horse riders as the main target group. But racing cyclists, mountain bikers and anglers are possible guests as well. The very well developed network of hiking trails could attract hikers to the region. 

The Ruggård Hay Hotel could also be a place to stay over a weekend, maybe combined with a visit of Legoland Billund or Lalandia, or it could be a “rest area” for people travelling with their horses to competitions in Sweden or Norway.

2.    The value proposition

As already mentioned, the hiking, biking and horse riding trails are very well developed. This fact tempts nature loving people to this region.
The farm of family Kjær in Vejle Adal offers a lot of possibilities for the friends of horses and nature. Folding for the horses are already built and a riding arena is there as well. The tourists have the chance to bring their horses (Icelandic Horses) with them to Denmark and they don’t have to worry about the accommodation of their horses. The members of the Kjær family offer guided trips through the nature around the Ruggård Hay Hotel. The Ruggård Hay Hotel offers the possibility to experience the nature while sleeping in tents, in the hay or discovering the nature around the Hotel.
The family offers lunch and coffee arrangements for their guests and a breakfast as well. The breakfast could be taken in the house or even in the kitchen of the family. This leads to a close relationship to the members of the family.

The channels

 Lisbeth and Christopher chose www.facebook.com, the Danish Icelandic Horse Association, local riding and hiking clubs, Icelandic Horse riders, www.visitdanmark.dk and friends as their distribution channels. An own homepage of the Ruggård Hay Hotel with booking engine could be created as well. The homepage www.hikingtrails.dk is a possibility to reach a part of the target group, too.
The choice of varied channels is very important to get in touch with the possible guests!

4.    The costumer relationship

Personal contact between the family and the guests is very important for Lisbeth and Christopher. They plan to achieve it through the booking process via telephone, but today the possibility to book online on the hotels homepage or on hotel platforms is provided by many guests. The close relationship can be reached through the breakfasts with the family or the guided tours as well.

5.    The revenue streams

The customers are going to pay for the accommodation, the catering and the guided tours. We haven’t talked yet about the prices for the offers. But I think that the prices should be different in the summer and the autumn- and winter season. The Break-Even-Point is 60.000 DKK a year.
Lisbeth and Christopher should think about the payment possibilities, like credit-card, mobile payment or only cash?  

6.    The key resources 

Lisbeth and Christopher are mentioning only one point referring to the key resources: the manpower of the family. But as both parents have fulltime jobs and the daughters are in school, maybe one of them has to change the job into a part-time employment. Or an employee could help with serving the breakfast or cleaning the apartment if the hotel is going well.

7.    The key activities

The key activities of the family will be the hosting of the guest and the horses. The cleaning of the accommodations and the stables are key activities as well. Serving the breakfast to the guests and the supply with lunch and coffee arrangements while the guided tours are an important key activity too.

8.    The key partners

Possible key partners are the Bindeballe Købmandsgård, the Bindeballe Station and the Idræts- og Fritidschef. Marketing partners could be www.visitdanmark.dk and the Danish Icelandic Horse Association, maybe an advertisement on their homepages is possible.
The key suppliers could be some regional farms supplying the Ruggård Hay Hotel with ecological food.

9.    The cost structure

Right now, the Ruggård Hay Hotel won’t cost a lot of money, the apartments are already built and in good condition. Some small investments in furniture will be necessary before the opening of the hotel.
Some bigger investments have to be made in case of renting the second apartment as well.  


The innovative initiative

To differ from other B&Bs in the region the Ruggard Hay Hotel has to use some innovative ideas to create a unique selling proposition.

A chance to create the USP may be the Actractor-based innovation model:
The actractor, the event or activity which attracts the people, is the equestrian tourism at Ruggård. The attraction is the composition of nature, sports and culture in one experience. The scene (manifests the place and the identity of the actractor) is Vejle Adal and the scene-maker, who sees the possibility for using the attractor for increased visitation, is the Ruggård Hay Hotel. The scene-taker is the Hay Hotel, the local community, the tour guides, the small cafés and museum stores.   


Business Model and Innovative Initiatives at the B&B

Monday, November 10th, 2014

A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers and captures value. According to Osterwalder and Pigneur (2010), it is a “conceptual tool that contains a set of elements and their relationships and allows expressing the business logic of a specific firm.” These elements include key partners, key activities, channels, a cost structure, revenue stream and most importantly value propositions and customer segments as well as customer relationships. As Lisbeth and Christopher already gave us their first ideas about a possible business model, we gained quite a good understanding of their expectations and possibilities of opening a B&B by now. Nevertheless, I think that there are even more opportunities and chances regarding the customer segments and the value propositions as well as some new innovations that the family could include in their business model. If they adopted some of these ideas, they might get a better chance to establish their business successfully.


Customer Segments

Before we can think about the values of the family and their B&B, we need to know who their potential customers are. Therefore we should consider the most important and thus primary customers but also potential secondary customers. It is really important to determine the customer segments in a business model because you need to understand your customers and their needs in order to figure out for which target group you can create or offer what kind of value. In our case, the primary customers should be the Icelandic horse riders, who will mostly bring their own horses, as well as the racing cyclists and mountain bikers. The reason for focusing on these two main target groups is that, on the one hand, the entire family loves horses and dreams of sharing their passion with other horse riders. Moreover, they already have the capacity to accommodate both tourists and horses and are willing to expand their farm. On the other hand, they should also focus on bikers because they are lucky to live in a beautiful and unique landscape with already existing bike trails that guarantee fun for bikers of different levels. Even though the family will probably never build up such a strong relationship to the bikers as to the horse riders, they should still see the bikers as one of their main target groups since there seems to be a strong demand. Furthermore, many bikers will probably stay outside the entire day and only ask for a rather simple accommodation where they can sleep in their sleeping bags and take a quick shower before leaving early the next morning. With their attic, they already have a good starting point to offer this. Next to these two main target groups, Lisbeth and Christopher could also market their B&B towards families that are interested in farm life, hiking trips and the nature in general or who visit Legoland and look for other activities they can do nearby. Other secondary customer segments could be business or working people who want to escape their stressful daily routine of their city life by relaxing at the farm or going hiking or fishing. In the first year of their business, I would primarily focus on the horse riders and bikers as well as families and would, if successful, address business or working people and others (like hikers or fishers) later.


Value Propositions

In order to attract and satisfy the customers mentioned above, the family needs to create or offer certain values. In our case, the family should definitely focus on their passion for horses, in particular Icelandic horses. With the given accommodation they can offer their guests a welcoming location for both the tourists and the horses. As they offer stables, trails and folding for the horses, they make it possible for tourists to bring their own horses. Moreover, they want to offer guided horse riding tours through which they can share their passion with other horse riders, exchange knowledge and can thus provide them with a fantastic time with their horses. Regarding the bikers and families they should promote the value of nature and landscape. They could involve children in their daily farm life, offer sleeping possibilities in the hay or a tent somewhere outside in the true nature. In addition, they could help bikers to find the right biking trails in order to enjoy the unique landscape at their best. For instance, they could promote new trails through selling or displaying cycle maps.

In general, Lisbeth and Christopher should offer to all target groups a fun and at the same time relaxing stay in which tourists can enjoy the peace of nature and thus escape from a city life full of stress and loud noises. This can be reached through different activities for the children (trampoline, playing with farm animals) or simply a nice terrace with sun loungers for adults. Lastly, tourists can get involved in some sort of cultural exchange as the family truly wants to spend time with their guests if these wish to as well. Lisbeth and Christopher can promote their farm with the fact that they really welcome the tourists as guests that can take part in their family life through the offering of breakfast or coffee and cake while having nice chats among “friends”.



Innovations can support the successful, continuous implementation of a business model and thus help to gain a competitive advantage. According to Tidd and Bessant (2009),”innovation is the process of turning ideas into reality and capturing value from them”. The ”attractor model” is one way to apply the theory of innovations to the opening of a B&B by Lisbeth and Christopher. This model includes the elements of an acttractor, an attraction, a scene, a scene-maker as well as a scene-taker and can help to support the cooperation of partners in the area in order to not only improve the tourist success of the B&B itself but also of the entire region which will then might have positive effects on the B&B again. One example of an innovation for the business of the family could be to arrange a monthly ”Farm day with a special focus on Icelandic horses” that will attract tourists from the Jutland region or even further away. The actractor will then be the event itself with all its activities that could include special riding lessons, in which they will explain the differnt gaits of Icelanic horses, a scavenger hunt for kids around the Vejle Aadal Area or an overnight party with music, a bonfire and numerours tents to sleep in. The attractors are the horses as well as the other farm animals and the scene is of course the farm of Lisbeth and Christopher. In order to be more successful, they could try to include the area around it. The scene maker and scene taker would be Lisbeth and Christopher but they should or could work together with other locals like the Bindeball Købmandsgård, the Nature school or other farms in order to make a strong network which will then hopefully attract more tourists that will either come back or convince their friends to visit the area. This, in turn, will hopefully promote tourism in the entire area.

Next to the attractor-based innovation model, the family could also consider organizational innovation. This would rather include small-scale innovations like an online-booking system that will guarantee that potential guests can book whenever they want to. Furthermore, Lisbeth and Christopher should think about the actual workload that will arise through the B&B and thus might need to consider employing an extra person during the week.

All in all, I hope that the family can use some of these ideas to extend their current business model which will then help them to actually fulfil their dream of opening a B&B with a special interest in Icelandic horses.

Business Model and Innovative Initiatves for the Ruggard Hay Hotel

Monday, November 10th, 2014

The Business Model Canvas, developed by Osterwalder, can be applied to the Ruggard Hay Hotel. The Business Modell consists of 9 elements that need to be considered:  key partners, key activities, key resources, value proposition, customer relationships, channels, customer segments, cost structure and revenue streams.

Key partners
It is an advantage if you have partners and build up a local network, so that all can profit from each other. That the family knows the owner of the Bindeballe Kobmansgaard and Bindeballe Station, and that they would like to corporate with them is a good foundation to build up a network. Additionally, it would be helpful to find some other key partners to strengthen this network. Therefore, they may develop a partnership with Legoland, restaurants, canoe rentals and stores in the area.

Key activities
They need to consider what is necessary to run the business and to realize their dream of the B&B. Before new guests arrive the apartments have to be prepared and cleaned. They will probably do it by themselves and let the guests pay for the final cleaning. The room upstairs also needs to be cleaned. This is a little bit more difficult, since almost all the time somebody will be there. Therefore, a time during the day, when most of the guests are on a tour  would be good to do some cleaning.
Another key activity is the Check-in/out and payment. If both of them are working fulltime, it would probably the best if the guests can pick up the key for the apartment at a neighbours house, e.g. a retired couple or neighbours that work from home.
How can people pay for the accommodation? Just offer to pay in cash can be difficult, because many people do not like to carry around much money. Therefore, they should buy a card reader.
The idea of the family is to open a B&B and therefore, offer breakfast to their guest. It would be a nice idea to offer some local food for breakfast. Maybe they know some farmers where they can buy eggs, jam etc.
Another main activity is the guided tours that they would like to offer. Either they offer it by a schedule or on demand. They probably do not need additional stuff, since Christopher, Lisbeth and the oldest daughter would do the guided tours.

Key resources
The family’s idea is to run a family business. Without any employees there is more work that has to be done by the family. Christopher and Lisbeth want to involve their children in the business.

Value Proposition
The Ruggard Hay Hotel has a quite a few values to offer.
One of them is the nature – the beautiful landscape. It is perfect for exploring the nature by horse, bike or even by foot. It is outside the busy city, in a rural area. Therefore, it is also great if you would like to relax and enjoy the silence. Another value is fun, which can be offered by the family through the guided tours. In the area are nice riding trails. Additionally, the family needs to build up fences for horses, to enable their guests to have some breaks during their tours.
The family is very friendly and welcoming, and can therefore provide a personal and familiar atmosphere for their guests. It is a value that is for some people really important and desired.
To offer their guest an unforgettable experience, the family also wants to offer lunch and coffee arrangements.
Customer segments
To reach the right target group it is important to find out who is the target group. In this case there are basically four target groups: the Icelandic horse riders (with/or without horses), mountain bikers, guest that want to escape the daily life and relax in the nature, and guests that would like to visit e.g. Legoland or Lalandia.
Christopher and Lisbeth would like to have the main focus on the Icelandic horse riders, because the Icelandic horses are their passion. By offering the guided tours just to people that will bring their own horses, they reduce the target group. There are many families that would like to go on a holiday on a farm where their children can do horseback riding. A suggestion would be that they buy 2-4 horses that their guest can ride. This would not limit the target that much.
Mountain bikers are another target group. Maybe Christopher can also do some tours with them, since he knows the area very well and enjoys riding his bike. I assume that this target group will not generate the most income, because in average they will not stay that long and will pay less for their sleeping place.
Many people are stressed and want to escape their work day. This is a target group that could also be interesting for the family, since they can offer a nice apartment in a beautiful and calm landscape.
There are also families that look for place to stay when they want to visit Legoland or Lalandia for example. Probably this is a target group that would like to do their own activities. They will not have this personal relationship with the family. But the family should also consider this target group.

Thinking about the right channels, can make it much more easier to reach the right target group. They should definitely use the Danish Icelandic Horse Association as a channel. Furthermore, they should list their hotel on the visitdenmark.dk website, to reach the families that would like to go to Legoland etc. An own website it also quite important so that you can find the hotel when you search on google for a place to stay in Denmark.

Revenue streams
A minimum revenue per year of DKK60,000 should be achievable. Additional they can make profit through the offered tours and lunch arrangements.

Cost structure
Lisbeth and Christopher think that they only have to do small investments. According that we do not know if they would like to build an additional bathroom and kitchen, an extra or bigger stable and if it is allowed to build up the fences for the horses on the different places, I cannot evaluate how big the investments will be. But I guess it will not just be money for kitchen equipment and furniture.

Customer Relationship
Customer relationship is really important for a good reputation. The idea that guests can only book by calling is a little bit old-fashioned. For people from abroad can it be really expensive. Additionally, Christopher and Lisbeth are working full-time, so it can be a problem to answer calls. They should allow guests to book online.

On the basis of the attractor based innovation model, which consists of the attractor, attraction, scene, scene-taker and scene-maker, it is possible to support the business model.
The Kjaer family offers the guided tours in this beautiful area. Furthermore, they could think about some additional events that they can offer for their guest, for example a guided horse tour for children where they dress up as Indians , have an overnight stay in a tent and make a campfire.
The scene-maker puts the idea into practice. This would be in this case the family by doing the guided tours, but this can also be some locals which provide a place for the tents and some food for the campfire.

Business model and innovative initiatives Ruggard Hay Hotel – Maren Hünsch

Monday, November 10th, 2014

For a possible business model of the Ruggard Hay Hotel, I used the first draft of the Kjaers as a basis. I worked with the Osterwalder Business Model, because I have been working with it before and think that it provides a clear picture of all the elements that have to be considered when creating a business model. In my opinion, the first draft is a good starting point since it points out the basic elements and shows us, which direction the Kjaer familiy would like to pursue. I think that making a lot of changes would be counterproductive, because it would minimize the chance of the family identifying with it. Therefore I only added some aspects to the first draft.


Key Partners

Since the tourism product consists of a variety of services which not only one business can provide, I think that it is really important to get lots of service providers on board, especially living in a small community, everyone should move in the same direction. The Kjaer’s should stick with the original key partners they chose, but should additionally consider a collaboration with other business partners such as local tour guides. For the horse trekking they could work with Kristinelyst for guest stays in th sleeping pens after a day of horse trekking and the Kjaer family could have potential incomes through the food they deliver there or the transport of equipment. The family could also target the cooperation wth local canoeing / kayaking companies. Furthermore it is essentiell to have the community on board as well, the Kjaer’s could do an open day and show locals, who are interested, the facilities and tell them about their ideas. That way the local community would feel integrated in the process and is more like to support the idea. Eventually it is also essential to have the support of the administration of Vejle Aadal . They need to cooperate for several reasons, amongst others, infrastractural measures such as the erection of fences for raking up the horses.


Key activities

For every business it is essentiell to identify the key activitie in order to know on what to focus and to find out if all activities can be performed autonomous, or if external partners are needed to perform some of the key activities. The Kjaer’s already thought of most activities that would be part of their business, but other possible activities could be the provision of information about the surroundings, activities and about islandic horses in general. Furthermore the family could offer not only to train horses but also the preparation for horse shows and with that service, adress a wider range of islandic horse riders.


Key Resources

The key resources identify the necessities it takes to build a value proposition. Apart from the already mentioned manpower, for the hay hotel  this would be infractructural measures, such as additional horse stables, lockable bike shelters, electricity and water in the upstairs room. Additional the Kjaer’s might have to invest in furniture for the upstairs room. The required key ressources also include sufficient revenues which enable the investments. Futhermore, there must be a choice of suitable channels for specified customer segments (islandic horse riders, bikers, etc.).


Value Propositions

The value proposition deals with the question “What do our guests get out of it?”. It is necessary to identify possible values that could be delivered to the guests and make use out of them by conveying the values to the guests and creating a USP. As a business, you are only able to sell yourself if you know your values and know how to promote them.  In the first draft of the business model, the Kjaer family already thought of many value propositions they have to offer. Above and beyond those already mentioned, the idyllic location of the Ruggard Hay Hotel is another trait that would be valued by various customer segments.  Especially people from the city are likely to appreciate the calm and relaxation. Another benefit the family could offer their guests is the local food they could provide within breakfast or picnic arrangements. Nowadays many people are more conscious about what they eat and prefer to eat local food, rather than food that has come a long way. When promoting the hay hotel, the Kjaer family should emphasize the many outdoor acitivies the area has to offer. Even guests that are not into horse-riding have many opportunities be active in the nature and the Kjaer’s should make the case for this. Another value proposition the guests can experience on the Ruggard Hay Hotel are intimate family style holidays. The Kjaer’s can offer the exact opposite of anonymous vacations in extensive hotel complexes, which is appreciated by guests that are looking for more personal holiday experience.


Customer Relationships

When talking to the Kjaer’s on our first meeting, it became quite obvious that they are seeking a personal customer relationship. Depending on what kind of customer segment they want to adress, it is important to reevalute which respective target group seeks for what kind of relationship. While families appreciate a close relationship and an intimate family style vacation, business people might favour more anonymity. Therefore the Kjaer family should only offer personal contact, if desired. They should also consider the costs, when choosing what kind of relationship they want to have with their guests. Personal contact is more elaborate, time-wise and  in terms of expenses. Because of that the Kjaer’s should weigh the costs and use of the customer relationship they aspire.



With the channels, as with the customer relationships, it is important to question not only what we want, but what are the preferences of the guests? Whilst other islandic horse riders might prefer to be adressed personally at horse shows, this might not be the way for business people. Furthermore the response has to justify the expenses, e.g. for an advertisement in a magazine. Other than the channels mentioned in the first draft, the Kjaer’s could consider ads in horserider magazines, biker magazines and on platforms for both customer segments. They could also advertise the hay Hhotel on holiday platforms for managers, who are in need of vacation, e.g. manager-magazin.de.


Customer Segments

In order to adress the target groups in the most efficient way possible, it is really important to know who your customers are. The main target group the Kjaer’s would like to adress are the islandic horseriders, which is understandable since they themselves are passionate about islandic horses and can convey this passion to others. They also have a lot of existing infrastructure which is necessary to host this customer segment. But since the islandic horse riders only make up a small percentage of all horse riders, I think the Kjaer family should consider to target not only the islandic horse riders, but horse riders in general and with that extend the number of possible guests on Ruggard Hay Hotel. Racing cyclists and mountainbikers are a target group is particularly suited due to the trails that already exist in the area surrounding the farm and Christopher’s passion for biking. Furthemore, adressing this consumer segment does not pose a big infrastructural effort. Same with the fishers, since there are different waters where they can fish nearby and the baltic sea is not too far away, the Kjaer’s might as well take advantage of the natural conditions. The proximity to Billund with Lalandia and Legoland makes the hay hotel a good advance base for family holidays, even with an extended family. The grandparents could stay on the farm and enjoy the calm and nature, while the rest of the family visits Legoland. The farmanimals pose an attraction for the children and parents and grandparents would surely enjoy the natureside and the many outdoor activities. Other than the already mentioned customer segments, the Ruggard Hay Hotel has ideal conditions for hosting stressed out managers, who want to escape the busy city life and relax in idyllic surroundings. They would appreciate the calm and could use the vacation to come closer to nature again, for example by joining guided tours through the forrest. They would pose a desirable target group due to their means and willingness to spend them if they are satisfied with the product. The natural surroundings of the farm could also attract nature lovers in general or canoers, which could explore the local waters with their canoes.


Cost Strucure

It is essentiel to analyse the cost structure to identify the main expenses and the most urgent investments. Apart from the costs already mentioned in the first draft, for the Kjaer’s this might be infrastructural measures, such as electricity and water lines for the upstairs room and additional stables for guest horses. If they want to offer horse riding for guests who do not bring their own horses, they would also have to invest in more horses, and maybe also in bikes, if they intend to lend them to the guests.


Revenue Stream

In terms of revenue streams, it is important to not only keep in mind what kind of revenue is required, but also to consider realistically what price the guests would be willing to pay for what they are offered. In order to achieve the monetary goals, the Kjaer family might have to consider other revenue streams than the accomodation service itself. They could offer training for islandic horses (e.g. for horse shows). Other than that, they could rent horses and bikes to guests and offer a picnic service for guests who are horse trekking. In addition to that, the family might be able to work out a commision basis with local businesses, like the tour guides. They could pay a certain percentage for each guest from the hay hotel that is coming to take a tour.


To create a successful business model the Kjaer’s might have to consider some innovative initiatives. Innovation might help them to gain a competitive advantage over similar businesses. Since the business model and the way it will be put into practice is still undecided, it is difficult to tell what kind of innovative initiatives the family might need. Mostly innovations originate from a daily routine and its weaknesses and ways to overcome those.


It is imaginable that the Kjaer family might have to think of organizational innovations, since it will be difficult handling a business while still working fulltime. They also have to think of a solution for offering their guests a personal booking service and being available while they are at work. Further more they should think about how they can differ themselves from other islandic horse riding holidays and consider a product innovation, by creating a new form of islandic horse riding holidays.

Since the idea of islandic horse riding is not completely new, any innovation the Kjaer’s would pursue is a niche innovation.  Most likely they will be able to implement small-scale innovations, rather than reinventing the wheel. Since innovation is about knowledge the family should try to collect as much information as possible, by talking to similar entrepreneurs and visiting seminars about entrepreneurship.  A benefit of the hay hotel is that they do not have to deal with the common problem in tourism, high competion. Regarding their specified market, there are less competitors and therefore better chances for a start-up company. One of the challenges they might have to face are free riders.                                                                                                                                                                       When considering attractor-based innovation in tourism, the Ruggard Hay Hotel would be the scenemaker. All  other key partners mentioned before would be the scence takers alongside the hay hotel. The scene would be the entire area of Vejle Aadal and the attraction is nature, sports and culture as one experience. Horse tourism on Ruggard Hay Hotel constitutes the attractor.


Concluding, the first draft of the business model the Kjaers created was a good basis to start with and there were only minor changes and some additions necessary to create a possible business plan, that the family hopefully will identify with. Considering innovative innitiatives is hard at that point of time, but hopefully that some ideas will considered by the Kjaer family.






Business Model and Innovative Initiatves at the Hay Hotel

Monday, November 10th, 2014

When establishing a new business it is important to predict and analyze future features of the company. This is to be done with a business model. Regarding the Hay Hotel at Ruggard it is crucial to establish such business model as well. According to Osterwalder et al (2005), a business model is described as being “[…] a conceptual tool containing a set of objects, concepts and their relationships with the objective to express the business logic of a specific firm.” Therefore, a business model will set the milestone for the future success of Christopher’s and Lisbeth’s Hay Hotel.

To go way deeper, it is important to analyze the main elements of the business model canvas which include the value propositions and the customer segments. Nevertheless, it is also essential to analyze the remaining elements which will narrow down to customer relationships in the case of the Hay Hotel at Ruggard.

Customer Segments

The Kjaer family tends to attract mainly Icelandic horse riders to their Hay Hotel which can be seen as the possibly most important customer segment. With their experience in gandling Icelandic horses and their ongoing passion for horses, this will set the basis for a successful customer segment. This segment will likely be the one to feel “right” at that place and will appreciate the passion for the horses. Moreover, the family wants to generate cyclists and mountainbikers to their hotel. Basically, this customer segment is hard to generate on a long-term basis, meaning that they will only stay one night and might not come back again compared to the horse riders. Furthermore, it is important to think about if there is a certain need for the cyclists and bikers to stay at the Hay Hotel. They could also use another accommodation to stay as Ruggard is not specialized in that kind of segment. Most of the cyclists and bikers will chose the hotel when doing a longer lasting tour through the Aadal area. Actually, I don’t see a need to advertise the Hay Hotel to that customer segment in particular.

Value Proposition

To generate customers and bind them to the hay hotel, the Kjaer family needs to convey some kind of value. In my opinion, there is still a good basis for conveying certain values. First of all, they offer foldings for horses on their ground and offer the possibility for guests to bring their own horses. Guests are able to keep their horses outside in the nature and might feel more comfortable if they are even able to bring their own horses. In marketing the hay hotel, those features might serve as a good pull factors for potential guests to come. Furthermore, they offer guided trips, especially good for guests who do not know the area well and get to see special places. Those guests might feel safer in accompany with someone who knows the area  very well. Moreover, guests get the overall experience of nature at Ruggard Hay Hotel. This feature might not only be interesting to horse riders but also to bikers who want to explore the Vejle Aadal area cycling. Another feature the Kjaer family offers is the riding arena on their own grounds. This is especially interesting for guests who do not have experiences in riding horses but would like to make some. The riding arena is a good way to learn riding horses.

All in all, the basis for a successful business model is given, but emotional factors will play the main role in keeping the business alive. Personal Customer contact will be crucial in dealing with guests. The guests will get a family feeling and will enjoy a unique environment

Innovative Initiatives

The question that comes up now is whether and which innovative initiatives have to be taken to support the business model.  The attractor-based innovation initiative will probably serve best here. The basis of the model is the attractor which is an event, activity or organisation that attracts people. The next step is the attraction which is “a ‘tangible’ and ‘artificially’ created event with the purpose of generating tourism.” Moreover, the scene is also essential in this initiative. It “manifests the ‘place’ and ‘identity’ of the attractor.” The Scene-maker is also important which “creates and conceptualizes the idea”. The last element is the scene-taker which is basically a network that puts the idea into practice.

Transferring the single elements to the Hay hotel, one comes to the following solution. The Kjaer Family should collaborate with the local businesses, like Bindeballe Kobmandsgaard or the nature school to develop some kind of “rally”, especially for children. The game could look like as follow. The children use the horses at the Hay Hotel or take their own and get questions and exercises. The answers to the questions and exercises can be found along the trail of the horses, like at Krystinelyst or at the nature school. The winner would gain a price, which could include free shopping at Bindeballe Kobmandsgaard. For the adults they could offer some kind of race with the horses through the nature where they get to know the landscape and local environment.

To sum up, implementing the business model with the innovative initiatives for the hay hotel will be long process as the Kjaer family has to consider exactly which customer segment they want to attract mainly but the values they offer and the network that exists in that area will possible ensure a successful business. Things like costs and revenue streams or sustainable matters will have to be considered at a later time but first it is important to get the hay hotel to run.

Business model and innovative initiatives applied to the B&B

Monday, November 10th, 2014

As a rule, we have to consider the implementation of a business model at the B&B from three premises that take part of its application: a concrete customer segment, a tourism innovation system, and the business model. That is why mainly we can apply some concepts that have to do considerably with the background we are talking about. It is not an easy task applying a business model especially if we have to focus on one specific customer segment, we are also asked taking into account possible innovative initiatives in order that we have to familiarise with the main pillars of a tourism innovation system. Thus, we will focus on the customer segment I have chosen at first followed by the role the innovation and sustainability have on the whole. We will move on to the tourism innovation system as well as to possible initiatives whereas we will have an overview of the business model afterwards.


To begin with, we were asked to choose one of the customer segments exposed in the business model canvas we were given. My choice has been the customer segment of the groups of Icelandic horse riders. Personally, I think it is the most appropriate choices in order to take advantage of the future business as much as possible. The installations of the future Ruggård Hay Hotel can be resourceful taking into account what it can offer to this customer segment precisely, it also has to do with the surroundings but however it is another factor that benefits the segment of cyclists as well. Even so, I found it interesting enough in order to cover and give as many values as possible. The experience of the nature is the main requirement to accomplish as well as other important pillars such as offering an environmentally-friendly product giving sustainability especially.


Nonetheless, we also have to consider the importance of the sustainability after having worked and discussed with this topic recently. The role of a sustainable tourism development influences, therefore, the distribution of this “new” business model regarding the implementation at the B&B. Going to the topic of innovation, this section has to do not only with the business model itself but also with the concept of sustainability as well. We are already familiarised with both so that we can combine them to give some innovative initiatives, it is an important facet I keep in mind in order to make the business model more attractive. The background of the business model will be, nevertheless, based on the guidelines of the tourism innovation system. According to Mattsson, Sundbo and FussingJensen (Innovation Systems in Tourism, 2005), the tourism innovation system lies on 5 elements we have already seen in class: the attractor, the attraction, the scene, the scene-maker and the scene-taker. That means we have to emphasise what each one means regarding the case of the B&. Subsequently, I show how this innovation system can be described according to the B&B:

  1. Attractor: Experience of nature and in peace & quiet spaces
  2. Attraction: Ruggård Hay Hotel
  3. Scene: Ruggård Hay Hotel and its surroundings (e.g. Bindeballe Købmandsgård or Tørskind Grusgrav)
  4. Scene-maker: Christopher and Lisbeth as the owners of the Ruggård Hay Hotel
  5. Scene-taker: Initially, Christopher and Lisbeth will be the ones who will take the scene at first but this role will be transferred to the places the leisure activities take place afterwards (e.g. Bindeballe Købmandsgård).

            BUSINESS MODEL

Then again, we can see the business model based on the canvas given by Osterwalder. Some parts or sections of the proposal of business model are similar to the one that was given during our visit but there are some modifications according to the customer segment chose. Overall, I have amended the following business model basing it on three main 3 pillars: the innovation, the sustainability and the required customer segment. These are the most important points to accomplish with the requirements demanded, one of the sections I would like to emphasise even so are the values as it is the one which describes better how sustainability can affect the business model on the whole. As we can see, the key partners and the key activities remain more or less equal whereas other pillars of business model are especially modified. For instance, the values gather the most part of the premises or rules to consider as I said before. These ones have, from my point of view, the most relevant part of the business model.

Despite all, there are still a lot of questions to answer. Here is where the most important sense of the business model appears. A business model is not a simple template we can just fill in, it is a thorough task in order to orientate the main guidelines of a future business to its success. Thereby, we have to take into account the following questions as well:¹

Customer segments

For whom are we creating value? We create value for the ones who are looking for peace & quiet spaces in the nature carrying out sustainable activities. We offer value, as a result, for environmentally-friendly people.

Value proposition

What value do we deliver to the customer? I think we have to deliver to the customer the sensation of peace and relaxation with the environment they are surrounded by, an experience of nature with a closer relationship either with the B&B itself as well as the environment.

Which one of our customer’s problems are we helping to solve? We have to help to solve that need of escape giving, it is about offering simply a getaway in order to disconnect and offer a warm place with an accommodation surrounded by field and nature.


Through which channels do our customer segments want to be reached? Visit Denmark can be the first channel so as to attract visitors from Denmark mainly, a Facebook page could widespread the popularity especially in a long-term.

Which ones work better? Personally, I believe the Facebook page can work better in order to attract as many customers as possible but it is still needed using Visit Denmark to stand out the presence of the B&B.

Customer relationships

What type of relationship does each of our customer segments expect us to establish and maintain with them? Obviously, it is required establishing a close B2C relationship from the owners to the customers. The main essence is creating a friendship each other based on a warm, welcoming and open-minded attitude.

How are they integrated with the rest of our business model? In my opinion, I strongly believe it fits perfectly with the rest as the location and the environment itself guarantee a closer relationship in contrast to other touristic businesses.

Revenue streams

For what value are our customers really willing to pay? I guess customers would pay around 100 DKK approximately, I would also like to emphasise that during the first year there can be a different price due to a possible increase so as to reach the desired revenue.

How much does each revenue stream contribute to overall revenues? Considering the approximate profit and loss account, the accommodation represents the main revenue stream giving the most part of the expected revenues. Mathematically, we could estimate that the accommodation can give the 80% of the overall revenues (if and when Christopher and Lisbeth want to charge for guided tours).

Key resources

What key resources do our value propositions require? Regarding the values, the only key resources we need could be somebody (to clean) in case that it is needed in the end. A receptionist could be in charge of the check-in/check-out if the full-time jobs of the owners. Even so, Christopher and Lisbeth are the most appropriate ones in case that they decide not to hire someone else.

Key activities

What key activities do our value propositions require? Due to the implementation, it is required to do a makeover at the rooms whereas there also are some other activities regarding the day-after-day from the start-up on. As a rule, each one of what is explained in the business model has a relation with some of the value propositions like the sustainability or the value added of the breakfast.

Revenue streams? Some key activities refer to a future revenue streams such as accommodation, this revenue stream have to be compensated by some structure costs as well as some variable costs. As a consequence, the most part of the costs will be due to the investment and the equipment to the kitchen and the rooms overall.

Key partners

Who are our key suppliers? The partners can be the Bindeballe Købmandsgård and the Bindeballe Station even though they supply us with a part of the ensemble of leisure activities the customers can do outside the Ruggård Hay Hotel.

Which key activities do partners perform? As we have seen upper, there are some key activities which depend directly on Christopher and Lisbeth but our partners can play their role as part of the guided trips they offer. In short, a complement regarding leisure activities as I have said recently.

Cost centres²

What is the most important cost inherent in our business model? As we have seen upper, the most important part refers the investment and equipment for the kitchen mainly. There could be another future investment face to the installation of photovoltaic plates (according to the sustainable/innovative initiatives).


Thereby, I am going to answer finally two of the most fundamental questions we were asked for. What consequences would sustainability have for the business model? Essentially, the business model has to accomplish the principal conditions it was created for; if the values are partly related with sustainability itself we have to consider that the most part of the activities or resources will have to respect that condition. We have seen, as a result, how the most part of the values were related with sustainability at least. Therefore, I refer either how they engage the business or the way they carry out the activities respecting, as a consequence, the peace & quiet spaces they are surrounded by. Which kind of innovative initiatives may be needed to support the business model? From my point of view, I emphasised in the business models the possibility of applying photovoltaic plates in order to optimise the use of the energy as a rule but however there also are more alternatives. For instance, I gave some lesser-relevant proposals in the last post such as the use of biodegradable material or recycled objects as well as LED lights, solar lamps, etcetera.

¹: The above-mentioned set of questions was selected in order not to overload with too much information the content of the post as well as to make it more suitable.

²: Part of the contents referring to this section is already explained at the section of Key activities.

Business Models and Innovation Initiatives of the B&B

Monday, November 10th, 2014

According to Osterwalder and Pigneur a business model „describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers and captures value”. It is a model to show how an organization is run, and what the elements of the companies are. Osterwalders Business Models shows how a Business Model with its elements could look like. These elements consist of the customer segment, value proposition, channels, customer relationship, revenue streams, key resources, key activities and key partners. Since Christopher and Lisbeth already showed us their suggestions of how their business should look like, I would like to go a little bit more into detail while focusing on the customer segment and their value proposition.

Customer Segment

The main target group of the Ruggård Hay Hotel are the horse-back riders, in particular the Icelandic-horse riders who bring their own horses. Christopher and Lisbeth would like to open a B&B mainly for this customer segment, because they have space for the horses and most importantly, love spending time with their own horses and want to come into contact with people that also share the same interest. Hence, not only the family does create value for their guests, the family also benefits from the B&B, because they focus on what they love to do and thus enjoy their work. Another point is that they want to share that knowledge of Icelandic horses. Therefore, future guests can be confident that the family takes good care of their horses and even if something unusual happens, they know how to handle it. Furthermore, Christopher and Lisbeth also hope that they can learn from their guest´s experiences and since they wish to have close contact to their guests they hope to make new (international) friends. Due to that close relationship and the network behind it, it is possible that the B&B will become well known by the Icelandic horse riders as once it is called into life it can be promoted by word of mouth.

Another important target group are the mountainbikers. As the family does not have that much in common with this target group, they can “only” offer accommodation and the trails for them. The relationship between them will never be that close as the family wishes for the Icelandic horse riders but it is still a target group for the B&B.

There are some more target groups Christopher and Lisbeth thought of like fisher, families who want to spend their holidays in Denmark and also want to go to Legoland, as well as hikers that pass the surrounding area, but I would suggest, that they mainly focus on the Icelandic horse riders as they know what their needs are and where to reach them.


Value Proposition

First of all, value is created through their offers. This includes the accommodation, breakfast, stables for the horses, trails and the folding for the horses on the trails, as well as guided riding tours, and activities like picnics and bonfires which they could also provide individually. People who go there like spending time in nature and this is what the B&B can offer- the beautiful Aadal Vejle area. This is also the main value as everything around that develops from the idea of spending time outside. While spending time in the nature, the guests will calm down, relax and maybe also rethink their own lives. They get out of their daily life as well as out of the town where everything is noisy and stinky and where everyone is stressed. In addition to these values the guests also have the chance to enjoy the landscape and to spend time with their horses. They have the possibility to see something different. They spend time with their family or friends, depending on with whom they are travelling, but also with Christopher and Lisbeth and I assume that these people are as interested as them to get to know people who share the same passion.


Innovative initiatives

I would like to talk about the innovation initiatives on the basis of the attractor based innovation model. This model consists of five components: the actractor, attraction, scene, scene-maker and the scene taker. Regarding the Ruggård Hay Hotel, there a several possibilities to apply this model. In class, we already talked about it and thought of the landscape as a possible attractor, thus the attractions are the guided horse riding tours. Christopher and Lisbeth came up with the idea (scene makers) and want to implement it so that they are also responsible for maintaining it as scence-takers. But there are other ideas I could think of. Another attraction could also be an event following the motto of “A day with an Icelandic horse”. The actractors are all activities that have something to do with the Icelandic horse, whereas the attraction here is of course the Icelandic horse. The scene is the farm of Christopher and Lisbeth but could also include the area around it. Scene maker and scene taker are again Christopher and Lisbeth. This event could also attract other horseback riders that do not have anything to do with this breed but want to get an impression as well as all other people that are interested.

Another innovation could also focus on the landscape as an actractor. The attraction could be a treasure hunt in different groups and by bike or horse. The scene would be the Vejle Aadal Area and the scene makers are Christopher and Lisbeth. Depending on who else joins Christopher and Lisbeth to organize and maintain the event, the scene taker could be the shop or the nature school, too. I think that such a network is a good innovation for the Ruggård Hay Hotel and the family should think of whether they want to cooperate with them or not. The advantages would be that they are not entirely on their own and that they can offer their guests little extras for example discounts at the Bindeballe Købmandsgård.

Innovation and Business Model Theories in the context of the Ruggard Hay Hotel

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

The Kjaer family used already the Business Model Canvas from Osterwalde. This business model includes nine segments which should be considered, if you want to develop a business model. So it is important, recording to Osterwalde, that one considers the customer segment, value proposition, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships and the cost structure. Some of these factors are already worked out by the Kjaer family. Here are some parts that could be added in their business model.

1. Customer Segment

The family named groups of icelandic horse back riders, racing cyclists, mountainbikers, tourists coming for fishing and tourists wanted  visiting Legoland in Billund as their main guest segment. However, as their love to ride their icelandic horses and even go to competitions with them, we should take the icelandic horseback riders and maybwe the mountainbikers as their target group. The customers are horseback riders and bikers wanting to enjoy the landscape of Vejle. They could consider that it maybe gives more horseback riders as the even more specific group of icelandic horse riders. As the family is willing to offer trips through the landscape and wants to build up stables for the horses it seems to be the most important group for them.

2. Value Proposition

It seems to be very important that the Kjaer family is able to give their guest a value. They want to do it with the folding for horses, riding trails, bringing the own horse to the vacation, guided trips, experience of nature, riding arena, accomodation with tent, outdoor wellness and lunch/ coffee arrangements. The most important value is the nature and landscape the hay hotel is located. It is perfect for riding with or without guides and gives the families and persons who want to come to the B&B the perfect possibility to relax and getting rid of the stress of dayly life with their horses. Also the family is very customer orientated by providing a life with the family by  talking with them, meeting with them and other local people. Because of that the visitor comes in touch with the local culture. The family does not want to share their horses with other people, because they have their horses to ride on competitions with other horses. Maybe it would be a good idea to buy other horses for the guests, so that they are not forced to bring their own horses. Also the customer segment will getting wider because not only horse owners will come to the Ruggard Hay Hotel but also horse lovers. This could be a good investion in the B&B.

3. Channels

It is important to think of the awarness, the evaluation, the purchase, (delivery), and the after sales by thinking about the channels. The channels are for the B&B the friends, facebook, local clubs and the icelandic horse association. Especially the personel friends as well as the local clubs are important. The friends maybe know other persons with the same loving of nature and icelandic horses and can tell them about the hotel with all the advantages for horse riders. The local shops and other hotels could get flyers to get the attention of visitors and the community. The community seems also to be an important channel. It could function in the same way as the friends so that the B&B gets even more attention. Also the Kjaer family should think of an own website that they can link to several other websites.

4. Customer Relationships

For the Kjaer family is the personal customer contact one of the most important things in their future B&B. However, just to make an telephone booking is old-fashioned and it is even not practicable, because all of the family members are working or going to school during the day. In my eyes the B&B needs because of that mail contact with the clients. The family want to have a really close contactr to their guests so that they are feeling a bit like family members. It seems to be a good way to get to know them and offering the guided tours is a bonus for this hotel as well. However, I wonder how they will do it when the owners have also their  fulltime jobs. Either one family member have to have a part-time job or they need to employ somebody.

5. Revenue Streams

The Break-Even-Point is 60.00 DKK per year. The guest pay for the accomodation. If they want to have a lunch arrangement or a guided trip they have to pay for it an extra amount of money. The family do not tell us a lot about the revenue stream of renting the appartment. It is unclear, if they are wanting to have different seasons or that they do want for one night in their appartment.

6. Key Resources

The Kjaer family has as a key resource just manpower, the physical resource. However, this seems to be difficult, if both of them have fulltime jobs. They can also added value out of the human and intelectual resource. They could teach the guests for example, how to ride of one of their “guest horses”, or show them the landside on their guided tours and teach them on this trips something about the nature and their culture.

7. Key Activities

As key activities the family listed preparing the apartments, cleaning of them, Check-in and -out, payment, breakfast, guided trips and maintenance of folds for the horses. They wanting to be in touch with the guests and this is the best way to come in contact. This is a lot of work and if both of them are working hardly manageable. So that they should realy take an employee into consideration.

8. Key Partnerships

The Key partnerships are well developed. They list up three key partners the Bindeballe Station, the Kobmandsgard the Fritidschef. Maybe the other hotels in the region as well as the Legoland in Billund are also good key partners.

9. Cost Structure

The cost structure are the fixed and variable costs of the Ruggard Hay Hotel. However, as I do not know much about this I can not say to many things. They want just to make small investments. I am not sure, if small investments are working by opening a new B&B. They have to keekp in mind that they both working in a fulltime job, so that they are maybe not be able to care about their guests alone. Because of that they should realy think of employing someone. Also if they wanting to have the “guest horses” they have to invest in those. The own website should not cost such an amount of money but seems to be important for the Ruggard Hay Hotel.


We learned to know the attractor based model that is consisting of the attractor, the attraction, the scene, the scene-taker and the scene-maker. In this case the attractor is here the equestrian tourism. The attraction would be the nature-sport-culture package that the Ruggard Hay Hotel is offering to their guests in the scene of Vejle Aadal. The scene-maker is the Ruggard Hay Hotel which is also one of the scene-takers. Another scene-taker could be for example the local community which can also added value from the guests as well as the tour guides, the Museum and the little cafes.


Business model of the B&B and initiatives

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Describe and discuss how a business model may look like for the B&B especially focusing on the customer segment and the value proposition.

Customer segment:

The customer segment of a business model is especially important for many reasons. First, it helps to identify the right target groups and understand the customer and his needs. Second, it helps to differentiate sub-segments. Third, the analysis of the customer segment helps to build the business model according to the customer’s needs.
Concerning the customer segment, one has to focus on the most relevant customers and for whom the value should be created. In the case of the Ruggård Hay Hotel, the most relevant customers are Icelandic horse riders, mountain bikers, families with small children and also business people. Therefore, the value should be created for the above-mentioned types of tourists but also for the local people who can benefit from tourism at the Ruggård Hay Hotel.

Value proposition:

The most significant part of a business model is the value proposition. It is about satisfying customer’s wants and needs at a price they consider good value for their money.

At first, one has to think about which value should be delivered to the customer. In class we agreed that fun, experiencing nature and the different offers at the destination are most decisive for the Hay Hotel. As mentioned above, these values should satisfy the tourists’ wants and needs. Fun and experiencing nature are probably the most crucial aspects since this is the main motivation for people to go on holiday in the Vejle Åadal region. Horse riders as well as mountain bikers love spending time in nature but also families and business people want to experience nature to relax and escape from their stressful lives. The landscape in the region is the basis for experiencing nature and should therefore be taken care of.
A further need of the tourists would be that they want to feel at home and wish to create a personal relationship with their hosts. The Kjær family is very open-minded and welcoming so that a personal relationship would be created easily. Nature lovers would probably also want to take care of the animals at the farm, e.g. take the dog for a walk or feed the horses. Taking care of the animals together with the Kjær’s strengthens their relationship.

Next, it is necessary to decide which bundles of products and services should be offered to the different customer segments. For all customer segments (Icelandic horse riders, mountain bikers, families with small children and business people) accommodation, breakfast and/or coffee or lunch arrangements should be offered.
Trails in the area, guided tours by the family and maybe a map with horse riding trails could be offered to horse riders so that they can enjoy their holiday with their horses. Additionally, folding for horses should be provided. Thus, the tourists do not have to worry about their horses when they are taking a break.
For the mountain bikers, special trails would be ideal to avoid interference with hikers or horse riders.
Families with small children should be provided with information about the Vejle Åadal region and they should be given some inside tips for free time activities close by, e.g. Legoland.
The business people might also be interested in the Vejle Åadal region and in special hiking trails which let them escape from their stressful everyday life.

Customer Channels:

Choosing the appropriate channel is crucial for reaching ones target groups. In the draft of the business model established by Christopher and Lisbeth, they mentioned personal/telephone booking in order to generate bookings and have personal customer contact. In my opinion this method is a little outdated because most people prefer booking online or in travel agencies. Furthermore, since both Christopher and Lisbeth work full-time, it would be difficult for the customers to reach them on the phone. In order to reach all of their target groups, I suggest creating a website for the B&B where the customers can book online and to cooperate with websites such as www.visitdenmark.de.

Customer relationships:

The Kjær family wishes to establish a personal relationship with their guests. This would not be a challenge because the family and the tourists share similar interests, e.g. horseback riding, mountain biking and experiencing nature. Furthermore, they can provide personal assistance to their guests and make them feel at home.

Revenue Streams:

The tourists at the B&B pay for accommodation; if they wish to go on guided tours or have breakfast or lunch/coffee arrangements they would have to pay for this extra. The minimum revenue per is DKK 60,000, but it is unclear what the desired revenue is. The Kjær’s should put further thoughts to this and decide on the price per night for the apartment and for the attic. Furthermore, they should consider different prices for peak season and off-season.

Key resources:

As a key resource, Christopher and Lisbeth rely on manpower. While this might help to create the desired personal relationship, it might be difficult for Christopher and Lisbeth since both work full-time. In order to solely rely on manpower, one of them should consider working half-time.

Key activities:

Preparing and cleaning the apartment, making breakfast or the coffee/lunch arrangements, leading the guided tours and maintaining the folds for horses are the key activities for the Kjær family. This results in a lot of hard work for two full-time working parents. Therefore, it is necessary that one of them works only half-time or to cut back on key activities, e.g. making coffee/lunch arrangements. Furthermore, it should be considered to hire someone for cleaning and preparing the apartments since this takes a lot of time if new tourists come every couple of days.

Key partners:

The key partners are the Bindeballe Købmandsgård and Bindeballe station. Both the tourists and the locals can benefit from these key partners, e.g. by exchanging their culture and their experiences. Maybe the family should involve other key partners, for instance key partners closeby who can offer family-oriented activities.

Cost structure:

In order to establish a B&B, Christopher and Lisbeth think that only some investments are necessary, e.g. in kitchen equipment and in furniture. However, I think they should keep in mind the costs for an additional bathroom in the attic as well. Moreover, creating and maintaining a website is probably cost-intensive, too.

Reflect on which kind of innovative initiatives may be needed to support the business model.

Innovation is about the implementation of an improved product or service. Furthermore, innovative initiatives support the business model and contribute to its success. The “Attractor model” is a good opportunity to increase cooperation in the Vejle Åadal region.

One intiative for the Vejle Åadal region would be hosting of events. Since Vejle Åadal is a rural region with many horseback riders, there could be horse shows or horse festivals with family oriented activites and camping for children.
Furthermore, the cooperation with different stakeholders should be considered, e.g. the Bindeballe Købmandsgård. Through this cooporation, the tourists and the local population would get to know each other and the owner of Bindeballe Købmandsgård could profit from the tourists’ expenditures.


Elements in the business model – Judith Kliem

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

•Customer segments:
The Kjaer Family listed groups of icelandic horse riders, racing cyclists, mountainbikers, fishermen, visitors of Legoland or Lalandia in her customer segments. I suggest to stretch this category out, in order to include hikers and horse riders in general.
Furthermore, we should focus on the horse riders as most important customers. Actually, every customer counts the same but since the family is the most passionate about horse riders and this includes everything they love to do, I think it’s wise to focus on this group. The family can offer this group the most, i.e. guided horse tours and empty barns. Also, the surroundings offer the most for horse riders: beautiful trails and a lot of places where people can sleep and keep their horses safe in a barn or something like that, for example.

•Value proposition:
The Kjaer Family delivers a lot of different values to the customer. They offer some cultural experiences, i.e. by meeting local people, living with the Kjaer Family, talk and cook with them, get to know the environment with the nearly untouched nature. Furthermore, they offer a kind of recovery. Like on every vacation, the customer gets a rest from his job and the every day stress at home. They can do what they want to do. They can ride their horses, enjoy the beautiful surroundings in the nature and just have a good time.
The Kjaer Family supports all the benefits the customers get by the nature. They show them the riding trails, deliver food to any place they want and get them in touch with local people. Every family member has a hand in it. Also, they tell the customers about their own culture, about their every day lives.
Maybe they could also support the customer’s needs by offering their own horses – I know that they don’t want to share their icelandic horses but maybe getting two new horses only for the customers, who don’t have own horses, could be a profitable investment.

In order to keep it personal, the Kjaer Family doesn’t have an own website. They want to get the reservations via phone call. The hotel can be found on visitdenmark.dk and with the Danish Icelandic Horse Association.
In my opinion not having a website is old-fashioned. They could keep the way of receiving the reservations – but they should have a website just to spread their concept over the internet. Not everyone knows visitdenmark oder the Danish Icelandic Horse Association – especially no one from another country, like from Sweden or Germany. A website would improve their marketing, it reaches the most people and is not expensive.

•Customer relationships:
The Kjaer Family wants to keep a close and personal relationship to their customers. Therefore, they expect them to book via phone calls. When the guest arrives, the family wants to greet them face to face. During their stay, the family is everyday in touch with them. They use the same kitchen and so can talk about their culture, can cook together and talk about everything they are interested in.
Offering guided horse tours and co-working with the locals create an even closer relationship and the guests will directly feel comfortable.
All in all this customer relationship doesn’t cost anything – it just needs a lot of time. A lot of time, which two fulltime workers can’t offer. To keep this close relationship, it would be easier if one of them, Christopher or Lisbeth, could work only half a day.

•Revenue streams:
The customers pay for the accomodation. They live in a furnitured apartment.
The family wants a revenue of at least 60,000DK a year.
I don’t know how much they want for one night in one apartment, if breakfast is paid extra and the same about using the empty barns. Therefore, I can’t comment on this topic.

•Key resources:
In this segment, the family listed only ‘manpower’.
The Ruggard Hay Hotel doesn’t have any employees, it’s a family business. All the work is done by Christopher and Lisbeth – and even by their kids. The kids want to participate in guided horse tours. They love horses and riding as well and know the surrounding well.
Not having any employees makes the situation more familiar. The hotel will feel like home to the customers. The hotel owners, Christopher and Lisbeth, will do everything by themselves, which means, they will be in touch with the guests face to face and keep all their needs in mind.

•Key activities:
The key activities starts by preparing the apartments and cleaning them, check in/out and the payment. Also, Lisbeth and Christopher offer breakfast. Then, there are the guided trips and delivering food for the guests.
I would also count making the contact between the guests and the locals as a key activity, because this influences the customers’ stay, too.

•Key partners:
Key partners are Margit from Bindeballe Kobmansgard, Jorgen Kruse from Bindeballe Station and Kurt Schmidt from Idraets-og Fritidschef. All of them can enrich the guests’ stay in Ruggard in different ways. Just talking to them can be a benefit for the cultural experience.
I would also count visitdenmark.dk and the Danish Icelandic Horse Association to the key partners because they are kind of part of the Hay Hotel’s marketing. They spread the Kjaer Family’s concept over the world wide web and maybe without them, the family would have way less guests – especially, since they don’t have an own website.

•Cost structure:
The Kjaer Family has to invest in kitchen equipment and also in some more furnitures.
There was also the thought about changing the attic into some more bedrooms – if they really want to do this, this would be a bigger investment.
As already mentioned I suggest to buy maybe two more horses, since the family doesn’t want to share their horses but not everyone has the possibility to bring own horses.
Another investment they should definitely think about is an own website – for many reasons that I mentioned before.
What they also should keep in mind about the cost structure: ‘time is money’. They want to be in touch with their customers, they want to spend time with them by talking, they want to deliver them food when they are on trips and they want to offer guided horse tours. They can’t realize it, having two fulltime jobs. I would suggest that one of them only works half a day. In this way Christopher or Lisbeth can focus more on the guest’s needs and maybe this is more cost-effective than working fulltime.

Etivity 4 – Innovation and business model theories in the B&B context

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Business Model Canvas
The Osterwalder Business Model Canvas includes nine segments which should be considered when developing a business model. The segments are Key Partners, Key Activities, Key Resources, Value, Relationships, Channels, Clients, Cost Centers and Revenue streams. Christopher and Lisbeth already provided us with a completed Business Model Canvas to give us an impression of their plans. Still, there is some room for additions which will be regarded in this paper, focusing on the Value Proposition and the Clients.

Lisbeth’s and Christopher’s Business Model Canvas includes

  • Groups of Icelandic horse riders
  • Racing cyclists
  • Mountainbikers
  • Fishing
  • Billund: Lalandia, Legoland.

From Lisbeth’s and Christopher’s point of view, their main target group will be Icelandic horse riders and bikers. I can underline this as being the main customer segments, because the Kjaer family seems to know a lot about horse riding and biking.

Regarding the Icelandic horse riders, they are supposed to bring their own horses for which a stable will be provided. As the Kjaer family has own Icelandic horses and also participates in competitions, they know many other Icelandic Horse riders and owners, who could be future guests. Through the Danish Icelandic Horse Association they could reach many people which might be interested in traveling with their horses, staying in a nice place and experiencing the beautiful landscape.

Regarding the bikers, the place would be perfect for either overnight stays for people who want to have some comfort during a tour through Denmark or for bikers who want to explore the surrounding area during a longer stay. Both possibilities could attract guests, but the family has to be aware, that one night guests might not be as profitable as guests that stay for a longer timer (regarding spendings in the area and it also means more work compared to a longer stay). For this customer segment, I can imagine that the network of people they know is not as large as for the Icelandic Horse riders, so it might be more difficult to attract customers.

A target group that has not been mentioned by the Kjaer family could be hiker. According to the flyer of the Vejle Ådal region, there are several marked hiking routes which could be attractive for guests to stay several days. Additionally, the national biking and hiking route 36 (The Bindeballestien Route) and the coast to coast hiking tour pass directly at Bindeballe station. As for the bikers, the future Ruggård Hay Hotel would be a good place for guests seeking some more comfort during their hiking tour.

Regarding the fishers, I do not see them as one of the main customer segments. Surely, the surrounding area offers many nice places for fishing; nevertheless, I do not see fishing as a main interest of the Kjaer family.


Value Proposition
Lisbeth’s and Christopher’s Business Model Canvas includes

  • Folding for horses
  • Riding Trails
  • Bring your own horse
  • Guided trip
  • Experience of nature
  • Riding arena
  • Accommodation with tent
  • Outdoor hot (wellness)
  • Lunch/coffee arrangements
  • Ruggård (experience of nature).

The aspect that creates most of the value and is also very important for setting up a business such as the future Ruggård Hay Hotel is the surrounding nature and landscape. It is a value on which the Kjaer family does not have a big influence, but they have to maintain it to keep up the value it will create for future guests. The nature and the trails are the basis for the horse riding and biking activities that the family wants to offer for their guests. For some guests, the nature might create an unique experience that they may not find again. To be able to maintain it, the Kjaer family should make the guests aware of the uniqueness of the surrounding area. This could for example be happening in cooperation with the nature school.

A second value that the business may create is the escape from the daily life. Again, being in nature is very important for that, but also simply being away from the usual environment. Families, for example, may spend a lot of valuable time together, as there is not a lot that may distract them from being together.

The third value the family creates is a very personal one. They let guests in their private area and therefore create a relatively close relationship to their guests. It is not as anonymous as in a big hotel, but the family and the guests will be close together and also spending time together on guided tours. With their welcoming way, the family creates value as well.

Value will also by created by offering stables for the horses, as the horse owners then know that their horses will be in a safe place. Additionally, foldings for the horses, which will have to be set up, will create value. As mentioned in an earlier Journal entry, the family could also create value by developing an own map of the surrounding area, which includes the trails which they would recommend their guests (only necessary when such a map does not already exist).

There are many more ways to create value, such as cooperation with the Bindeballe Købmandsgård, a breakfast offer or special events and offers.


Innovative Initiatives – “Attractor based model”
The “Attractor based model” shows how different actors in an industry have to work together in order to create positive effects. This innovative model can be applied to the tourism sector as well to improve economic cooperation and the quality of tourism in a certain area. There is a relationship between the Attractor, Attraction, Scene, Scene-Maker and Scene-Taker.

Regarding the Ruggård Hay Hotel and Vejle Ådal region, there are several possibilities to apply this model. As discussed in class, events could be hosted in the region. As there are several horse owners, there could be some sort of special horse festival, which could attract visitors. During summer holidays, there could also be an event for children (with their families). In cooperation with the camping grounds at Kirstinelyst and Bindeballestation (and other places in the area), this event could also last for several days. The region could offer several activities for children, such as nature tours, horse riding or other (creative) activities related to nature. A third possibility would be a food festival for which the locals offer different kinds of foods at one central place, for example the Bindeballestation.

All these suggestions require a good cooperation of the local businesses and should also include the local community and politicians. The surrounding area offers many possibilities for such events and cooperation, which could attract guests.

innovation and business model theories in the B&B context – Vanessa Jambor

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Customer segment

The customer segment of the business model for the B&B is especially important, because through the customers the B&B identify in which way they want to develop the Ruggard Hay Hotel and they can decide between different products for the different customer segments.  Right now there are many possible customer segments. The B&B is creating value for horse lovers and cyclists who love to be in nature on the countryside. For this customer segment the Kaejr Family provides the accommodation, breakfast and the farm as well as trips with the horses or the bikes. For the trips the Family also prepare lunch and drinks for their customers. Moreover there are fishers and Legoland visitors, who are mostly families, for whom the B&B only provide the accommodation and the breakfast. The customer segment the Ruggard Hay Hotel broach, because of its location and the approach form the Kaejr Family to the B&B, guests who likes to be on the countryside, loves the nature and the silence there and who want to escape from the daily routines.

The most important customer segment is the segment of the Icelandic horse riders. The Kaejr Family knows this customer segment very well, because they also ride Icelandic horses and they can put their self into the position of them. They really know what this customer segments want and need during their holidays. To know the customer segment is a huge advantage in all business aspects.


Customer relationships

Icelandic hors riders: The customer segment of the Icelandic horse riders expects a personal relationship to them. The Family shares the passion for the horses with them, which is probably one of the main advantages why the guests spend their holiday at the Ruggard Hay Hotel. Because of that they can exchange their experiences of the horses with them. The Kaejr Family already knows a lot of Icelandic horse riders, the guests who came to them are probably already friends and acquaintances of them. Through the shared passion and hobby the relationship to the guests is pretended to be much more personal. The guests get to know the family through the trips and they spend a lot of time together, so it is obvious that this customer segment base upon a personal relationship.

Legoland visitors: This customer segment doesn’t expect a close relationship to the host family. People who came to the Ruggard Hay Hotel because they want to visit the Legoland mostly stay only for one or two nights. During this short period of time it is not possible to create a personal relationship to them and this customer segment probably don’t have a demand of it. They expect a friendly family who helps them if they have questions about something.

Cyclists: The cyclists expect a mix of the relationship to the Icelandic horse riders and the Legoland visitors. They expect a personal relationship to the hosts as well, but not as close. They also will spend time together with the family during the trips. But I think that the cyclists also want to make trips on their own and don’t want to spend as much time with them as the Icelandic horse riders.


Value proposition

The Ruggard Hay Hotel delivers different values to their customers. Because the B&B is located on the countryside, they offer the value of the nature. The people have the possibility to relax their, get out of their daily life for a couple of days and enjoy the silence of this wonderful place. On their farm they have a lot of animals, so they also share this value. Through the contact to the family, they deliver the values of culture and family to the guests. Another value they offer is fun, the guests can have fun with all the animals on the farm and they also can have fun during the trips with the Icelandic horses.


Needs and Wants

If the B&B targets the Icelandic horse riders, they help them to solve the problem that they don’t know what to do with their horses during they want to go on holiday. They can bring their horses with them and so they can spend their holiday together with the animal. Because of the possibility that they can bring their horses with them, the Rurgard Hay Hotel is an absolutely niche in this market. There are a lot of Icelandic horse owners and a lot of them want to spend their holiday together with their animal. In nearly no other accommodation is this possible.



To support the business model of the B&B some innovation initiatives are needed. The B&B can cooperate with the Bindeballe Købmandsgård and the house in the nature. The Bindeballe Købmandsgård could deliver lunch to the nature house during trips with the daughters of the family, so the parents could work during the trips. They also have the possibility to stay in tends overnight at this place.

As we mentioned during our group work in class on Thursday, an event could be innovated at the place with the sculptures. This could be a possibility to bring the tourists and the local people together. Again the Bindeballe Købmandsgård, could deliver the food and drinks. The Kaejr Family could let the local people try to ride Icelandic horses. For the kids they can make a paper chase through the nature with the horses. Such an event is a good possibility to bring all stakeholders together and all of them could benefit of it.


Business model concept and supportive-innovative initiatives for a Ruggard „Hay hotel“-Business model, Carina Legl, 4 Nov 2014

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Which innovation and business model theories could be used for a B&B-Business Model concept in Ruggard? How would the B&B business of Christopher and Lisbeth look like in consideration of the customer segment and the value proposition? And, which kind of innovative initiatives may be needed to support the business model of the “Hay hotel” in Ruggard?

In the article “Clarifying Business Models: Orgins, Present, and Furture of the Concept” (Osterwald, 2005) the Business model’s place in the firm is described as the blueprint of how a company does business. It is the translation of strategic issues, such as strategic positioning and strategic goals into a conceptual model that explicitly states how the business functions. The business model serves as a building plan that allows designing and realizing the business structure and sytems that constitute the company’s operational and physical form. What exactly is a Business model being regarded as a concept? In Osterwald, 2005, “a business model is a conceptual tool containing a set of objects, concepts and their relationships with the objective to express the business logic of a specific firm. Therefore, we must consider which concepts and relationships allow a simplified description and representation of what value is provided to customers, how this is done and with which financial consequences. In short: the business model concept can best be understood as a conceptual view of a particular aspect of a specific company.

Christopher and Lisbeth provided us with their idea of a conceptual business model in regard to Osterwalder’s Business Model with its nine key aspects, key partner, key activities, key resources, values, relationships, clients, channels, cost centres, and revenue streams.

The Business model focus on value creation and customers with its main role to find and design a promising business concept. The first draft of a business Model for the Ruggard Hay Hotel has to be discussed and adjustments have to be considered.

For example, the Customer relationship could be continued after the guests stay via telephone, but to reach the Hay hotel for booking certain different channels apart form the telephone have to be considered. Christopher and Lisbeth are both working full time, therefore, the potential guests won’t reach Christopher and Lisbeth during day-time. Here, it would be easier to set up an online-booking tool, in connection to their website or in connection to certain stakeholders (e.g. Destination management, which would offer the service of information and booking for guests).


The article “Innovation Systems in Tourism: The Role of attractors and scene-takers” (Mattsson, Sundbo & Fussing-Jensen, 2006), which describes the attractor-based tourism innovation system with its key components: the attractor, the scene-maker, the scene, the collaborative networks between tourism and other firms and the scene-taker, provides the theory for the following ideas about innovative initiatives which I came up with. These will help to support the business model of the “Hay hotel” in Ruggard.

1. Example:

The attractor: Events & Activities for kids – paper chase (German: “Schnitzeljagd”)

The attraction: Nature, Sport & Culture, plus Experience

The Scene: Tørskind Grusgrav (playground) in Vejle Ådal

The Scene-maker: Hay-hotel (Owner of the hay-hotel, Christopher and Lisbeth) or a local non-profit association

The Scene-taker: Lisbeth & Christopher as the initiators and attendance for the kids and the organization of the activity or event; in addition, Bindeballe Købmandsgård, which offers typical Danish food (e.g. meatballs with potato salad),

2. Example:

The attractor: Events & Activities for kids – Viking-festival at Kristinelyst, Kids will be offered to dress-up in Viking costumes, eat and sleep there, and maybe do some “fighting” at the camping place for a weekend!

The attraction: Nature, Sport & Culture, plus Experience

The Scene: Kristinelyst in Vejle Ådal

The Scene-maker: Hay-hotel (Owner of the hay-hotel, Christopher and Lisbeth) or a local non-profit association, local community

The Scene-taker: Lisbeth & Christopher as the initiators and attendance for the kids and the organization of the activity or event; in addition, Bindeballe Købmandsgård, which offers typical Danish food, specific “Viking-food” for kids; local people and community help with e.g. transportation, attendance;

Extra mentioned: the “Viking-festival” could be offered not only to guests and its kids of the hay-hotel, also to local kids, therefore, a connection to the area will be given, and a sense of belonging will be given for the guests; lastly, Christopher and Lisbeth could provide myths and storytelling about this area or about Vikings, telling the kids at a bonfire late night, etc.

3. Example:

The attractor: Food Festival

The attraction: Nature & Culture, plus Experience

The Scene: Bindeballe Købmandsgård in Vejle Ådal

The Scene-maker: Bindeballe Købmandsgård with a local non-profit association or the local community

The Scene-taker: Bindeballe Købmandsgård, which offers show cooking with local ingredients / local food, also to be sold there at booths; teaching guests how to cook with local ingredients and food on the food festival; in addition, teaching about the landscape and culture, Christopher and Lisbeth could provide a booth, with information about their unique landscape and culture, providing storytelling for the kids; in addition local community members could help with the cooking-show or set up their own booth with e.g. needlework, quilts or other typical Danish fabric work;

All three examples mentioned above could be included in a Package, which is included as part of the accommodation at the hay-hotel in Ruggard. Another aspect would be, offering discounts on certain attractions or on local food, if staying at the Hay-hotel. Here, a Destination management would be necessary to handle it. Finally, to be mentioned is a Destination Card, which is typical for German Destinations. I am not sure, if its an option for the Vejle Ådal area, if it has enough stakeholders, who would consider a Destination Card as an advantage. However, all things have to be considered to be working in a network, Which stakeholders would be willing to work together, and on what kind of innovative initiatives? Of course, there are many more possibilities as the above-mentioned examples given. For example, the store & coffee at Bindeballe could be doing a food show on its own; or other stakeholders could be considered e.g. the local fishers, local canoeing-association or the nature school. To end, the question on how the network of stakeholders will be organized and governed.

Carina Legl, Kolding, 4 Nov 2014


Monday, October 27th, 2014

To ensure that the project „Ruggård Hay Hotel” will be a long-term success, it is important to deal with the concept of sustainable tourism.  That means that the tourism meets the needs of the present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. Over the long term it results in a benefit for the social, economic, natural and cultural environment of the area in which it takes place. To guarantee long-term sustainability not only a balance between these four dimensions is essential, but also a balance between the needs of the tourists and the needs of the destination is necessary. Even though the Ruggård Hay Hotel will not evocative a mass tourism, it will have effects on the local people and the local community.

Economic Aspect

The economic aspect is the dimension the most investors are interested in. The Kjaer family pottered at this dimension too, and has set a minimum earning of 60.000 DKK per year. They should consider here furthermore potential investments (to generate the well-being of their customers), their job/income situation and the cooperation with local partners that generates possibly positive network effects.

Environmental Aspect

The landscape of the planned Ruggård Hay Hotel is very copious and spacious, so that the small number of maximum 10 possible tourists shouldn`t have a significant negative influence on the environment. Nevertheless it is important that the tourists don`t pollute the forests or the water with left behind waste, that they don`t destroy inviolate parts of the nature or impair reserves of animals, to guarantee the continued existence of the beautiful landscape.

Socio-cultural Aspect

The Kjaer family are welcoming hosts, who like the idea of giving tourists an understanding of the Danish nature and culture (typical food, family life…).  The idea of building up a social network with the local cafes, stores… is a positive additional step and the local community can profit from it.

Sustainable tourism development and the implementation at Ruggard Hay Hotel – Maren Hünsch

Monday, October 27th, 2014

The UNWTO defines sustainable tourism development as such: “Sustainable tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future”. This short definition contains a more complex message than it might seem like at first sight. It contains different aspects that need to be considered. For once the defintion puts an emphasis on meeting the needs of both, hosts and guests. That is a challenge in itself, since both parties have different expectations and needs. Whilst hard factors, such as turnover, nights and lenght of stay are relevant for the hosts in order to keep their businesses going, guests are more focused on soft factors such as experience, service quality, relaxation, entertainment factor and so on during their highly valued vacations. But the challenge does not end here. There has to be a balance between the interests of hosts and tourist, all whilst proceeding in the frame of sustainability. This means, that the strive for this balance has to consider future generations and acting in a way that safeguards natural ressources to which we have access to today, for our descendants.

Sustainable tourism development is based on the four principles which are the building blocks of sustainability; the economical , cultural, social and ecological principal.

The economical aspect is oftentimes the most emphasized, since an enterprise has to make profits in order to survive. Especially in case of the Ruggard Hay Hotel, we have to consider this aspect since the family plans to make the business part of their income and if possible to make a living of it. We have a specific set goal in terms of income, which we have to keep in mind. The question here is, how are we able to reach our economical goal while following all sustainable principles?

From what we know so far the ecological aspect does not seem to pose a big challenge. The main focus of the Hay Hotel lays on horse tours. Here the ecological impact can be minimized when

–          the guests only use selected horse tracks

–          the number of horses is limited

–          the travel time is kept short

–          the hay and other horse food is from the region

–          the horse manure is given to locals as a fertilizer

Other target groups might be bikers, families, or managers. For the bikers it is also important to stay on marked trails. Another opportunity to follow the ecological principal with these target groups would be the promotion of more sustainable transport modes, such as the train and the offer of a pick-up-service. Other than that if not already, the Kjær family could consider using alternative energy sources. If they want to offer the breakfast service, it would be nice to offer local products.

The social aspect of sustainability is already pursued by the Kjærs’. They engage in cooperations with local businesses and want to include stops to local shops on their rides, so that the locals also profit from the tourists and not only money wise, but also in terms of an intercultural exchange. Another way to promote this aspect would be an open house, once they start up their business. This might open some more doors and engange a sense of community amongst the locals.

Last but not least the cultural aspect as part of the four principles. The potential guests of the Ruggard Hay Hotel will be in close contact with the Kjær family. Starting from the personal booking, to the close proximity of the guest accomodation to the family home and the services provided by the family, such as the horse trekking, breakfast service and so on. Due to the spatial closeness between guest and host an exchange develops inevitably. The Kjærs have a really outgoing and open-minded personality and seem like they are eager to learn from other cultures as well as willing to let others get to know their family culture as well as giving guests an insight to the Danish culture. Apart from this facet of culture, guest of the Ruggard Hay Hotel will also have access to local cultural sides, such as the outdoor art installation we saw on our field trip or the visit of the museum shop.

Many approaches are already taken, which go along with the four principles. Other measures that must be taken in order to enable a sustainable development, seem to be within reason. Therefore, the implementation of sustainable development in the Ruggard Hay Hotel is rather a chance than a difficulty and should therefore be taken into consideration.

Sustainable Tourism Development and its opportunities for the Ruggård Hay Hotel

Monday, October 27th, 2014

What is Sustainable Tourism?

UNWTO (2005) defines it as “Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities“. According to tUNWTO three aspects of Tourism Development should be addressed and kept in balance to ensure  long-term sustainability: the environmental, the socio-cultural and the economic aspect. Environmental sustainability is the efficient use of resources while ensuring to preserve them. Socio-cultural sustainability means to respect and conserve the host community’s culture and to foster intercultural understanding. Economic sustainability means using assets efficiently to stay profitable in the long term and to provide stability to all stakeholders involved.  Moreover, UNWTO states that Sustainable Tourism Development requires to educate all stakeholders and to participate in the continuous  process of achieving sustainability.

Sustainable Tourism Development at Ruggård Hay Hotel

Environmental aspect

Running a hotel as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible is always a good idea. Yet, as the Kjær family is offering services to mainly nature lover,s it makes sense to advertise their efforts to develop sustainable tourism. Whenever they promote their services somewhere it makes sense to have a few sentences about sustainability. Certainly, becoming entirely environmentally friendly depends on high investments e.g. for installing a solar powered heating system. A lot of things can be implemented in the daily business of the hotel though. Providing reusable bottles and lunch boxes for the horse tours, bags for the riders’ waste, building wooden fences for the horses, supplying amenities like soap and shampoo in big dispensers in the shower to reduce waste and installing energy efficient lamps are only a few examples for becoming more environmentally sustainable.

Socio-cultural aspect

As the Ruggård Hay Hotel would be a family owned business that wants guests to share their passion, in this case their love for horses and nature, and to share their home, the  Kjær family would follow the Danish practice of running a hotel. It is common to lead a family owned hotel with a warm and personal atmosphere. Moreover, they also enhance intercultural understanding by working together with local businesses such as Bindeballe Købmandsgård. Guests and locals benefit from each other without depriving the latter of their culture and heritage. The partners should also be introduced to the concept of sustainable tourism so they can also implement different aspects themselves.

Economic aspect

A great advantage is that the Kjær family already has many assets. They have the accommodation, the space and different partners willing to collaborate with them. They need little investment. Yet, they have to think about employment. Will one of them work at the B&B and give up their current position? Will they need to hire an external employee? Even though gaining revenue is not the main reason for opening the Ruggård Hay Hotel, they should try their best to make it economically reasonable. As staying sustainable is a continuous process, it makes sense to implement the business plan as it seems most beneficial for now and to see if it works out. They need to keep in mind that flexibility and the ability to adapt to changes is very important.


All in all, Sustainable Tourism Development makes sense for every stakeholder involved in the Ruggård Hay Hotel. If everyone gets informed and educated, the concept can, at least to some extent, be realized and be beneficial for every stakeholder.  The Kjær family should keep in mind that sustainability is a process that requires flexibility and that it is not enough to implement ideas once and to never question them again. With the participation of all stakeholders and the communication of their interests it should be possible create sustainable tourism. Yet, there is a limit as there is a limited budget.





E-Tivity 3: Sustainable Tourism, Annkatrin Lange

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing industries and it’s a major source of income and employment in many regions of the world. But like all industries it causes problems, like social dislocation, loss of cultural heritage, economic dependence and environmental destruction, as well. Learning about these impacts has led to new trends in tourism. Responsible, nature-based or green tourism are parts of the alternative and sustainable tourism.

What is sustainable tourism?

Sustainable tourism is an industry which attempts to make a low impact on the environment and the local culture, while generating income and employment in the touristic region. It’s characterised by long-term planning and a generational awareness.

In 1977 the UN noticed the global problems and defined it as “a result of more hunger, economic disasters, environmental catastrophes and terrorism” for the first time in the Brandt Commission. In the Brundtland Commission in 1984 the term of sustainable development was mentioned the first time as “development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

It took some years before the UNWTO and the tourism industry answered to the new awareness of sustainability. The Agenda 21 for the Tourism and Travel Industry was published by the World Travel and Tourism Council, the UNWTO and the Earth Council in 1992. It defines the sustainable goals in tourism and identifies twelve guidelines for the sustainable tourism development and the UN’s idea of sustainable development is transferred into tourism.

According to the Agenda 21 the UNWTO gave a definition of sustainable tourism development and sustainable tourism:

“Sustainable tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future”

“Sustainable tourism is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems”.

Sustainable tourism development is not only about the ecological aspect, therefore the four principles of the sustainable tourism development are based on ecological, economical, cultural and social aspects. They have to be balanced, but it’s not always easy to achieve that. Especially the economical and the cultural aspect are not easy to combine. And the four principles can be interpreted by each region, so there are many different kinds of sustainable tourism.

The Ruggard Hay Hotel as an example for sustainable tourism

The Ruggard Hay Hotel is a good example for balancing the four principles of the sustainable tourism development.

The economical aspect

The economical aspect of the sustainable tourism development includes long-term planning, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders and supporting the host-region.

Family Kjær is not depending on the Hay Hotel. Christopher and Lisbeth have both full-time jobs and the Hotel would be like a “hobby” and a nice extra income. They are planning to earn at least DKK 60.000 per year.
But they aren’t doing it just for fun, it could be a family business over generations if business is going well.
From the economic view the Hay Hotel would be sustainable. Because by buying local products and sending the tourists to the cafés and shops of the region, Lisbeth and Christopher are supporting the local economy, even if they don’t plan to have employees.

The cultural aspect

In theory, the cultural aspect of the sustainable tourism development signifies to preserve the cultural heritage, the traditions and the regional values.

The Kjær family is going to host the tourists as parts of their family. They are planning to take the breakfast together and maybe to share the kitchen and the bathroom. The tourist will feel like family members and get to know the Danish culture. While the family guided horse or bike riding tours the tourist will be lead to typical and regional sights and places, like the nostalgic shop and café in Bindeballe.

In my opinion the cultural aspects of the sustainable tourism development are fulfilled as well.

The social aspect

The social principle is linked with the cultural aspect of the sustainable tourism development, often in literature are mentioned only three principles instead of four and the two are combined into the socio-cultural principle. The social aspect especially examines the respect for the local community and the corporation between the company, tourists and inhabitants.

As already mentioned, the tourists are getting in touch with the local community because of the family-guided tours and the corporations with the local facilities. And because of the small capacity (only two apartments and maybe the small “Hay Hotel”) of the Ruggard Hay Hotel there aren’t too many tourists at the same place the same time, so the residents don’t feel overtaxed by the tourists.

Above all the social aspect is a huge gain for Family Kjær. The daughters will learn a lot about other cultures and languages and the family will meet a lot of new people with the same interest – the Icelandic horses.

The social aspect of the sustainable tourism development is achieved too.

The ecological aspect

Preserving and conserving the environment of the touristic region is the main part of the ecological aspect. The visitors should try to understand and to respect the touristic regions environment and it should be affected as little as possible by the tourist’s activities. The local community should try to use the resources efficient and with deliberation.

The nature around the Ruggard Hay Hotel is very idyllic and quite beautiful. It’s the perfect surrounding for sustainable tourism. The family’s farm consists of 2 buildings and several barns, the places for the guest horses and the touristic apartments are already given. Maybe some new fences need to be build, these could be wooden fences.
Another chance for family Kjær to be “ecological” is the use of ecological products or even to grow a part of their food on their own. (But then the Ruggard Hay Hotel will become a full-time job.)
The fences, which still need to be build next to the rest areas could be consisting of wood too. Imaginable are new benches and tables at the rest areas, dustbins with the possibility to separate the waste could be installed there as well.
To preserve the nature around the Hay Hotel it’s very important the horse and bike riders stay on the tracks and roads. I’m sure that I don’t have to mention that for the family-guided tours. The family has to inform their guests to stay on the pre-set ways in case they are doing their tours alone. An investment into the sustainability of the Ruggard Hay Hotel could be solar cells to produce their own and “green” electricity. But this is nothing that has to be done initially, but it could be a long-term thought.

The ecological aspect is still in its infancy, because there are a lot of things to be done before starting a sustainable business in tourism. But the frame is already given and I’m optimistic that Family Kjær will be able to fulfil the ecological principle as well.


In my opinion all four principle are observed and already good balanced. But the ideas, especially for the ecological aspect, need to be put into practice. The Ruggard Hay Hotel is a very good example for a sustainable concept. As we know that the sustainable tourism development is a long-term process the Family could set up the Ruggard Hay Hotel and then start changing and invest their money into sustainable equipment.

Sustainable Tourism Development and the Ruggård Hay Hotel

Monday, October 27th, 2014

The planned Ruggård Hay Hotel is in a rural area in Denmark. It seems to be a good consideration if the Ruggård Hay Hotel acts in a sustainable manner. To explain the word “Sustainable” with all the meanings that are important for tourism one has to take a closer look at the definitions for sustainable tourism and sustainable tourism development.


“Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities” (UNWTO Definition, 2005)

This is how the UNWTO defines sustainable tourism. By this definition it is stated that sustainable tourism could be usefull not only for this generation but also for the following. Moreover, it could help the rural area, in which the Hay Hotel is located, to develop. However, the development of sustainable tourism can happen in all kind of tourism. Therefore, it is of no significance if the mass tourism or any kind of niche tourism is meant. Sustainable tourism development is a long-term method which intents to balance and establish the four dimensions: the ecological, the economical, the cultural and the social aspect. The balance between the environmental resources (between making ecological progress and conserving the natural heritage), to esteem the socio-cultural authenticity of the community and the cooperation of different stakeholders must be found.

Therefore, the Ruggård Hay Hotel of the Kjaer family should concentrate on the ecological, the economical, the cultural and the social aspect to build up the Bed&Breakfast regarding to sustainable tourism.

Ecological Aspect

The Ruggård Hay Hotel has to be environmentaly friendly and should try to produce not so many impacts on the environment. The ecological aspect is also one of the most important ones of the B&B because bringing the guests together with their horses in the natural environment of the area is the USP 0f the Ruggård Hay Hotel. It seems to be suitable that the Kjaer family can accomodate one family in the appartment and maybe six to eight people in the upper room. In that case the guests should be no environmentally problem. Ecological paper printed flyer or booklets could be used to indicate on how to behave ecological. By the guided tours the Kjaer family or other guides from the community could show the visitors places to see as well as ways there riding a horse is not allowed. Also putting up wooden stables would not harm the environment. The Kjaer family could take into consideration to have more farm animals as for example hens. On the one hand this would giving visitors a special landside feeling. On the other hand the Ruggård Hay Hotel would produce their own eggs and the guests could help to collect it.

Economical Aspect

The Kjaer family has set the goal of DKK60.000 as a Break-Even-Point. Although the economical aspect is not the main dimension of the Ruggård Hay Hotel it should kept in mind. The B&B should build up connections to the other stakeholders and surrounding shops, churches, etc to ask if they can give them a nice, ecological paper printed flyer of the Ruggård Hay Hotel to getting more well-known (so that the mouth-to-mouth advertisement could take place) as well as are seen by some tourists.

Social Aspect

The community is meaningful to the B&B. To some members of the community, for example the Bindeballe Cafe, already exist a good connection. It seems that more connections could be a good starting point. For example one connection to the local forester to offer some kind of natural feeling in the woods by collecting mushrooms to the guests. The mushrooms could then be eaten by the guests as a special happening and they are very ecological because they do not need to buy it, so they do not cause any pollution of the environment. If the Ruggård Hay Hotel has started and seems to go on very well, the Kjaer family could consider to have a few employees. In that case the community would even more be part of the B&B.

Cultural Aspect

The Kjaer family is open minded and very welcoming to guests. This gives the visitors a home-feeling. In this way they could share their culture and their values, but also, as they “live” with the guests, the visitors could share their tradition, culture and values. It is good that the Ruggård Hay Hotel is a little B&B, so that the guests could get a real feeling of the culture by being with the Kjaer family. It is a real USP that guests could not get by visiting large, big hotels.


The Kjaer family could build up the Ruggård Hay Hotel  with little efforts to a business model with sustainable tourism aspects that helps the whole community to develop. The four key dimensions should show how they can do that. They seemed to have already some ideas to build in the sustainable aspects in their B&B concept. Because sustainable tourism is already an important part in the tourism field, it is a good consideration.


Sustainable Tourism Development and the implementation at the Ruggard Hay Hotel

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Definition of Sustainable Tourism Development (STD)

Sustainable tourism development attempts to find a balance between these impacts (economic, environmental, social, and cultural) to create an improved quality of life for the host community and the destination.
The World Commission on Economic Development (WCED) describes sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. (http://www.tim.hawaii.edu/dl/Document%20Library%20%20TO%20490%20Additional%20Materials/TO490_section-4_sustainable-tourism.pdf)
Sustainable Tourism Development is a long-term process, without a general solution. It depends on different regions, and changes over time.

Implementing the 4 key principles to Ruggard Hay Hotel:

Economic Aspect

The economic impact is not the main reason for the Kjaer family to open up the B&B. They don’t rely that much on it, because Lisbeth and Christopher have both a full time job.  Running the B&B is just an additional small income by doing what they love. Earning additional 60.000DKK a year is not that much profit.
The money they would earn will stay in the region. The local shops, stores, cafés and so on will probably also benefit of the tourist from the B&B.

If either Lisbeth or Christopher would work only halftime to focus more on the B&B, they economic aspect would become more important.

Environmental Aspect

The USP of the Ruggard Hay Hotel is the beautiful landscape that the Hotel is surrounded by. Therefore, they should protect and sustain it. Keeping an eye on the different tracks to see if there is any trash left behind, would be an example for protecting the environment. Nevertheless, they should tell their tourist beforehand that these should protect the environment by taking their trash home, staying on the tracks, don’t waste water and electricity in the apartment/ room and so on.

Additionally, the family can also do something for the environment. For example, they could send the booking confirmation letter either by email or by using recycled paper and envelopes. Furthermore, they could offer to get some things from the grocery shop for their tourists or ask them if they would come with them to the store, so they would only use one car. Maybe the family can offer some regional food, like eggs, vegetables, fruits, that they have bought on other farms in the area to their tourists. Therefore, they may negotiate discounts with the farm owners.

Socio- Cultural Aspect

The members of Kjaer family are very friendly and welcoming hosts. I have got the impression that they are open to different cultures. One the one side, it would be a nice experience for the family and especially for the children to meet people from different cultures and to learn something about these cultures. On the other side, it would be also a great experience for the tourists to learn about the Danish culture and a typical family life, since they will spend their time on tours and during breakfast with the family.

To be sustainable also refers to get local people involved. The family showed us the nice café and the old-fashioned shop, where their tourist could have a break and drink a coffee.  Lisbeth and Christopher know the owners, so they may cooperate with them. To build up a social community with the local shop, café, restaurant owners is an aspect of sustainable tourism.


As sustainable tourism development is a long-term process, which is changing with the time, they should think about if they would like to implement it to their business model. In my opinion, they should first see if their business will run and implement the sustainable part later. Some of the aspects of sustainable tourism development are implemented anyway, like the cooperation with the locals and learning about/respecting different cultures.
The hotel has good pre-conditions to implement the aspect of sustainable tourism.

Sustainable Tourism Development and the B&B Hotel

Monday, October 27th, 2014

When we talk about the sustainable development of tourism, we have to define firstly what sustainable tourism is and what aspects it includes. According to UNWTO, the sustainable tourism is defined as: “Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities” (UNWTO, 2005). While the sustainable development is defined in the World Commission on Environment and Development Report in 1987 as the “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”


In the two definitions, we can conclude that the sustainable development of tourism is a long process that tries to keep a balance between the present and the future in the economic, social and environmental dimensions, meanwhile the needs of the present cannot be met with sacrifice the needs of the future generations. As a result, it is a goal that needs more than one generation for decades to archive. Moreover, it also requires the tourists to make effort for this goal.


To bring this theory into the practice of the Kjaer Family’s project and in order to make it successful also in the future, it also had better plan through the 3 impacts in the definition, social, economic and environment.

Economical Aspect

It concerns the growth of the business, efficient use of the labor, household needs and etc. Of course, the main goal of running a business is to gain the profit. However, in the context of sustainable tourism, the economical aspect has to compromise sometimes to other aspects in short-term, which is the base of developing a sustainable tourism.

For the case of the hay hotel, fortunately, Christopher and Lisbeth look their hotel as their dream rather than a business to make. Considering the size of the hotel, they don’t need to invest much money on the equipment that the hotel owns, but they should maybe think about how to fully use the their geographical condition to reduce the expenditure and develop some participations for the limited guests, for example, to use the wind or solar energy for heating system in winter, or to provide some extra charged service like shuttle from the hotel to LEGO land so that the private vehicle can be saved to produce the CO2 emission.


Social and Cultural Aspect

Social aspect concerns the connection to the local community and the local businesses; while the cultural aspect emphasize to show and preserve their own tradition, lifestyle and the family value.


So that the whole town get involved to the sustainable tourism development instead of the hotel self only. Besides, the local residents would not feel like their lifestyles get changed because of the invasion of the tourists. Meanwhile since the hotel provides limited equipment for the sleepover guests and sometimes they have to share with the host, the hotel can let the guest experience their family life and then show them the family value in the town and the connection to the nature.


Environmental Aspect

Since the hotel highlights their character in horse-riding tour and mountain bike tour, the condition of the local nature should be the first concern of the family Kjaer. Like mentioned before, investment such as solar energy equipment, is necessary to replace the heating system with coal or electricity. It may spend money, but considering the future generation, it will bring a long-term benefit. Meanwhile, they should design a proper way for horse and bike rider to preserve the forest and grass, for instance separate the preservation area from the walking way with fence. Moreover, some signs should be also made in the nature, such as no smoke signs and the signs of brining the waste back home.


To conclude, sustainable tourism is one of the possible modes that the Hay Hotel can take. It requires, however, the time and high involvement of the local community. Besides, the tourists should also be responsible for the tourism there. Where the Hay Hotel locates is a perfect place to let it happen, because of its beautiful landscape, the proper size of the town and the character of the hotel. With time, I believe, the hotel and the town will benefit from the sustainability of tourism.

Sustainable Tourism Development and its application to the Ruggård Hay Hotel

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Sustainable Tourism Development

Sustainable tourism development is a long-term process which aims to establish a balance between economic, ecological and socio-cultural aspects of tourism in order to address the needs of visitors and the host communities. This balance can be achieved through economic growth, strategic long-term planning of resources and corporation of different stakeholders. Sustainable tourism development cannot be standardized; it rather needs a regional approach tailored to the specific destination. Furthermore, it should be applied within and between generations.

When applying this principle of STD to Christopher’s and Lisbeth’s idea of opening a B&B specializing on horse tourism, one has to take into account the possible impacts on the economy, the environment and the socio-cultural life of the community.

Economic impacts

Tourism is a large industry and affects a destination’s economy greatly. Although Christopher and Lisbeth would have to gain a revenue, the main reason for opening the B&B is not a financial one. Concerning the economy, the B&B would probably not have a significant impact since a maximum of 8-10 people could stay in the attic plus one family in the apartment. Additionally, the money earned by the family would stay in the region and does not go back to large foreign hotel chains, which is often the case in regions where mass tourism is prominent. Furthermore, facilities close by might benefit from these tourists, e.g. Bindeballe station with the café and the shop and families who visit Legoland.

Environmental impacts

Another aspect to consider is the preservation of the environment. It is important to use resources efficiently and to protect the region’s biodiversity and the natural heritage.
Tourists staying at the B&B would have to bring their own horses or bikes to ride through the fields and experience nature. Due to the small number of tourists, the destruction of the environment would probably not be a key issue so that it can be preserved for tourists and especially for the host communities. Building up new fences made of wood would not harm the environment, either. Thus, the USP of the destination can be preserved as well.
Nevertheless, mountainbikers or people riding on their horses could pass through endangered areas or nature resveres and harm nature. Therefore, it should be pointed out to the tourists if there are any areas where it is not allowed to pass through. During guided tours led by Christopher, Lisbeth or their daughter, the tourists should get to know these areas. Furthermore, the tourists should be encouraged to save resources (e.g. water) and to take their waste with them in order to avoid the exploitation of resources and an increasing pollution of the environment.

Socio-cultural impact

Moreover, it is important to sustain the socio-cultural life of the community. In this case both the Kjær family and the tourists would benefit. The family is very open-minded and welcoming and knows how to make the tourists feel at home (e.g. by having breakfast together). They can pass on their culture, values and way of living and create a sense of belonging. Since the B&B is family-run, it is easier to fulfill the tourists’ needs and tailor their experience of nature to their wishes. Furthermore, the family and the tourists could exchange their experiences, e.g. regarding horseback riding.
Additionally, other local people would be part of the tourists’ experience, e.g. the people at Bindeballe.


In conclusion, the Kjær family should encourage the visitors to participate in protecting the socio-cultural life in the community and especially the environment since this is the destination’s USP. As mentioned before, there is no significant economic impact. If the tourists are taking part in striving towards sustainability, both the family and the tourists will benefit from their experience.


Sustainable Tourism Development and the Ruggård Hay Hotel – Regina Puig

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

I would like to mention the different definitions we need to know to understand everything first. Sustainable tourism development “meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future” (UWNTO, 2001). Then we can split this concept in sustainable development and sustainable tourism. Sustainable development is “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED, 1987: 43). Sustainable tourism “is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems” (UNWTO, 2001). Now I can define what sustainable tourism development is for me. Sustainable tourism development is, considering the present needs, objectives, and material objects, to develop a plan that guide the actions and decisions in order to have a better future without force future generations to take certain decisions.

Even though we always think about the ecological part of the sustainability, we cannot forget the economical sustainability. Every business need economical sustainability in order to equal or exceed their profit. Sometimes, ecological and economical sustainability can be at odds. Some ecological products are so expensive, and you have to choose other non-ecological substitutes. However, if you have this in mind and you economize other aspects of the daily routine, it’s not that hard to maintain both sustainability.

 The 4 Principles

Now I’m going to talk about the 4 principles of Sustainable Tourism Development and how they affect to The Ruggård Hay Hotel.

 – Economical. The goal of having profit of a business is obvious. In this case, we must pay attention to the other three principles. A good way to connect the economical and the ecological principles can be the use of some type of renewable energy. As there is not enough sun in Denmark, the use of some photovoltaic panels is useless. The collocation of some small wind turbines allows you to use the wind to create the extra electricity the guests will use in their apartments. I know it is a huge investment, but as it’s always windy, but between the ranges of wind strength, it can be recovered in no more than 5 years. It has an easy assembly and there are many second hand wind turbines in good use. If we have to talk about a link between the economic and the social principle, I would say to enhance the relation with the City Hall. Not only in order to ask for the improvement of the different picnic places, but for asking for different subsidies which can be helpful for the hotel.

 – Social. This principle is about community. It’s about how a family business affects a community. What we have to do to is to buy local products. This not only affects the social principle but the economic and most of the times the ecological principle. On one hand, local producers are more aware of the environmental impacts so they are more ecological than big producers are. On the other hand, as the Kjær family can go for themselves to the producers, they may pay less for the products and they contaminate less too. Here we must talk about the key partners. In the previous post, we talk about the Bindeballe Købmandsgård and Station, a place to rest and have a good cup of coffee and some cake. Although the station needs some improvements, this connection helps to the growth of this feeling of community.

 – Cultural. This principle is bounded with the social. Every society has its own culture. In this aspect, I can only think in the past, when farmers used everything of the animals they had. Even the most insignificant part of the animal or the most disgusting part was useful. Nowadays, we can use this thinking and use everything in order to generate bio fuel, and use it later for the heating or the hot water. However, we cannot forget the experience the guests are having. By almost living with the family, they can learn more about the culture of the town and how the family lives.

 – Ecological. This is the main principle to be aware of. If we are thinking in the sustainability, we need to be environmentally friendly and produce the least impacts possible. For that reason, one of the most important and easy action we can do is recycle. Is easy to do, easy to learn and easy to teach to the guests. Another way of being ecological is to buy ecological products. Maybe they are more expensive than non-ecological products, but you contribute with little ecological producers, and maybe the Kjær family can also reach an agreement with these producers and have a better prize. Moreover, the organized excursions by bike or horse in the fields are not contaminating at all. The only thing you need to be aware of is the garbage produced in the meal stops, but this can be not a big problem if everybody is vigilant of their waste.

To sum up, I would like to say that although sometimes is difficult to maintain a sustainable tourism development and, as a result, a sustainable life, it’s not impossible to apply all this principles and have it in mind when starting the hotel project.

Sustainable tourism development and the implementation at the B&B

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

To begin with, we must outline the concept of sustainable tourism development on the whole. It is never easy to define utterly a concept whatever it is to analyse in depth a situation, in this case we are going to talk about a concept which is either related with sustainability or other tourism branches such as ecotourism or natural tourism. As a consequence, we have to consider the main bifurcation between these derivatives surrounding tourism and sustainability. A sustainable development is seen as “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED, 1987: 43). It has to do with the needs thus, at least that is what it seems according to the World Commission on Environment and Development. Despite this, I am going to offer my perspective about the concept as well as I will focus on examples to contras the 4 key principles concerning the implementation at the B&B.

Personally, part of the concept is proper regarding the definition the WCED we just have seen. I would emphasise other terms which do not appear in that definition and for that reason I wanted to use it as example, I believe they are right but sustainable tourism development means something more than taking into account the needs of the generations throughout the time. From my point of view, sustainable tourism development lies on the understanding of the natural environment / sustainability keeping in mind the needs or responsibilities to protect it. When the tourism is developed, I think every generation has to consider these responsibilities as a duty either to accomplish them or not to compromise the ones of the next generations. Actually, I strongly believe it has to do not only with the need of preserving a regional area / destination but also with the world itself. It is a matter of everyone in order that it involves more than a simple generation.

Other than that, it is a topic we need to specify according to the field we have to focus this topic on. A tourist destination like Denmark has a huge difference in contrast to other ones, the coastal region of Costa Brava (Catalonia) or a well-known destination for loads of tourists like Benidorm or Tenerife (Spain) which are radical examples of mass-tourism (especially the second one). As a rule, this difference helps us to understand the level of management concerning the resources for instance. Each area has developed the tourism activity in a different way whereas the way they did was with a sustainable success (or not), not every destination carries out properly a sustainable tourism development overall. That is why, as a result, we have to take into account these needs and responsibilities more than a simple duty when protecting what belongs to the destination itself.

Then again, we can start emphasising the importance on the ways we can apply this sustainable development. Several factors or fields are involved when the tourism activity is growing in a destination: economic, ecological, social and cultural. As we have discussed in class, we cannot have an excellent sustainable development optimising these 4 key principles without refusing one (or two) of them at first. There will always be one of them which will represent a shortage taking care of the others; we have to find a balance in order not to decline the destination itself therefore. Regarding the implementation at the B&B, the sustainable tourism development would be an achievable goal. It is important to invest more on the economic as well as the ecological pillars in this case; it is the main insight I have as well as I think it is the best way to reach a goal like sustainable development. To sum up, we could visualise these key principles in the following example:

Figure 1: Radial graphic of the 4 key principles applied at the B&B

Despite all, businesses always want to boost tourism from an economic perspective without taking care of the rest (e.g. the ecologic principle). The case of the B&B can prioritise the ecological principle considering the economic one as well. What about the social and cultural perspectives? Is it possible to develop a sustainable tourism in every way (=with a balance between the 4 principles developed as maximum as possible)? Even so, the case of the implementation at the B&B does not mean taking into account these points unless we want to focus some activities related with the B&B on these fields (e.g. bringing some of the activities on the urban area or around the periphery). Otherwise, we would be talking about some other destinations or cities whose tourism is more based on the contact between the host communities and its culture. For instance, the case of the B&B (a nature tourism product) could promote its sustainability through:

  • The use of biodiesel instead of fuel (taking into account the van of Christopher)
  • Solar lamps
  • Biodegradable material / Recycled objects
  • The use of LED lights overall
  • Whatever of the other sources of renewable energies
  • Photovoltaic plates (in a long-term future)

Figure 1: Major participants in tourism development and their shared goals and opportunities for social, natural resource, and economic sustainability. Source: Based on Horochowski and Moisey (1999)¹

As a rule, the idea I was talking about before is described partly in the above-mentioned figure. This figure shows us how we can combine just some of them according the common goal concerning each case; the case of the B&B would be the combination which produces nature tourism. Subsequently, we can also see other possible combinations but that depends on the case (regarding to the social and cultural principles). Nonetheless, I would like to emphasise that reaching that concept of nature tourism (≃sustainable development) is possible. In spite of the explanation, the only thing I disagree is that accomplishing the idea of nature tourism would already be considered as sustainable tourism. At least it should be enough in order to reach the concept of sustainability we are asked for concerning the case of the B&B.

To conclude, I define thus sustainable tourism development as the way the tourism is developed in a destination understanding the needs of the generations in order to preserve the environment. Not every destination has had the same success whereas others had to make a decision regarding the 4 key principles; an excellent tourism development never lies on making efforts just on the economic principle for the businesses, more factors / principles are involved. Moreover, the implementation at the B&B reflects finding the balance between the perspectives that matter the most. The initial environment establishes the conditions to keep in mind in order that social or cultural principles are not relevant enough for the development; any natural area requires taking care to carry out an ecological development. Obviously, it must be combined with the economical principle some way seen the desired revenue of the B&B. Therefore, I strongly believe these are the main premises to guarantee the sustainability of this future tourism area.

¹: Extracted from McCool, Stephen F; Moisey, R. Neil; Nickerson, Norma P. (2001). What should tourism sustain? The Disconnect with Industry Perceptions of Useful Indicators. Journal of Travel Research.

Sustainbale Development and its implementation at the Ruggard Hay Hotel

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Nature, animals or preservation of the landscape are terms often considered when thinking about the keyword of sustainable tourism. In contrast, sustainable tourism comprises more than just the ecological factor of tourism. It also reveals economic, social and cultural factors. In analyzing sustainable tourism it is inevitable to consider sustainable tourism development as another major challenge in tourism development. In understanding sustainable tourism development it might not be neglected that it is a long-term process which, according to the Liburd (2007), “[…] meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future”. When considering the 4 key principles mentioned above, it could soon get clear that reaching all four goals at the same extent and time is nearly impossible, so sustainable tourism development might be defined as a kind of “illusion”. Therefore, it is important to try to balance the goals in a way that best meets the needs of tourists and locals. Considering the definition of sustainable tourism, it gets quickly clear that this definition is widely seen as the specific goal to be sustainable in a tourist destination whereas this specific goal cannot be reached so sustainable tourism development is used as a kind of tool to come closer to the goal.

Transferring the term of sustainable tourism to the case of the Ruggard Hay Hotel, one might believe that implementing the four key principles in such a small enterprise isn’t a difficult aim, but does the size of a company really determine about its sustainable appearance? I would argue in the directly opposite way to say that sustainable tourism might be more likely realizable in bigger companies as they can provide higher investment volumes to sustain the four key principles more effectively.

But apart from the fact of the company’s size, Christopher and Lisbeth seem to have a good basis for appropriate sustainable tourism with their business model. On the ecological part, offering tours with horses through the local nature does not harm the environment because most of the needed infrastructure already exists. Building up fences made of natural wood for the horses or use the existing ones will not destroy the local flora and fauna other than using materials that can be threatening for the nature.

Furthermore, on the cultural/economic part, it could benefit other local businesses like the Bindeballe Station with the café and ancient shop next-door and can also enhance the communal economy. Furthermore, Christopher and Lisbeth would also like to welcome international guests to their B&B, who can show locals certain cultural customs and help them become more open and understanding towards other cultures. This assumption could also be vice versa, meaning that local inhabitants can show their culture to international guests. Looking at their predicted annual turnover of DKK 60.000 it cannot be said yet if they will act economically sustainable for their own business in the future so it is more likely a matter of time to see if sustainability on the economic side can be enhanced or does not need to be improved.

On a social basis, the kids should also be involved in business matter even if only to a certain extent. As the children are passionate about accompanying guests through the local environment with their horses and giving them a broader impression of a family business, it is also important to keep the future business situation in mind. To be able to be socially sustainable on a long-term basis the kids have to be involved as they are the ones who will run the business at some time. For guests, the area offers a wonderful social environment, where guests, as I already mentioned above, could meet locals or other guests either at the Hay Hotel or other surrounding places, like Bindeballe station which enhances sustainable performance.

To sum up, it can be said that Christopher and Lisbeth seem to have a good basis for sustainable performance but they need to be aware that sustainability has to be assured for the entire local environment and not only for their own business and that they have to act sustainably on a long-term basis to assure proper management for the future. If acting sustainably is an important issue to think about right now is a different thing. More likely, they should first of all start-up their business successfully and think about implementing sustainability to their business at a later time. From my point of view, sustainable performance is a thing that will drive automatically with time.

In which way does the concept of sustainable tourism development offer possibilities for the Ruggard Hay Hotel?

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

According to the World of Commission of the Environment and Development (WCED) sustainable development is “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. “Sustainable development is approached through economic growth, effective international cooperation, strategic long-term planning and maintenance of the resource and productivity base beyond narrow institutional and national concerns”.
Furthermore, according to the UNWTO in 2001, “Sustainable tourism is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems”.
So summing up we can say that sustainable development is a process, based on cultural, ecological, social and economic aspects, which should be recognized in a balanced way. This process is not only geared to the needs of the present generation but to a lot of future geneartions. It is a process which is supposed to face new challenges and to adapt new trends.

But in which way does the concept of sustainable tourism development offer possibilities for the Ruggard Hay Hotel?

Facing the cultural aspect we can say that the Kjaer Family absolutely achieve it. The guests of the family live in furnished apartments and are allowed to use the family’s kitchen. In this way the guests see how a Danish family lives, maybe how and what they cook. Futhermore, the Kjaer Family wants to have a close relationship to their guests. They can tell them about their daily grind, Danish customs and traditions. Also the family offers guided horse trips, so the guests will also get to know the Danish culture outside of a Danish household. The guests will see the nature and the little places the family has already shown us, where they mostly meet locals and so can get in touch with the culture.

Refering to the ecological aspect there is no problem for the Kjaer Family, either.  The Ruggard Hay Hotel focuses on horse riders. Since the guests are supposed to bring their own horses, they never have a very long way to get to the hotel. None of the guests will travel by plane. During their stay, the guests want to explore the surrounding by riding their horses. There are a lot of trails, not made for cars, and in some parts the nature is untouched. No matter in which way the Ruggard Hay Hotel will develop, the Kjaer Family will never have a problem with mass tourism or with tourists who don’t appreciate nature.

The Kjaer Family offers only two apartments. Therefore, they will never have a lot of guests and the locals will never feel like there are a lot of strangers in town. – Contrariwise: Both the tourists and the locals can avail oneself of each other. The Kjaer Family cooperates with the local shop owners by telling or showing their guests those shops. For the time of the guests’ stay the shop owners have some new clients and also meet some new people – which is maybe a benefit for them because living in such a small town and seeing the same faces all the time might be boring. As already mentioned the Kjaer Family offers only two apartments so some new people in town will be a benefit and never an overwhelming mount of people. Meeting the shop owners (and other locals in that little café we met and so on) is also a good thing for the guests and getting to know their culture. So, refering to the locals and the family itself, shows, that the Ruggard Hay Hotel also fulfills this aspect of sustainable tourism development.

The last aspect is the economic aspect – which -in this case- is not imortant since the family’s goal is not making a lot of money or raising a huge business. The Ruggard Hay Hotel is a family business and therefore it will never develop into a hotel chain, which could never exploit employees, guests or locals in some way.

In summary we can say that the Ruggard Hay Hotel is the perfect example for sustainable tourism development. Neither in the social or cultural aspect nor in the economic and ecological aspect I can find any barriers the family needs to change. They should absolutely stay with their concept of a family business and also keep their attitude about getting in touch with their guests (which offers the possibility to find out about their guests’ needs).

Sustainable Tourism Development and the Ruggård Hay Hotel

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Sustainable tourism development can be seen as a long term process in which the four principles have to be balanced. The four principles are the cultural, social, ecological and economic aspects. In practice, it is very difficult to balance these principles because every tourism industry or even every country or society differs from one another. Every region has for example different opinions about what quality of life is. Not only because of the different values of different regions the balancing of the four principles becomes challenging, it is also due to the differences within them. Sometimes the economic and the cultural aspect are not compatible or do not have the same aim. This is why sustainable tourism can also be seen as compromising between these principles in order to find the best solution for a specific company or region. Consequently, we could also say that there is not only one kind of sustainable tourism, but there are several, it just depends on the interpretation of these four key principles.

In order to show how this might look like for the Ruggård Hay Hotel, I would also like to refer to these principles. First, it should be said that in their case, the economic is not as important as the ecological, the social and cultural one. This is due to their full time jobs they still have. From an economic perspective, they do not depend so much on the success of the B&B and as they the mentioned, want to open the B&B to share their passion because they love what they are doing and want to make sure that their guests have a fantastic holiday. This is already a very important part of sustainability and a family company; doing good to others.

The ecological aspect might be the most important one since the natural environment and spending time outside is what the whole stay at the Hay Hotel is all about. By opening a B&B at the countryside and providing horse-back riding tours, as well as offering an accommodation for mountain bikers, they contribute to preserve the natural environment and try to catch people´s interests so that in general more attention is paid to the area, not only by the tourists themselves but also by the municipality.

Another important aspect of sustainable tourism development for the Ruggård Hay Hotel is the social aspect. As they have the opportunity to build up a network and to cooperate with for example the small shop where the guests could take a break with their horses, they also contribute to the local community, not only socially but also economically. The local community could benefit from the contact with the tourists, as long as they want the contact. The last principle is about the cultural aspect of sustainable tourism development. Since they want close contact to their guests, they have the opportunity to show them for example some typical Danish food, but have also the chance to get to know new cultures, so that not only the tourists benefit from the cultural exchange but also the family. This aspect might be the main reason for setting up the B&B and brings us back to the beginning when mentioning the aspect of “loving what they are doing”. Since the B&B could be set up as a family company, their two girls would also benefit from the cultural and social exchange between their guests and themselves as well as learn the “surface values” and also the “hidden values” mentioned in class.

All in all, the advantage of a small family company is that it is much easier to handle in terms of sustainability and that they ensure that the quality of lives of themselves, as well as for their guests will be improved. I think that it is possible to include sustainable aspects in the Hay Hotel, it just depends on the family to which extent they want it.


Reflection on the concept of sustainable tourism development and the opportunities this may pose for the B&B

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Sustainable tourism development

First I would like to define sustainable tourism development. Sustainable tourism is travelling with the aspect to sustain resources for the future generations. Besides sustainable tourism development is composed of economic, ecological, social and cultural sustainability. These four parts are influencing each other and stick together.  Thus sustainable tourism needs the involvement of the local people and a broader understanding for the nature and the culture. The development of sustainable tourism is a long term process, with no general approach to it, it differs between different regions.


The economic aspect

The Kjaer Family mentioned that they only want to earn DKK 60.000 per year, this fact shows that they don’t want to start running a hotel for economic reasons. The passion for the Icelandic horses is the main occasion to start the hay hotel. The hay hotel would be sustainable in economical reason because the money they earn with it, would stay completely in the region and don’t flow to investors in other countries. The cooperation to the local shops guarantees that the tourists spend there money in these shops during there trips, in turn the money stays in the region again.


The ecological aspect

In ecological manner sustainable tourism development means not to waste natural recourses and sustain it for the next generations. Nature doesn’t have to be destroyed for start running the hay hotel, because the entire infrastructure is already given. One improvement they probably have to make is to modernize the heating system into one with renewalble energy.  Through their trips with the horses or bikes in the nature, the nature also won’t be destroyed. To build up fences for the horses on the road, they could use natural resources like wooden fences.


The social aspect

Now I would like to point out the social sustainable tourism development. As I already mentioned before, through cooperation with the shops in the region, they already want to consider the involvement of the local people, which is a component of sustainable tourism development. Due to that the local people and the tourists get in touch with each other, which is an advantage for both of them. The local people get to know the tourists and don’t see them as “the foreign strangers”, this contribute to a better understanding for having the new tourists in the area. The tourists meet more of the local people, in turn they get in touch with the culture.


The cultural aspect

The concept of the hay hotel shows that there are possibilities to consider the cultural aspect of sustainable tourism development. The offered guided horse or bike tours, will be guided by the two girls of the family, because of this the tourists will get close contact to the Kjaer Family. Therefore they will get to know the real culture of this region and not the staged culture as in most hotels. Furthermore the possibility to sleep directly in the nature, during their trips, leads to a better understanding of the culture. The fact that they only can host less people guarantee that the Kjaer Family has time for each of there guest, which lead to a great cultural experience for the tourists.



If they want start running the hay hotel with the already given infrastructure and they realize there idea of the hotel for Icelandic horse riders, it would be possible to integrate the sustainable tourism aspect in the business model with little efforts for them. As I can see it, they already have a deep understanding for sustainability and they seem that they already consider some aspects of it in there imagination of there B&B. Sustainable tourism is about to become a big trend in the future tourism, so this would be one advantage for them to gain tourists. I assume that Icelandic horse riders have a great understanding for the nature and sustainability in general as well, which they want to follow-up through there holidays.

Is sustainability an issue for the Ruggård Hay Hotel?

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

“Sustainable tourism (ST) is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems” (UNWTO, 2001). According to this definition, sustainable tourism consists of cultural, ecological, social and economic factors. The goal is to handle all these aspects on an equal level, but as this is quite impossible, compromises have to be made.

Relating to Sustainable Tourism is Sustainable Tourism Development (STD). STD aims at “meeting the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future.” STD is a continuing process which includes different issues depending on where it is applied. It also has to be adjusted with the time, as the people’s and destination’s needs change constantly.

But how can ST and STD be applied for the Ruggård Hay Hotel?
The Ruggård Hay Hotel has several possibilities to implement the four factors of sustainable tourism.
Ecological Aspects: This especially includes the unique nature by which the future hotel is surrounded. As the nature will be part of their business, the Kjaer family has to preserve it. Offering the horse or bike tours without such a nature would not create the same experience for the tourists. By setting up trash bins along the trails, they can make sure that the nature stays clean. Alternatively, they could just ask the guests to take their trash with them, until they come back or find a trash bin. A cooperation with the nature school could help to make the guests aware of the nature and how they can contribute to its preservation. Nevertheless, there will be negative impacts on the environment: There will be a higher use of electricity and water and also an increasing amount of waste. But offering homemade marmalade in glasses, for example, could already reduce waste.

Economic aspects: This is not the most important aspect for the Kjaer family. Surely, they do not want to create debts with their business, but making profit is not the number one aim for them. It is more about making a dream come true. They could probably think about this aspects a little bit more, as soon as they get there business running and are able to reach the break-even-point that they are aiming it.

Social Aspects: The Kjaer family wants to cooperate with local businesses. This is an important part of the social aspect. By this they contribute to maintain the local economy and create exchange between the guests and the host community. However, setting up this business does not only create positive effects within the host community. It has to be considered that existing hotels/B&B/etc. may see the new business as a competing accommodation. But not only external social aspects are important, but also the social part within the family. Everyone should be included in this project and should get the opportunity to present his/her opinion freely.

Cultural Aspects: The cultural sustainability is probably the part that will be most likely realized. The Kjaer family wants to welcome the tourists as a part of their family, showing them their life and culture. The guests will automatically get in contact with local people and learn about the local culture. Additionally, the guests will also bring parts of their culture to the host community. By this, cultural exchange can be created. Here it is very important that both sides are open-minded and want to learn about each other’s culture.

There are surely aspects of sustainable tourism (development) that can be implemented in the business of the Kjaer family. The question is just whether it should be a focus from the beginning on or whether it could be implemented later. I think that some of the aspects, especially the cultural ones, will come on their own without focusing on them. It is just part of running a family business. The family has to be aware that such a strategy is not easily maintained and has to be implemented as a continuing process.

Sustainable Tourism and the Hay Hotel

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Definition of Sustainable Tourism Development (STD)

According to the UNWTO, “sustainable tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future”. To reach this, sustainable development guidelines and management practices for all kinds of tourism businesses including mass and niche tourism were established. The STD guidelines describe a holistic approach that tries to find a balance between the different impacts of tourism in order to improve the quality of life of locals and tourists. These impacts or principles include economic, ecological, cultural and social aspects. Since it is almost impossible to reach the goals of all principles at the same time, compromises are necessary.
Furthermore, STD is a long-term process because our environment is constantly changing. Therefore, it is not only important to think within and between generations but also to rethink current measures and make adaption to these changes all the time. Consequently, it is an almost unattainable goal.
This unattainability is also reflected in the involvement of tourism stakeholders. On the one hand, STD seeks to involve all stakeholders equally but on the other hand different stakeholders have different and even competing aims so that STD cannot fulfil all goals to an equal extent. Again, it is necessary to make compromises.
Finally, the STD approach differs from region to region and from culture to culture simply because there is no standard solution or one size fits all-approach.

Hay Hotel: How could they implement STD? Are there any risks?

The best way to explain how Lisbeth and Christopher could implement the STD approach is to go through the four main principles: ecological, economic, social and cultural aspects.

The ecological principle assures to make optimal use of environmental resources, while at the same time conserving natural heritage and biodiversity. Provided with the unique and beautiful landscape, they face an optimal starting point to follow this principle. As they own quite a big amount of land they would definitely need to take care of it advisedly.  In order to keep it clean, they could place bins around the trails and on the farm as well as they could set up wooden fences in the riding area. These fences are not only good for the horse riders to leave their horses safely but also for the protection of the landscape as it would also keep other tourists (like bikers) from leaving the official trails. Another suggestion is to set up a henhouse. As they already have quite a few farm animals, they could enrich the given biodiversity in this way and could also provide fresh eggs to their tourists. Furthermore, the given accommodation opportunities only allow smaller numbers of tourists which will in general be better for the nature than a big hotel. Next to actively preserving the nature, the family could also implement the ecological principle by telling their tourists about the unique nature and biodiversity during their stay or riding tours and thus promote their natural heritage as their USP. Nevertheless, also some negative effects could arise. These include an increased water and electricity consumption, increased litter as well as destruction of nature and natural fauna through mountain bikers.

The second principle is the economic one. This aspect includes long-term economic operations that provide incoming-earning, stable employment and other benefits for all stakeholders in the community. As Lisbeth and Christopher told us, this principle is definitely not the most important one to them. Since they love what they do and dream of an own family business, they do not primarily look for profit. Nevertheless, they calculated a break-even point at DKK 60.000/ year which means that they obviously do not want to run into debt. It is probably too difficult to implement a long-term strategy at this stage but if the business is successful, they may even be able to not only quit their full-time jobs but also to employ two or three people and thus create welfare to the community.

Next, there are the social aspects. Among other things, STD follows the principle to respect and support the authenticity and success of host communities. For this, the Hay Hotel definitely needs to link themselves to other local stores or facilities. As mentioned in my second Innotour entry, the family could try to work together with the local shop at Binneballe by placing vouchers, flyers or other advertisements as well as with local guides for the horse riding tours. Another possible implementation of the social principle of STD would be to tread all family members equally and give everyone a voice to speak up. For instance, the two children should be able to openly say if they might do not want to help with the tour guides and why. If this aspect was not considered, conflicts within the family could arise. Moreover, it is likely that there will be a competitive situation between the family and other local accommodations which could lead to tensions.

Lastly, the cultural principle of STD ensures to conserve the cultural heritage, traditions, values and norms as well as to contribute to the intercultural understanding and tolerance. I think that the family can address this principle as their strongest part. They should definitely promote the B&B as a family business and use their welcoming family culture as an attractor and USP. The entire family shows a lot of empathy and would probably welcome the tourists as their guests (and not tourists) and thus making them feel home right away. Christopher and Lisbeth could also show their really personal involvement by sharing their traditions and culture through different activities they could offer. For instance, they could actively involve tourists on their small farm by letting them help with the horses or preparing the hay, offer them traditional food or teach non-Danish speaking tourists some Danish. In return, they would get to know other cultures as well when talking and interacting with their guests. However, an increased number of tourists could also bear a change in or even loss of their own unique culture.

To end, the family would probably find their own balance regarding the implementation of STD as they are more likely to bear in mind the cultural and ecological aspects than the economic ones. Consequently, they should try to promote the natural and cultural principles as their USP. Nevertheless, it is also important to consider how the family itself sees their Hay Hotel in terms of a sustainable business.

Sources: own ideas, lecture, UNWTO

Sustainable Tourism as an aspect for the Ruggard „Hay hotel“, Carina Legl, 21 Oct 2014

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Sustainable Tourism as an aspect for the B&B in Rugard

“Sustainable Tourism Development meets the needs of present tourists, host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. It is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems. Sustainable tourism products are products which are operated in harmony with the local environment, community and cultures so that these become the beneficiaries not the victims of tourism development (Liburd, 21.10.2014). ”

Therefore, Sustainable Tourism involves social responsibility, a strong commitment to nature and to the ecosystem, and the integration of local people. Considering these aspects of sustainable tourism as an implementation on the business model of the “Ruggard B&B”, the following points came up:

  • Ecological, social and cultural sustainability in the context of the Ruggard B&B
  • “Experience economy” as part of sustainable tourism, specific on the ecological and cultural/social principle
  • Culture as a resource to generate economic opportunities as well as a reinforce of positive feelings of belonging, identity, professional pride, collaboration and mutual respect
  • Encounters between visiting tourists, local residents and hosts
  • The Role in sustainable tourism of the owners of the hay hotel in Ruggard
  • Sustainable balance between the 4 key principles, ecological, economic, social and cultural and therefore, sustainable tourism as a possible driver for tourism

Ecological, social and cultural sustainability in the context of the Ruggard B&B, Culture as a resource to generate economic opportunities as well as a reinforce of positive feelings of belonging, identity, professional pride, collaboration and mutual respect, as well as the aspect of the “Experience economy” as part of sustainable tourism, specific on the ecological and cultural/social principle

“Rather than regarding socio-cultural and environmental objectives as operating costs, a sustainable tourism enterprise seeks opportunities for profit in achieving these goals to the benefit of the environment, communities and stakeholders through inter-generational collaboration and democratic equity (Liburd, 2007).”

Regarding to this the “unique” landscape as mentioned by Christopher and LIsbeth, where they live and ride on horseback, should be preserved for the future. Taking this aspect as part of their USP in consideration to sustainable tourism, which would allow a small number of guests to ride (on horse or bicycle) through this environment, wouldn’t possibly harm the nature. Clearly, the size of their business model, which would be either offering the apartment for guests (in the future) or offering the attic for sleep-over guests, would fit only a small number of guests up to approx. 8-10 persons/day. Therefore, preserving the nature not only for the locals but also for the tourists, would be a mutual beneficial aspect on sustainability. Build up fences for the horses won’t harm the nature, since they easily could be build up from wood or other natural resources, which could be easily disposed later on. Teaching guests about their heritage and culture, and including them, will be a starting point in protecting the principles of ecological, social and cultural.

Another viewpoint would be the impact of tourism on the culture at Ruggard and their surrounding areas. Again, as mentioned before, since the Hay hotel would approx. have 8-10 guests/day – this might be considered as a less impact on the cultural principle of sustainability. Even though culture might change over time, it would also bring positive aspects with it. Children, the Generation Z, also the Generation Y and X would have contact not only with guests from domestic, but also from international markets. This could bring learning effects on how things could be done effectively and efficiently, specific on how to preserve the nature. In addition to that, exchange language, culture and food, as well as preserving historical sites, would be beneficial for the guests as well as for the local people, since the tourist will bring money (economic principle) into the area. This might lead to job growth, better life, infrastructure, health care, etc. Its well known, that areas with a “pull” effect will have prosperous effects, eg. young people will stay in this area, because of job opportunities and social opportunities, therefore, businesses will stay and health care and infrastructure will be provided.

Although Christopher and Lisbeth business model of a small hay hotel won’t bring in a considerable economic affect, but still it might provide business for eg. transportation to and from Legoland resort or stores, which would provide equipment for fishing, cycling or riding horses.

Furthermore, concerning to the “Experience economy”, Christopher and Lisbeth might consider the active participation of their guests. This might provide the possibility that the guests might see themselves as part of the local area and therefore would try to protect it – the nature and the culture. In addition to that, guests as being part of the community would continue to come again to this area – since it might be the “second” home.

Encounters between visiting tourists, local residents and hosts

Not only would guests stay at Ruggard B&B and be part of Christopher’s and Lisbeth’s family (enjoying breakfast, dinner together), Christopher and Lisbeth would also offer guided tours, which they thought could be done by their children. This connects their family with the tourist even deeper, than just offering a sleep-over option. Furthermore, other businesses and sites in the region will profit from that particular kind of tourism. Along the track of the horse riding tours, guests will be able to make a stopover at certain places. For example the Bindeballe station with its railway station and antique cottage, offers not only sleep-overs in the cottage, but also provide goods, specific local goods (benefit the ecological and economic principle) as well as place for having a break with coffee and cake. This encounter between locals and guests is already working and seen as positive by the community and their guests.

The Role in sustainable tourism of Christopher and Lisbeth

Even though Christopher and Lisbeth announced a break-even point at DKK60.000/year, their motive of opening up a B&B in Ruggard isn’t the economic aspect. They want to share their culture and environment with guests, which they see as a part of family. In talking to local business owners, neighbours and other locals, they involve them into their business, which affects the social principle of sustainability. Apart from that, I got the impression, that the landscape is very important to them, therefore I am sure, they might do everything to protect it.

Sustainable tourism as a possible driver for tourism

Overall, sustainable tourism could be a positive driver for tourism. As seen in the Small Danish hotels, the community might better work together. Christopher and Lisbeth might consider to be part of that community as well.

Monday, September 29th, 2014

In the beautiful landscape of Veijle Adal the Kjaer family owns a farm and plans to realize their dream of their own Bed & Breakfast Hotel, called “Ruggård Hay Hotel”, with focus on Icelandic horse riders.


The impressive and welcoming stud farm of the Kjaer family.

The impressive and welcoming stud farm of the Kjaer family.

The nature potential of the B&B concept

The landscape of Veijle Adal offers a big variety of forests, meadows, fields and rivers, that is perfectly qualified for the intended active and nature tourism.  Rides with Icelandic horses, mountainbike tours or by way of variation kayak tours, make various types of nature explaration, sport, fun, recovery…  the whole year possible.  Barbecue & picnic areas, little cafes with nostalgic charme… top this holiday concept off. Furthermore the efforts of the Kjaer family to cooperate with the local resident firms and to accommodate the horses temporally during the breaks on little areas, augur restful and relaxing short or day trips.

A part of the landscape.

The nostalgic café.

The nostalgic café/ shop.

The accommodation potential of the B&B concept

First and foremost the farm owns a big barn, that guarantees the accommodation of the Islandic horses of the target group. One of the possibilities to accommodate the riders  is an apartment for up to 4-5 people. The tiled apartment (hygienic and easy to clean) is fully furnished and offers an own kitchen and bathroom for the holiday guests. The terrace at the back of the house enables snug evenings with direct view on the paddock and the meadows. The apartment is perfectly suitable for families with children or companioned couples who want to organize their days independently and autonomously.  The variety of animals (horses, cats, dogs, rabbits, peacocks, chickens, cows…) offers besides leisure time facilities for young and old.

The second accommodation is a big attic which doesn`t dispose of sanitary equipment. It is possible to host here another target group with a lower payment power. Up to 8 -10 people can sleep in this room and use/ share the bathroom and breakfast / catering offer in the outbuilding. An investment in a basic furniture (bed, pillow, blanket, lamps…) is here necessary.  The charme of the cottage kitchen, the little windows, the very friendly, heartfelt and open-minded family is here a further advantage und produces a familiar comfort zone.

The welcoming cottage kitchen with view on the paddock.


Potential revenues

A point to discuss/ to think about is the fulltime job of the owners. I think that the performance of the activities (organizing, cleaning apartments, making breakfast, planning the guided trips…) utilises so much time, that it is only possible if one of them works in a half-time employment. The earnings of the renting should contain the disappeared part of the monthly income and enable the target revenue of 60000 DKK per year.

( complete abstract occupancy and revenues )

Apartment 1 (flat):

750 DKK per night  x  200 days per year =  150000 DKK

Apartment 2 (with breakfast included):

230 DKK per night  x  circa 4 persons  x  100 days per year=  92000 DKK


So I think that the dream of the Kjaer family is realisble and I wish them success!

Ruggård Hay Hotel

Monday, September 29th, 2014

In the beautiful landscape of Veijle Adal the Kjaer family owns a farm and plans to realize their dream of their own Bed & Breakfast Hotel, called “Ruggård Hay Hotel”, with focus on Icelandic horse riders.


The impressive and welcoming stud farm of the Kjaer family.

The impressive and welcoming stud farm of the Kjaer family.

The nature potential of the B&B concept

The landscape of Veijle Adal offers a big variety of forests, meadows, fields and rivers, that is perfectly qualified for the intended active and nature tourism.  Rides with Icelandic horses, mountainbike tours or by way of variation kayak tours, make various types of nature explaration, sport, fun, recovery…  the whole year possible.  Barbecue & picnic areas, little cafes with nostalgic charme… top this holiday concept off. Furthermore the efforts of the Kjaer family to cooperate with the local resident firms and to accommodate the horses temporally during the breaks on little areas, augur restful and relaxing short or day trips.

A part of the landscape.

The nostalgic café.

The nostalgic café/ shop.

The accommodation potential of the B&B concept

First and foremost the farm owns a big barn, that guarantees the accommodation of the Islandic horses of the target group. One of the possibilities to accommodate the riders  is an apartment for up to 4-5 people. The tiled apartment (hygienic and easy to clean) is fully furnished and offers an own kitchen and bathroom for the holiday guests. The terrace at the back of the house enables snug evenings with direct view on the paddock and the meadows. The apartment is perfectly suitable for families with children or companioned couples who want to organize their days independently and autonomously.  The variety of animals (horses, cats, dogs, rabbits, peacocks, chickens, cows…) offers besides leisure time facilities for young and old.

The second accommodation is a big attic which doesn`t dispose of sanitary equipment. It is possible to host here another target group with a lower payment power. Up to 8 -10 people can sleep in this room and use/ share the bathroom and breakfast / catering offer in the outbuilding. An investment in a basic furniture (bed, pillow, blanket, lamps…) is here necessary.  The charme of the cottage kitchen, the little windows, the very friendly, heartfelt and open-minded family is here a further advantage und produces a familiar comfort zone.

The welcoming cottage kitchen with view on the paddock.


Potential revenues

A point to discuss/ to think about is the fulltime job of the owners. I think that the performance of the activities (organizing, cleaning apartments, making breakfast, planning the guided trips…) utilises so much time, that it is only possible if one of them works in a half-time employment. The earnings of the renting should contain the disappeared part of the monthly income and enable the target revenue of 60000 DKK per year.

( complete abstract occupancy and revenues )

Apartment 1 (flat):

750 DKK per night  x  200 days per year =  150000 DKK

Apartment 2 (with breakfast included):

230 DKK per night  x  circa 4 persons  x  100 days per year=  92000 DKK


So I think that the dream of the Kjaer family is realisble and I wish them success!

The Ruggård Hay Hotel

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The farm house of family Kjær is located in the countryside of Vejle Ådal. It’s a very nice place, with a lot of space for animals, especially for their six icelandic horses. The area is very idyllic and perfect for nature and animal loving families with children.

The Ruggård Hay Hotel is planned by the family as one or two apartment-hotel. The apartments are located in a separate house next to the house of family Kjær. It offers two different types of accommodation: One big apartment which is fully furnished, with its own kitchen, bathroom and washing machine. It could accommodate 4 to 6 people and offers the possibility of self-sufficiency. The second thinkable accommodation is momentary used as a hobby room by the family. It’s one big room without any facilities. Family Kjær has two options if they want to rent this room: they could share kitchen and bathroom with the guests or they have to renovate and build a kitchen unit and a bathroom. There would be enough space for it in this room, but these changes are connected with expenses. This accommodation could host up to 10 people in sleeping bags. And there’s a third possible summer accommodation, the guests could sleep in tents in the garden, next to the horses or in the family’s barn in the hay!

The target group

Families with children, horse riders, friends of the nature, mountain bikers, hikers, anglers, … all these people could be attracted by the Ruggård Hay Hotel. There are many activities for them in the area around the hotel. Especially for the horse riders it will be a nice place to stay, because the Ruggård Hay Hotel offers all they need to spend a nice and relaxed holiday. The Ruggård Hay Hotel could also be a place to stay over a weekend, maybe combined with a visit of Legoland Billund, or it could be a “rest area” for people travelling with their horses to competitions in Sweden or Norway.
But the Ruggård Hay Hotel isn’t a hotel for people who want to learn horse riding in their holidays because the guests have to bring their own horses. It’s the same for mountain bikers.

Possibilities in this area

As already mentioned the area around the Hotel, the countryside of Vejle Ådal, is very beautiful and idyllic. There are a lot of signed hiking, biking and riding trails and nice places to visit, e.g. Tørskind, Runkenbjerg, Bindeballestien and Kristinelyst. Some trails, tours, sights and rest areas are market in the following map of the countryside. Unfortunately the rest areas with places for the horses aren’t mentioned here.

All these details are building already a nice frame but there are still some questions to be answered before the dream of opening the Ruggård Hay Hotel can be realized:

  • How long should be the touristic season? Is the hotel able to attract tourists all over the year?
  • Which price is realistic per person/night?
  • Will the feeding be included?
  • Which marketing channels should be used?
  • Shouldn’t there be the possibility to book online?
  • Christopher and Lisbeth are both working fulltime, is a hotel as second job realizable?

After our visit at the farm of family Kjær I’m very impressed by the beauty of the nature and I think that the idea of opening a B&B in this region is maybe not the easiest to realize but I think that with enough enthusiasm for the project it will be manageable.

Business plan for the Ruggard Hay Hotel

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The farmhouse of Kjær Family is located in the Vejle Aadal, 30 minutes with car from Kolding. When I arrived there, I was totally impressed with the local nature, the hospitable hosts and of course their pets. The farmhouse will have another name in the near future – Ruggard Hay Hotel, a B&B hotel specialized for the Icelandic horse riders.


Any business has its own strength, on another hand the weakness also exists. In my opinion, the strengths for a B&B hotel in the countryside could be:

–       The beautiful surrounding that provides easy access to the nature.

–       Equipped horse barn

–       Owners are really passionate about their work.

–       And owners know quit well about the town, surrounding and Icelandic horse, which means a guided horse tour can be provided.

The reason I listed the above 4 points is because the location decides the potential customer should be nature loving, like to participate into the outdoor activities, well educated. Therefore, when we were told that the owner will put their focus on the horse rider, especially Icelandic horse riding, I do agree that it is a really wise idea to make their business in such niche hotel market from their knowledge and passion, because it is not cheap to have a horse and it is always easy to earn the money from rich people. However, the location limits as well the resource of the customer. It is with doubt if the horse rider would like to travel from, for example, Norway, North Germany or Sweden, with their horses. The main focus thus should be put on the Denmark tourists.


For a small private business, it is always difficult to start. The weaknesses of the Ruggard Hay Hotel, in my point of view, could be:

–       Limited member of rooms, which means limited amount of sales.

–       Lack of room equipment, such as private bathroom.

–       And the brand visibility.

First of all, the hotel has only 2 rooms for the overnight guests, which means the biggest capacity of the hotel would be around 10 people. For a small B&B hotel, according to the owner, the break-even point is 60,000 DKK. So how to make profit would be really tough in a limited main season.  Second, it is lack of private hygiene facilities in both of the rooms like toilet and bathrooms, so that it would cause the guests inconveniences. At last, it would be better to have a hotel logo to remind the potential of the characters of the hotel. Considering the long-term business development, an eye-catching logo is always necessary, even though the concurrence at the local would not be that strong.


Besides the strength and weakness of the hotel, the Ruggard Hay hotel has pretty good opportunities to reach its goal. Firstly, the hotel suited in the near to Kolding, Lalandia and Legoland, which is an attracted character for the segment of families with children, so that the scale of the guest can be expanded. Second, the owner has the membership of the local Icelandic horse association (?) and also works with the university of Southern Denmark. It brings the opportunities to make cooperation with them, to strengthen the specialty and to create new potential activities, such as student outdoor trip (hiking, mountain bike racing) with the cooperation with university, or host for the professional Icelandic horse conference or exhibition. Last but not the least, the owner is capable to build his own website, which means the hotel can develop some new prompting channels with social media (Facebook, twitter, tripadviser or etc.).


In conclusion, it is good to specialized in a niche market like horse rider segment, but consider to the business elements, the product scale should be enlarged, such as student one-day outdoor trip or camping, family weekend trip, host of Icelandic horse exhibition and regarding meetings. Moreover, the hotel should be also improved in the facilities, in order to achieve the success. I believe, with the owner’s passion, knowledge about the horse and the town and as well as the specialized positioning of hotel, the future of the hotel would be bright and expectable.

Possibilities for establishing the Ruggård Hay Hotel

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The Kjær family would like to run a B&B that specializes in accommodating horseback riders who bring along their own horses. The family is interested in combining the activity horseback riding with experiencing the Danish countryside and the surrounding attractions. There are many possibilities given to establish the Kjær family’s business plan but there are also a few aspects they might need to reconsider.

The Kjær family’s property has a family atmosphere, looks cozy and is embedded in a beautiful countryside. According to the family, the landscape is perfect for Icelandic horses which is why they chose Icelandic horse riders to be the main target group. There is enough space behind the main building to build fences and facilitate the horses the guests bring with them. There is also a riding arena behind the house.

The smaller house just beside the Kjær family’s house is the one they consider to turn into the B&B. Currently there are two people living in separate apartments. The only room available at the moment is one room upstairs. It is a large room that provides enough space for a family. Yet, there is no kitchen or bathroom exclusively available for the guests. At some point in the future the Kjær family wishes to offer one of the fully equipped apartments on the ground floor to potential guests. There is a bathroom and a kitchen included. Guests could prepare their own meals whenever they please. The family would only need to invest in some furniture and kitchen equipment. Therefore, the costs would not be very high.

Focusing on equestrian tourism is a great possibility as there are lots of trails in the area. Moreover, guests could ride for days without having to use the same trails. There are lots of sights nearby where they can ride with the horses, for instance the Bindeballe Købmandsgård. The family is not sure whether they can build appliances the horses could be tied to at all sights they would like to recommend to guests or cooperate with. This is an absolute must in order to confidently recommend these sights to horseback riders and the family should look into this issue beforehand.

Marketing efforts and establishing partnerships are important aspects. The Kjær family has to create an own website and make sure that the B&B appears on websites of Icelandic horse associations, the tourism association of the area etc. The family would like to focus on word-of-mouth marketing but that could be a problem for establishing a business and perhaps be better for maintaining it.

For the lunch and coffee arrangements they would like to provide they wish to cooperate with Bindeballe for instance. The guided tours, for example, could be provided by one of the nature specialists the family mentioned. These collaborations ensure that the family can provide a diversified program for their guests on a professional and stable basis. When guests bring their own horses and therefore their own cars, they are much more flexible and can easily explore other parts of Denmark. They can enjoy the lively city of Copenhagen and visit Legoland and return to the Ruggård Hay Hotel to spend some days in the Danish countryside. This point has to be emphasized in the marketing efforts.

The Kjær family needs to take into consideration that there might also be weaknesses in the business plan. The guests will have to bring their own horses. That downsizes the potential target group as only guests from the surrounding countries could travel to the hay hotel. The Kjær family could buy horses that are available especially for the guests. This would increase the number of potential customers dramatically as there are lots of people interested in horseback riding who do not own a horse. In the property’s surroundings there are many other possibilities for outdoor activities such as fishing, canoeing, hiking or cycling. The family should think about focusing on other target groups as well, for example nature lovers or racing cyclists, to increase the number of potential guests.

Another issue might be only to offer the upstairs room as it is missing a bathroom and a kitchen for the guests. Making the guests share the facilities with the family might make both parties feel uncomfortable. Opening a B&B with only offering the upstairs room requires a lot of flexibility from both the family as well as from the guests. A solution for the missing kitchen might be that someone could provide the guests with meals in the main house or deliver meals upstairs.

All in all, there are great possibilities for opening the Ruggård Hay Hotel. The most important things needed are already there, such as the nature and the house, and therefore, only little investment is necessary. Yet, there are some things that need to be taken into consideration to make the B&B as successful and efficient as possible.




Ruggard Hay Hotel (B&B)

Monday, September 29th, 2014

First of all I would like to mention how great the day at Vejle Aadal was. I felt myself like on vacation right away at the place of the Kjaer Family. They are great hosts and I think to enter the tourism field is the completely right decision to use the apartment. I noticed their hospitality and their passion for horses.


Target group

There are a several possible target groups for the hay hotel. It is very important to contain the target group for further steps. There are some details that are completely different referring to the target group: The duration of the stay, the season, the marketing, etc.

  • Icelandic horse riders
  • cyclists
  • Legoland visitors
  • Families

Icelandic horse riders:

The surrounded nature of Vejle Aadal offers a lot of trails for (guided) tours with Icelandic horses. They could enjoy their tours all year round, because it is also possible to make tours during the wintertime. The stay of Icelandic horse riders would be longer than just a weekend. They would have to bring there own horses with them and so the duration of the stay will be longer than that of Legoland visitors. The marketing for this target group could be placed on Icelandic horse web pages, in magazines, at Icelandic horse competitions or could be transported through Icelandic horse clubs. This field of tourism is a niche and because of that there won’t be a lot of competitors on the market.

One disadvantage could be that this target group only focus on Danish and northern German guests, because of fact that they have to bring there own horses with them.


The Nature surrounding Vejle Aadal is also perfect for cyclists. Hobby cyclists could enjoy the beautiful nature and pros can train for competitions. They would have to bring there own bikes with them. The marketing for this target group could be placed on cycling web pages, in magazines, at bike competitions or could be transported through bike clubs.

Disadvantage: They maybe can’t spend there holiday during the wintertime, because they can’t cycle because of snow.

Legoland visitors:

Vejle Aadal is only 20 kilometres away from Billund and the demand on private rooms for legoland visitors is given. The Legoland visitors would mainly be families with children who stay only for a few days or the weekend. In the summertime this target group could fill the booking gaps. The marketing for the Legonald visitors could be placed on the webpage of Legoland.

Disadvantage: The Legoland is only open from April to November. So it would be impossible to focus only on this target group, if guests all over the year are required. In contrast to the above mentioned target group, this target group will bring a lot of other competitors in the environment of Billund with it.



Another possibility would be to focus on Families itself. This could be a possibility to spotlight on families who like to cycle or ride Icelandic horses and would like to visit Legoland once during there vacation. Farmholidays is a rising market for families. Kids could enjoy the nature and all the animals (horses, cats, peacocks, a dog, a rabbit) at the hotel.

In my opinion the best solution would be to focus on the Icelandic horse riders, because they have the premise that they could spend their holidays all year round at the hay hotel. Therefore all the circumstances are given. The family knows a lot of Icelandic horse rider which is a big plus for starting a hotel.


Accommodation and Business possibilities:

One room is already equipped with a kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom, so they have to make only small investments to start with the hotel. My suggestion would be to start with one apartment and when the business runs well after some time to invest in the other apartment and the “hobby room”.

One possibility could be that only the accommodation is offered. The guests have the possibility to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner on there own. To offer Bed and Breakfast all the infrastructure is given. The accommodation is already there and breakfast could be served in the owner’s house. But it is also possible to add a kitchen in the apartment without a kitchen, so that the guests have the opportunity to prepare lunch and dinner on there own. Half board would mainly be the same as B&B with the difference that additionally dinner will be prepared from the owners.


Additional Offers:

Additional offers could bring some extra money for example: guided horse tours, guided bike tours, riding lessons for children;

The Ruggard Hay Hotel

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The Ruggard Hay Hotel is a beautiful farm, belonging to the Kjær family, which is located in the countryside of Vejle Aadal and offers the opportunity to people to rent an apartment including an own kitchen and bathroom and also some barns for horses. There is also the possibility to sleep in the hay.
The Kjær family doesn’t own a website and focuses on personal or telephone booking.

Ruggard has unbelievably beautiful surroundings. The nature is almost untouched and there are a lot of trails. Tørskind, Runkenbjerg, Kristinelyst and Bindeballestien are not far away and you can get to all these peaceful places by horse, bike or some even by feet.

Since the Kjær family focuses on horse tourism they offer guided trips and also arrange some food for their guests on the trips.
In Kristinelyst there is the possibility to have a barbecue and to sleep (for horses AND humans) – for free!
Bindeballestien is also a very charming little place with a very old shop, belonging to an old lady, which also offers great cake and coffee.


As already mentioned the Kjær family owns two apartments which you can rent. But they also have a big room which is used by themselves for little parties. Changing this one room into a few smaller rooms, maybe with a shared bathroom, could be the chance for having more guests. Ruggard is now focusing on families and horse tourism. But this change would focus on a wider target group for example young biking people. They could have breakfast in the family’s kitchen which creates an even more familiar and comfortable atmosphere.
Furthermore the Kjær family should create a website for their accomodation in order to reach younger people or people who doesn’t know their farm yet.
The beautiful farm house with all the animals, the idyllic surroundings, the untouched nature, the charming little places and even the closeness to Legoland and Lalandia is a great vacation spot not only for horse tourism.

The Ruggård Hay Hotel – Regina Puig

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The Ruggård Hay Hotel is a dream for the Kjær family. It’s located in the countryside of Vejle Aadal, surrounded by corn fields and a huge forest. They would like to focus on Icelandic horse riders as they have some in the stable. Nowadays we can find there three main buildings: the family house, a new building where two old relatives live and the farm.

The customers that may be interested in what is offered are groups of Icelandic horse riders. They must bring their horses, but the hotel can offer a hay service for them when grass may not be accessible (when it’s snow-covered in winter). They may come potentially from Denmark, although customers from near countries (Germany, Sweden, and Norway), that are going to some exhibition or competition, can stop here and give the horses a rest. Another customer segment is mountain bikers. They can follow the riding arena or they can just stop for one night if they are on route. A last segment might be families with kids that live in a city and want to be in touch with the animals in the farm or the green surroundings.

We can find two different types of accommodation. On one hand we have the apartments. Both can host up to 6 people and consist of one room, one bathroom, one kitchen and a big living room that can include two sofa-beds. This type of accommodation can be rent by families or little groups of people. On the other hand we have a big room that can host up to 10 people in beds. For this second type an investment needs to be made. The principal problem is that there is no bathroom, so they need to share it with the family. Another problem can be the kitchen. If the family wants to offer a breakfast service, they need to improve it because is too small. The customers who rent the apartments can choose between have the breakfast on their own or with the family.

About the activities they can offer, the most important are the tours. Next to the house we can find an arena with some places to stop and eat. Although they need to be improved, the family should think about organizing day-trips including the picnic-meals in the price either by horse or by bike. If the customers ask for, I think that it could be a good idea to make a two days route and sleep in tents. This suppose an investment in tents and camping stuff, but can worth it if increases the benefits. If the customers are the families with kids, due to the location of the farm, they may be interested in going to LEGOLAND or LALANDIA, located in Billund. In the farm, simple helping tasks would be enough for them, like take care of the rabbit or feeding the animals.

About the channels the Kjær family should use for promoting the hotel, the most important is a new webpage with all the information about the activities the customer can realize there, the contact telephone number, etc. But at first they should promote the hotel in Icelandic horse riders and mountain bikers associations. As the relation between the owners and the customers is so close (customers maybe have their breakfast in the owners kitchen) the best way of booking the place would be by telephone. It’s closest and give the customer more confidence in going to this hotel.

The key partners the family has nowadays are great, but maybe not enough. The Bindeballe Købmandsgård and Station is a good place to rest, have some coffee and eat a piece of cake. However, the station needs to be improved in order to have some fences to leave the horses. This may be build by the city hall, which can be converted in a heavy partner as can be helpful in other improvements needed in the arena, for example.

Finally, we have to talk about the costs and the revenues. The structure cost has to include the kitchen improvements, and the big room bathroom, as the furniture needed there and in the apartments. The minimum revenue per year the family wants to reach is 60,000 kr only for the accommodation. I think is maybe not reachable because the hotel, at least the first year, would not have all the rooms sold, but if a good marketing campaign is done, and the prize is not so expensive the desired revenue can be reached.

Ruggård Hay Hotel

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The idea of the Kjær family is to open a B&B at their farm with the focus on guests that would bring their own horses.
The first impression of the farm was really positive. It is a beautiful and big farm, which is located in Vejle Ådal, a nice place for people who love to be in the nature. I was impressed by the warm reception of the family and all the things they have prepared for us.

They have good conditions to open a B&B. There is a nice accommodation available with a great view to the fields. It has space for 4-6 people. So it would be great for families. Except of a few small investments in furniture and kitchen equipment there is not much more to do at the flat because everything is in a good condition. It has its own bathroom and kitchen. Another room is located upstairs next to the flat, which may be used for up to 10 travelers that are passing through and would bring their own sleeping bags. This room probably needs some renovation and furniture. The problem is that there is no bathroom next to the room or a kitchen. So the guest would have to use the family’s bathroom and kitchen, which could get chaotic if there are 10 people who want to use these facilities. There is to think about a solution how to deal with it. Maybe there is an opportunity to build another small bathroom close to the room upstairs.
Another great idea of the family is to have a hay hotel in their barn. Enough hay is already there and it would be great for families with children. The barn just has to be a little bit more organized and cleaned up.
If they would prepare these three kinds of accommodation they have the possibility to reach more people. I guess that they will make the most revenue with the small apartment, so they should focus on this first. Right now the grandfather lives in the apartment so they cannot use it.

The farm has the great advantage that it is located in rural and quiet area with many horse tracks. So it would be great for people that bring their own horses. The family does not want the guests to use their own horses. But they have enough space for the horses of their guest.
The family wants to offer guided trips and also wants to offer to bring some food to specific places, where their guests for example take a break. The question is how they can connect this with their two fulltime jobs?
You also need to keep in mind that on many of these places where you can take a break and have a picnic aren’t any possibilities to leave their horses. So it is necessary to have some fences and folding for the horses there. Therefore, we need to know if it is allowed to build fences for the horses on these places.

The area is also great for mountain bikers. The room upstairs would probably be favorable for them.
The question is where they get their breakfast if the children of the Kjær family are in school and the parents at work. Maybe they can provide some breakfast in their kitchen or have another room with a small kitchen and some tables.

First of all they should concentrate on their marketing. Otherwise they won’t reach enough people.
Therefore, they should think about the marketing channels that they want to use. Visit Denmark is a good website for tourists. A corporation with the Danish Icelandic Horse Association is also important to reach especially horse riders. It is also necessary to have an own website. Christopher could probably do it with his know-how.

They want to reach a minimum revenue per year of 60.000 DKK just through the accommodation. This would mean that they need to generate about 165 DKK every day all year long. It doesn’t sound that much, but in the winter time less tourist will come. So they need to generate more during the summer months.

They don’t have to do so many investments, so that I think it is a great idea to open a B&B. Nevertheless, they need to think about another bathroom and how to handle the breakfast. Do the guests have to make it on their own or will it be offered by the family? It also needs to be considered if both of them can still work in their full time jobs, and ran the hotel at the same time.
Besides, all the things that need to be done and need to be think of, I think the Ruggård Hay Hotel can become a nice hotel, which will be profitable in the future.

Ruggård Hay Hotel

Monday, September 29th, 2014

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.

B&B at Ruggård, Vejle Adal

Monday, September 29th, 2014

On our field trip to Vejle Ådal we got to know the Kjær family and also got a first impression of the accommodation which might be used for horse tourism. The Kjær’s are very welcoming and friendly people who could be lovely hosts to their future tourists. I was impressed by the house and the idyll surrounding it, so that I could imagine that tourists will like the place as well.

When considering the possibility of horse tourism in Ruggård, one has to take into account the strengths and weaknesses that exist.

The strengths of this destination are that the family only needs to make small investments in furniture and kitchen equipment since the apartment is already furnished. Additionally, the apartment has its own kitchen and washing machine, which allows the tourists to be independent.  The accommodation could also be convenient for members of a horse riding competition who are passing by on their journey. However, one should keep in mind that these tourists would rather be an exception, since there are only few competitions per year. Furthermore, in addition to horse tourism, there is the possibility to stay overnight for mountainbikers or racing cyclists in a separate room which is currently used for family activities. This could be a USP compared to other horse tourism facilities. Moreover, there is the possibility that either Christopher or Lisbeth can work half-time and thus keep a close relationship with the tourists.

A weakness could be that there is already too much competition if the family only focuses on horse tourism. Additionally, Christopher and Lisbeth would like to advertise the place by word of mouth. This might not generate enough revenue to cover all the costs if only family and friends are the target group.  Further, only personal or telephone booking is desired by the family. While this is a good way to establish a personal relationship with some tourists, it might be a too old-fashioned way of communicating for others.

In conclusion, the creation of tourism could be a very sufficient way to use the accommodation. However, Christopher and Lisbeth should not focus only on horse tourism but offer accommodation for a group of mountainbikers or racing cyclists as well. Furthermore, I think it is important to create a website to advertise the accommodation so that not only family and friends belong to the target group. The development of tourism is definitely worth a try because Christopher and Lisbeth do not depend on it financially; it would rather be a further source of income.

Possibilities and proposals for developing a Bed & Breakfast at Ruggård Hay Hotel

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

First of all, the approach/transformation of Vejle Aadal into a B&B requires taking into consideration several factors overall. There also are some points to remark concerning the value propositions as well as some other little factors I would like to emphasise especially. We will see subsequently the treatment of these topics.


First of all, we have seen that there are some value propositions the owners want to offer. We can talk about either riding trails or guided trips in a riding arena as well as that the customer can bring its own horse and that is a great idea. Even so, I would like to stand out the experience of nature as it is what customers “buy” actually; it means thereby that the future hotel offers an experience of nature and active tourism through horse/bike treks with guided and non-guided trips. Remember that this product can be complimented with the following places concerning the surroundings of the farm house:

  • Bindeballe Købmandsgård
  • Bindeballe Station
  • Tørskind Grusgrav
  • Camping at Kristinelyst

In addition, it is essential the period in which the Ruggård Hay Hotel will be open. It is recommendable to open it during the high season establishing a period from March – April until September – October; the main reason of this approach has to do with the background as for the customer segment. On the flipside, we also have to consider the lack of infrastructure concerning the rooms and the bathroom. A possibility could be using the private bathrooms or if not there must be provided an own bathroom for guests, an investment for the kitchen would also be another priority whereas the breakfast can be served in the private kitchen taking advantage of the close customer relationship B2C. Regarding the “hobby room”, it can be used for groups that can use it as shelter using sleeping bags (at least during the first year, other investments can be proposed afterwards).


Mainly, this product can be focused on some customer profiles we already saw formerly such as Icelandic horse riders as well as racing cyclists or mountain bikers. It can also be offered to families but we should take into account the possible repercussion in investment, for instance, furniture specialised for children (see ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT). LEGOLAND remains closed during the winter season unfortunately in order that it is better to open the hotel during the high season. From my point of view, the most significant customer segments are the Icelandic horse riders and the racing cyclists as well as the mountain bikers. Another point concerning the customer profile is the nationality of the customer; I strongly recommend focusing on tourists around Denmark at least during the first year of activity. That is why it is better attracting the attention of the national market at first spreading the product to other international niches (especially customers from Germany and Sweden).


Subsequently, we have to consider several aspects surrounding the prices for the product according if there is seasonality or not. There is an ensemble of things to keep in mind concerning investment as I said before as well, a “small” investment is required whereas a break-even of 60,000 DKK must be reached. That investment has to be applied to the kitchen, the bathroom and some furniture for children (depending of the final demand of families). Should we set different prices depending on the period of the year? For the first year of activity, I would recommend to maintain the same price regardless of the season. We should set a main selling price and then consider how many nights we are supposed to sell face to the first year. As a result, the possible calculation/estimation of incomes and expenses are gathered and exposed in an approximate estimation in the following chart:

As we can see, the accommodation represents the main cornerstone of the hotel incomes summarised in “Bed & Breakfast. It is supposed that the breakfast is free so it is “included in the price”, that means we have to deal with some expenses that take part of the main selling price. Even so, there also is maintenance of the installations as well as the guided trips could also have a little extra price that could boost the earnings in the end following the same forecast (±100 DKK). We have to keep in mind that the numbers shown are approximate either the incomes or the expenses, that means therefore the numbers cannot be quite appropriate but it is just to give an example. With a forecast of 300 DKK per each night in a range of 150 nights during the first year we would obtain the most part of the incomes.


To conclude, it is essential to spread the image of the Ruggård Hay Hotel through other websites apart of the main website of the place. Another alternative could also be a personal blog of the owners in order to share the experiences, photographs of the guided tours and treks, etcetera the farm house lives day after day. Nonetheless, it may not be as relevant as an own website. The customers can book there as well as to ask for suggestions, doubts they have through email creating therefore a personal customer contact. It is a key factor I really consider from my point of view whereas it is an extra factor in this scope due to the close customer relationship B2C. Finally, it is also important to keep a place in some pages such as Visit Denmark for instance. The completed list of the websites or link supports is shown subsequently:

Etivity 2: Ruggård Hay Hotel

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

The farm house of the Kjær family is a very nice place located in the countryside of Vejle Aadal. It offers many possibilities for the Ruggård Hay Hotel that is planned to be a B&B specialized in horse riding.

I can imagine the Kjær family as a very nice and friendly host who makes everyone feel welcome at their place. They already spent a lot of thoughts on their idea of opening a B&B and seem to be open for new ideas as well.

The main target group for the Ruggård Hay Hotel is supposed to be horse riders who bring their own horses; especially Iceland Horses as the family has some own ones. This can either be (Danish) families/couples/singles/friends who want to spend their vacation with their horses or professional horse riders who are on their way to a competition and want to make a break from a long car ride. I think that the place would mainly attract Danish vacationers, but if the right channels for marketing are used, this place would also attract people from different countries. But to get the business started, the main focus should be at the Danish horse riders, including all horse breeds to reach a larger target group. An additional target group is mountain bikers who bring their own bikes. They can use the place for an overnight stay on a longer tour or as a starting point for several tours in the region. A third target group includes families that want to visit Legoland but not pay the high costs for a hotel room at Legoland. This is not one of the main target groups but could be a nice side effect.

Their farm house offers two different accommodations for hosting guests: The first possibility is an apartment for up to 6 people. The apartment is fully furnished and offers an own kitchen and bathroom for the guests. The direct view on the paddock is also a plus for the accommodation. This place would be perfect for families with children who would also like to prepare their meals themselves instead of eating outside to save some money. I can see a very high potential in this place especially for guests coming with horses but it cannot be used as a guest house from now on as the grandfather still lives there.
The second accommodation is a big spare room which is currently used for indoor activities by the family. It would be possible to host 8 to 10 people in the room who want to stay for one or two nights. They have to bring their own sleeping bag and pad as it is just a simple room. As there is no kitchen, the guests would have to eat outside or have a provided breakfast (as common in a B&B).  For this accommodation I see a problem with the bathroom as the room does not have one. It would be necessary that the guests use the families’ private bathroom for which they would have to cross the courtyard. Here it is also the question whether the Kjær family really wants to have 8-10 people use their private bathroom. In my opinion, it would be better, if possible, to invest in a simple additional bathroom in that room which offers at least a shower and a toilet. This room has potential for groups, for example on a bike tour.
A third, but in my opinion not that important accommodation, would be a night in the hay. It could be offered separately, but I do not think that it will generate that many guests. It could be offered for families with children that stay at their place to have a special adventure.

The surrounding area offers many possibilities for horse riders and mountain bikers to make tours. The Kjær family seems to know the area very well and could offer tours for the guests. A cooperation with the nature school also seems to be a good idea, as the guests could learn a lot about the region. This would especially be interesting for children. The Bindeballe station offers a nice place for a rest during a horse or mountain bike tour. It offers a museum, café and a shop with many historical goods to see. The problem here, and at some other places, is that there are hardly any places to fasten the horses. There is a need to build places to fasten the horses or fences to have small paddocks for the horses. A good cooperation concept could bring a lot of value for all places involved.

Both Lisbeth and Christopher have a full-time job. The positive side about it is that they have a save income if the B&B does not bring the planned success. On the other side, there is only little time to take care of the guests and to prepare the accommodation. Additionally, for the big room, there is a need of preparing breakfast every day. There has to be a solution found that they can take care of the guests in a professional way so that the guests still feel welcome. Additionally, they need time off work to be able to offer guided tours unless they want to work with a tour guide.

 The marketing for this special place is a little challenge as they have to address a certain target group. For this a good cooperation with people specializing in horse riding is necessary. As suggested by the family, the Danish Icelandic Horse Association would be a place to start. Additionally, a similar association has to be found to offer the place for mountainbikers. For this target group, an advertisement on biking maps would also be a possibility. The Internet platform www.VisitDenmark.dk could also be a great opportunity to offer their place.

 All in all, the place offers everything that is necessary to open a place for overnight guests who want to bring their horses or do mountain bike tours. Right now I think that the place should not be marketed as a B&B, but rather with a breakfast offer as an additional service for people staying in the big room. For the beginning, they can open their private bathroom for the guests, as long as they feel comfortable having strangers use it. But they should consider a new bathroom if there is enough demand and revenue. As soon as the furnished apartment is available it should be offered as a self-catering home, as long as the family still sees a perspective in offering an apartment for guests.

Ruggard Hay Hotel

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

“Peaceful, close to nature and quiet”. In my opinion, these are the attributes that best describe the future Ruggard Hay Hotel. I was impressed by the beautiful farm, the house as well as the accommodation for the future guests and the lovely family and their animals.

The Ruggard Hay Hotel is mainly for people that love spending time in the nature, whether with animals or not. The main target groups are horse riders who bring their own horses. The idea is to focus on Icelandic horses but they should also think of accommodating all other kinds of horses to address more customers, especially in the beginning. Additionally, mountain bikers are another good target groups, as well as hikers, trial riders and horse riders that are on their way to a competition, who need a place to stay.

The potential customers may come from Denmark and countries that are situated not far from Denmark like Germany or Sweden. The horse riders target group may not want to travel that far with their own horses in order not to stress them too much. In comparison, mountain bikers may also come from countries like the Netherlands or Norway. This has to be considered when thinking of marketing activities.

The Ruggard Hay Hotel offers a nice accommodation with breakfast. Since the guest house also has a kitchen, guests could prepare their breakfast on their own. A possibility could be that the guests choose whether they want a prepared breakfast or if the family should prepare something. The problem is the location for the breakfast. Is it okay that guests use the private kitchen?  Or can the family arrange another room for breakfast? Beside the guest room, they can also offer another room for groups. However, some investments have to be made to make it more comfortable and inviting. Additionally, another bathroom is needed.

Activities that will be provided at the Ruggard Hay Hotel are guided riding tours. The guests have the possibility to explore the area around the farm on their own, too. It may be possible to come up with a cooperation between the Hay Hotel and the Bindeballe Kobmandsgard so that guests profit from reduced prices and have another incentive to stop there. The trials for the horse riders and the mountain bikers are very good. The only problem is that there are some fences for the horses missing so that the riders cannot “relax” during a break. This problem should be easily solved.  Some guests may want to go to Legoland on “bad weather days” which is also possible since it is not that far away. Another activity for guests could be guided tours that last more than a day, depending on how much time the family has left. Furthermore, they could show their guests how to ride an Icelandic horse or train them with their own Icelandic horses.

The question now is how can we reach the future guests? An own website is very important as well as the cooperation with the Danish Icelandic Horse Association, but also links on websites like VisitDenmark.dk. To start the new Hay Hotel a marketing campaign could help. Maybe they invite some friends to stay for a night and to make people talk (hopefully only positively) about it, and consequently the Ruggard Hay Hotel has a chance to become a good, friendly and homely hotel.

Business Model- Ruggård Hay Hotel

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

We have the task of doing a business model with the Ruggård Hay Hotel in Denmark. So we visited the location on Tuesday the 23. of September.

Firstly I have to say that it was a nice journey and we saw a lot of interesting things like the Icelandic Horses, the nice cottage, the possible one hotel room and the landscape. The landscape is of a huge importance, because in the landscape could be the trips by horse or by mountain bike.

The possibility of a Hay Hotel is definitely given, but just for one family. Families are also the possible target group for the Hay Hotel. However, there is just one room given. Maybe we could think about renaming it into Hay guest room? I think that this would more fit into the concept of having also an own kitchen, etc. Also it would be nice to find something that refers to the name (motto?) in the room.

The Hay Hotel could also have one room on the first floor. It is just one big room without a kitchen. Is there a toilet? If there is none there could the guest, who will stay in this room, go to the toilet? In the first case, one could imagine one big room for groups of mountain bikers or horse riders. Some persons, who likes the idea of staying together also in the nights or do not have enough money they can spend on separate rooms. This opens the possibility also for groups of school children to ride in this landscape. However, they have to have their own horses. Is this a limitation of the possible users of the hotel? On the other hand, maybe there is the market of conference rooms in a special atmosphere like the one of a ponys club. Are customers available for this special case of a conference room (e.g. businesses with a great importance of sustainability)? What is needed for this special kind of customer?

The guests should bring their own horses. Is this a limitation of the possible users of the hotel? Are just Islandic Horses desired? The horses have their own place to stay at the hotel. On the trails foldings has to be build up from the municipality. The big question is: “Why should I come to the Ruggård Hay Hotel?” This could be solved through PR. However, this may cost something. Is money for that available?

The minimum revenue is 60.000 DKK per year. How many should cost a holiday for one family per week or weekend? Does it give a seasonal difference in the price? Does it give capacity statistics? Can we reach the 60.000DKK by this statistic? Can we get numbers of the possible users of this hotel? How much should the guided tour cost?

The owners have both a fulltime job, so that they have not so much time for the hotel. However, they want to open the hotel with the key resource manpower. Is this realistic?

The owners could use the channels to promote their hay hotel. Maybe there are also other sites on the internet that could be used for promotion too. Therefore, it is very usefull that the owners have a good IT knowledge, because the website must be good and easy to find in the web.



Possibility of a B&B at Ruggård, Veijle Ådal

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

The Kjær family owns a small farm in Veijle Ådal, called Ruggård, and plans to develop a B&B with focus on Icelandic horse riding tourism at that site. The family is very guest friendly and accommodating which is a good precondition for opening such business.

The farm has three accommodation opportunities which are first the apartment of the family’s grandfather, one hobby room and the hay hotel in the barn. The apartment offers space for up to 6 persons and consists of an own bathroom with toilet and shower. It is already fully furnished and just needs some new kitchen equipment, which would only be a small investment. The problem the family has to face here is that the apartment is not available at the moment because the grandfather is still living in there but it might serve as an optimal opportunity to accommodate horse ride tourists. In the neighboring building there is space for up to 10 people in the family’s hobby room where mainly travelers passing through can accommodate on their own sleeping bags. Unfortunately, those travelers have to use the family’s private bathroom for shower and toilet. But how is that even possible with a potential maximum occupation? Furthermore, the family inevitably has to invest in a new carpet and some kind of furniture for the guests. The third opportunity is the farm’s own hay hotel in the barn where the family just has to clean it up and prepare the hay bales so that those serve as a bed and does not need to invest anything. This alternative accommodation is very interesting for families with young children who want to get special farm experiences and even for couples who want to have a night in an extravagant, rural environment.

In terms of horse riding tourism, the family will be likely to offer guided tours around the landscape. Either the family organizes those tours themselves or they hire qualified scouts. And if they hire those scouts, will they be paid by the family or municipality? The chance for the municipality here can be seen in the enhancement of tourism in that particular region and so the municipality might also benefit.

But also other businesses and sites in the region will profit from that particular kind of tourism. Along the track of the horse ride tours, guests will be able to make a stopover at Bindeballe. The Bindeballe station fascinates with it old railway station and antique cottage. This site has the advantage that guests can also sleep in that cottage which could also enrich the tourism in Bindeballe. Moreover, there is space for the horses at that site but folders have to be built up there so the question would be who is responsible for that. Consequently, the family has to build up some kind of partnership with the owner of Bindeballe, which would likely be no problem because it seemed that the family already has a good relationship to the owners. At that site, there is also an old shop where tourists can sit and have a cup of coffee and a piece of cake and can also buy typical Danish grocery and accessories in the shop. Maybe the family could negotiate special offers and prices for their guests if a partnership exists.

Next, it is important to define which customer segment will be attracted. The family offered an insight into their ideas and hopes to attract tourists from Germany, The Netherlands and Great Britain which are familiar with Icelandic horses. The problem I see here is that the family wants to directly expand in foreign markets without having first tested the popularity. So I would suppose first to concentrate on the domestic markets to see how many guests are interested in that offer and if it works to expand in foreign markets after a certain amount of time. Another customer segment is the visitors of the nearby Legoland in Billund which often do not want to effort the hotel prices in the park.

Before thinking about the possible amount of guests to come, the family should think about how to market their special interest tourism offer. It is important to find partners in channels directly related to that topic. The Danish Icelandic Horse Association would be the perfect channel for guests only interested in riding. Another tool would be the visitdenmark.dk platform which offers a widespread network for tourism in Denmark. It is, however, unclear here if a post on the webpage would cost anything or whether it is for free. In my opinion the most suitable possibility in marketing the product is an own webpage. Christopher Kjær has the know-how to establish a website and it does not cost anything. Furthermore, this channel will reach not only Icelandic horse riders but also couples and bikers etc.

To sum up, it is important to start thinking about marketing the product before thinking about expanding to other markets. The calculated minimum revenue of 60.000 DKK for accommodation which would only cover the costs is achievable but the family needs to earn about 165 DKK per day if the farm is occupied every day in a year. Furthermore, the family might have to invest in new horse folders for guests bringing their own horses because the family won’t rent their own horses. But maybe the family might think about renting horse equipment to generate additional revenues. Moreover, Christopher and his wife Lisbeth still have full-time jobs which they have to give up for their own business but as they told us they are willing to do so and work in half-time jobs. Finally, the idea of opening up a B&B at that site is not surreal but there are still many things that have to be thought-out. However, I think that if all things are managed the business will be able to work remotely.

Possibility of a B&B

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Opening a “B&B with the possibility to bring horses or bikes” is a good idea to realize the family´s dream of combining farm life with business. With its welcoming and friendly appearance the Kjær family could definitely be good hosts. They seem to be open to (our) advises and help which is really important to start their business successfully.

Even though their farm house is kind of isolated, the farm is nice and surrounded by a wonderful landscape which will probably attract many nature-orientated tourists. They suggested that they would start their business with one apartment located in an extra house right next to the main building that is available for 4-6 people; preferable a family. As it is already fully furnished almost no further investments are needed so that they could start right away (even though we need to find a solution regarding the grandfather!).  Moreover, there is the hobby room which can be used as a sleeping place for 10 people with their sleeping bags. Thus, it might be used by bikers rather than families. To be able to use the room, little renovations such as a new carpet or some dressers are needed. The only problem I see is the fact that the guests that stay in the hobby room have to use the private shower. One solution could be to include a small bathroom with a shower and a toilet next to the hobby room. Next to these two accommodations they also have the possibility to offer a small hay hotel since they already have a big barn and enough hay. This would be perfect for families as children would not only enjoy the hay but also the farm animals living there.
As a B&B business, guests would definitely expect breakfast. For the apartment with the kitchen, the guests could make their own breakfast but the family should offer a bakery goods service. Concerning the hobby room, the family needs to offer breakfast in their private kitchen. To give an idea, guests could have breakfast together with the family on weekends, whereas on workdays the family could simply provide breakfast for their guests.

For a “B&B with possibility to bring horses or bikes” potential customers are definitely horse riders. In my opinion, they should focus on Icelandic horses but should also “allow” other horse breeds. In the beginning, I think it is best to focus mainly on Danish horse riders because there are many Icelandic horse riders in Denmark. If the business is successful, they might be able to spread their focus to Germany and other surrounding countries. But for now, such advertisement is probably too expensive. Next to the horse riders, mountain or racing bikers or even hikers are another potential customer group as there are many trails and an impressive landscape. Lastly, families who visit LEGOLAND could also be a good target group as the B&B would be way cheaper than the expensive hotels there. The best way to catch their interest is probably to advertise the hay hotel and farm animals.

Regarding activities they should firstly focus on accommodation and breakfast (B&B) and the guided tours only. For these guided tours I would recommend to work together with public scouts that know the area quite well and are employed by the municipality/state or as Christopher suggested with the oldest daughter if she wants to. Later, if possible and successful, they could also think about lending horses and offering some sort of supply. But first we should market it the way that people should bring own horses and equipment in order to save money.

Throughout the trip, I realized that they have a good relationship and network to local people. All partners seem to be willing to work together which is an important requirement when you want to set up a business successfully.  For the marketing aspect I would suggest to set up a homepage right away and join desired partner websites in order to get recognized. As Christopher told us that he could do it on his own, there would be almost no costs to set it up.

Costs: In general, for the whole project only small investments are needed which is good when you want to start a business. The family strives for the revenue of 60.000 DKK (accommodation only). In order to reach this goal, they probably need to offer their B&B all year long to cover costs. This could be hard to reach.

Another problem is where to leave the horses when resting or eating during a horse ride trip. For this, we would need help from partners or the municipality. If we do not find a solution for this, it may become a big problem for reaching our horse riders target group especially when they want to do longer horse riding tours.  Moreover, we should take a look at other local farms that also offer a similar accommodation type and are thus potential competitors. Yet, the biggest problem probably is to reach customers. Therefore, it is important to address to a broader target group, to set up a website as well as to do a market research in order to find out if there is any demand at all.

As we do not know how the idea will develop or how potential guests will accept it, I would recommend that they should start it more as a side job and see from there. In my opinion, despite to the given problems, there is no reason not to try it because they already have the facilities, two full-time jobs (and thus a safe income) and only small investments would be needed to start their B&B.

Ideas & possibilities for developing a Business Model concept – Ruggård Hay Hotel – in Denmark

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014


Adventure or ecotourism: guided or non-guided-horse treks & trail rides with own horses.

Optional: farm or agritourism: fixed-site farm stays for guest with kids, who could work on the farm (with sleepover for kids in the hay).


Customer profile

Family with/without kids, groups, singles with own horse and/or own bicycle and/or own fishing equipment. Another customer segment would be members of a competition, when passing by on the way to the championship or back home (concept of staying over-night and/or taking a break).

Research question: What is the geographical range of reaching guests for Ruggård? (Depending on what is offered (day tours / several-day-tours)) What is the geographical market? Denmark? Germany? Netherlands? Sweden? Great Britain? Is there an local/national riding organization in Denmark, which offers data on equestrian tourism?



Facilities for horses could be easily build up at the owners ground.

Facilities on trails for break have to be build up.

Research question: What could be offered for different age range?

  • Kids: Tørskind Grusgrav: Playground; Legoland;
  • Teenagers/family: Sleep over/camping at Kristinelyst; Legoland;

Product offer: several-day-package and/or only day-trips/tours with one-night sleepover

Opening/offering: all-year round; duration one-night up, weekend-stay or one/two weeks;



Break-even per year: 60.000 DKK

Research questions: Should different price categories offered during season? Should special offers for longer stay or family/groups being considered? Is there a market for borrowing equipment? What are the additional prices for borrowing equipment of the riding facilities? How much would one night / one week cost? How much would be the price for guiding tours?


Accommodation at Ruggård

Current accommodation possibilities for tourists/guests: a room of 80m2 without kitchen and shower/toilette facilities. The room could be either used as a dorm room, which could be equipped with bunk beds or used as separate rooms (up to 3 or 4) with single beds by building up walls. Optional: sharing shower facilities in the main building with guests. In addition: offering/providing breakfast/lunch and/or dinner for guests and therefore having a close customer relationship. Concept of a personal/familiar atmosphere

Possible future accommodation: an apartment with shower/toilette & kitchen facilities (washing machine, dryer, kitchen utensils etc.). Opportunity for offering accommodation for family/groups. Concept of a customer relationship with privacy on both sides.

Other possibilities: wood-house-concept like the rental houses at the B&B at Bindeballe at private ground.

Research questions: How much would the houses cost to set them up? What would be the break-even point, when setting up additional accommodation for guests?


Product at Ruggård

A unique scenery and wonderful landscape, where groups of Icelandic horse riders could ride with their own horses. Also racing cyclists and mountain bikers with own bikes could enjoy the trails through the nature. Opportunities for different customer segments: kids, teenagers as well as family or singles. Furthermore, offering the customer segment, who is looking of recreational use in rural tourism, the opportunity of fishing either at Refsgård Lystfiskers øer at Lystfiskerp aradiset.

Opportunity for key partner / local involvement

  • Bindeballe Købmandsgård

Opportunity for taking a break for horse and horseman. Possibility of building up fences for horses either at the back yard of the coffee place or at the railway station.

Possibility of additional revenues through horse riders or mountain bikers.

Research questions: Would it be possible to build up fences close to the railway station, where the horses could take a break? How could advertisement combined by the two/more partners? Is there an interest in offering fishing equipment and/or bicycles for guests? How much would be the additional revenues? How much would be the prices for renting equipment?


  • own website
  • links & listing in more general tourism websites
  • optional: advertisements in specialist equestrian journals
  • weblink on Visit Vejle
  • Danish tourism platform – Visit Denmark (and on facebook) (http://www.facebook.com/denmark)
  • working together with key partners


Why am I studying tourism?

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Now i think that is an interesting question, because normally I am studying business economics. So why I would like to gain a deeper insight to this industry just during my semester abroad? There are several reasons. One the one hand the tourism sector is a major economic sector, which has developed significantly in the last decades and reaps annually profits in billions highness. Demand and offer are still here in a continual transition.

I am interested in the following questions:

Which determinants is the consumption of tourism services and products subjected?

How do the direct, indirect and indicated effects of the tourism industry express in the national economy?

How are new markets and target groups extrapolated in an effective and efficient way?

Which future challenges and claims has the phenomenon tourism to face up?

A lot of open questions…I hope to get many interesting answers on them even here in the course “tourism, innovation and business models”.


Why am I studying tourism?

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Why I chose to study tourism? This is actually a good question which I have been asked quite a few times during my studies either by different professors or by relatives and friends.

Since my first year I have been on vacation in a holiday destination almost every year . Thinking back I can’t remember all the places I have been. About 8 years ago I wanted to become a flight attendant, because I just loved travelling by plane. But I figured out that it won’t be a job that I would like to do all my lifetime. Impressed by the atmosphere and all the processes that take place at an airport I was thinking about a training as an aviation services. After I finally passed my A-Level I actually wanted to study and not just do a training. So I looked for alternatives and I found out that there is the possibility to study tourism. besides the theoretical knowledge, this study also gives me the great opportunity to meet different people from different countries with different cultures. Another great aspect is that I have to deal with the English language during my studies.

My expectation of the project in this course is that I hope we will gain some useful practical experiences and that it will be an interesting and exciting project which will help us to get a better understanding to the theoretical knowledge which we will learn in the course.

Why do I study tourism?

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

During the last year of my apprenticeship in a German travel agency, I realized that I wanted to achieve more than “only” working as a travel agent my whole life. I liked the direct work with customers, my colleagues and also the great possibilities to travel, but I knew that there was a lot more to experience in the growing tourism industry.  Looking for a new challenge I decided to expand my knowledge by studying tourism.

Finding the right study program among all the offers was not easy. Finally, I decided to study an international tourism program which includes 1.5 years of studying abroad. The study program gives me the possibility to gain knowledge in business management, languages and different fields of tourism. Additionally, studying abroad gives a different perspective of tourism, which the German professors may not talk about and it also helps to improve language skills (or even to learn a new language). Staying abroad also gives me an intercultural experience that will improve my communication skills which are important to negotiate with people from different nations. Studying international tourism seemed to me as the perfect choice and is a chance to gain more experiences in the international tourism industry.

I think and hope that doing a project with a business from the tourism industry will help us to understand the theoretical models better. Being able to apply what I have learned in theory before is a good way to consolidate knowledge. Working with a real business is also a good experience for future jobs.

Why I study tourism

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Travelling is one of the main leisure activities in Europe. As most people I enjoy travelling as well. I have decided to enter the tourism field in very young age. I decided to join a tourism high school. At this time I chose this school, because I really love to travel around the world and I love to get in touch with different cultures. I wanted to combine this passion with my later job. Another factor why I have chosen this high school was that you will always be able to find a job in the tourism field, because there are always a lot of job offers. To graduate at this school I had to complete four internships in different areas of tourism. So I was able to learn a lot about tourism. After I had graduated at the high school, I still wanted improve my knowledge in the tourism field. I chose to study health management in tourism, because health tourism will be a big trend in the future. I decided to study international tourism for an exchange semester, because I want to gain more skills in tourism and especially related to the international background of it. In the future I want to work for an international company  and therefor I want to improve my skills in this field. Furthermore an exchange semester does not only improve the specialised knowledge related to our studies, during that view month we learn for your life. It is possible to gain experiences in a foreign country and that will be a huge advantage for all of us.

In expectation to the Tourism, Innovation and Business Models course I am really looking forward to our projekt. I hope this will lead me to a greater understanding of the different business models in tourism and I think this will give me a practical assumption to the theoretical background.

Why I study tourism

Sunday, September 7th, 2014


Why am I studying International Tourism Studies?

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Do you study tourism so you can be a tour guide? Will you have to move abroad after finishing your degree?

These are two common questions people ask me when they hear I study International Tourism, and the answer to both questions is: No, I could to that but I can do so much more.

I have always loved to travel and have had both positive and negative experiences. Especially the negative ones made me think: If I had welcomed us to the hostel or if I had planned this excursion the experience would have been so much better. When I did an internship at a tour operator I found that I am very service- oriented as I was very happy when I could be a part of a customer’s good experience. I realized that I wanted to understand why people travel, what they expect and to comprehend the tourism industry with all its connections in order to do a great job.

Moreover, tourism is a great subject because it offers a wide variety of jobs. I like the idea of not having to determine my career right now. Furthermore, I receive training in both tourism and business management which opens even more doors for me. It is comforting and exciting at the same time to know that I can apply for many different jobs all over the world when I have finished my studies.

Besides all that, I am simply very interested in getting to know different cultures. International Tourism Studies brings me to different countries during my years in university, which is very important for both my career options and my personal development. After having started my studies in Germany and having done an internship in Canada, I am now sitting here in Denmark looking back on why I chose to study tourism and cannot believe how much I have learned about other cultures, the tourism industry and business management and how much I am still learning every day.


Why Tourism?

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

I have always loved languages, and to speak as many as I can is one of my life objectives. On the other hand I live in a place with different types of tourism, such as “sun and beach” tourism, rural tourism or sports tourism. When I was considering my study choices, I had to pay attention to my skills. I am good at maths and pick up languages easily, so I decided to look for a career that would allow me to combine both skills. My Tourism degree is enjoyable and allows me to fulfil these skills.

I did my internship at a Tourism Information Office; this boosted my confidence and improved my communication skills as I had to converse with lots of new people in the workplace. The experience gave me the necessary strength to ask for an international Erasmus place.

Of this course I expect to learn, with practical cases, different business models and how to improve them depending on the goals of the owner.

Why am I studying tourism?

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Why are you studying tourism?- This is a question every tourism student is asked from the family, friends and other members of our society. However, the answer is not as simple as one should belive.

As a first reason, I have to say: “Because I like travelling!” Seeing all the different countries with all the different cultures, climates, cities, landscapes, and of course, political systems is exciting. Moreover, it seems to be the case that this is not thrilling just for me but for a great number of people- young and old alike. Furthermore, it is not just an “invention” of the modern era. Human beings are travelling since the beginning of their history. Not only for reasons of their own pleasure, but for reasons of their safety, food procurement and natural disasters. In spite of this travelling out of inquisitiveness and joy is not an invention of the modern times as well as whole continents were discovered out of a thirst of adventure in the Middle Ages. Although, I have to admit that travelling is more in common in the last decades or the last century.

So it came not unexpected that the tourism sector is as big as it is nowadays and offers a wide range of jobs from the travel agency worker to the head of an airline. Not knowing that I will do exactly in the future is not as terrible as it seems. Because of the wide range of jobs the tourism sector offers and because I know the sector in which I really would like to spend my time and earn my salary: “Because I like travelling!”

studying Tourism

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

In my home country I am not studying Tourism – I’m studying Business Administration. When I went to the International Office of my home university and told them that I was interested in studying in another country for one semester, they told me about the opportunity of going to Denmark where I can only study Tourism Management. It didn’t take long for me to make a decision because Business Administration often is kind of tedious and in my imagination Tourism Management is not. Business Administration compromises a big field of what you can do with it, which can be great if you are not sure what kind of job you want to do later. But in one year from now I have my Bachelor degree and I still have no idea what to do after it. So I take this opportunity to get a certain idea of what Tourism Management is about and maybe I decide to get my Master degree in Tourism. I have always been interested in foreign languages and cultures so I hope this field of studies is more interesting for me.

Because of my studies in my home country I am still interested in Business and so I’m curious to learn more about one of the fastest growing industries. I hope that this course gives a more practical insight into Business models than I am used to get from my courses in my home country.

Why did I choose to study tourism?

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

As a lot of young people do when they are about to finish school, I had a hard time on deciding what to do next. Since I already had biology as an advanced course in high school and was always fascinated by marine creatures, I decided to study biology in order to become a marine scientist later on. I soon realized that all these theories, maths, physics and chemistry just were not for me and quit after two semesters. I needed to look into a different direction and started an internship in a local tourism destination management company. This internship soon turned into an apprenticeship and before I knew I was an agent for tourism and leisure. During my apprenticeship I got to work in various departments, such as marketing, accounting, accommodation service and events. I had a lot of responsibility since the person in charge of the accommodation service was at home for quiet a while and therefore I was able to run this department, which was quiet a lot of fun. I especially liked it because I was working with lots of clients and guests on a daily basis and the pleasant part was that most of the guest were in a fantastic mood, since they wanted to book they were planning their vacation. It was always nice to be able to help them out and put a smile on their faces. Other than that I really liked working in the event department. The work was really diversified and especially in summer time I was outside a lot and meeting with clients. That was part of the reason I continued working as an events assistent for six more months after I finished my apprenticeship. The other reason for that was my wish to travel to Australia. The work as an events assistant enabled me to go to Australia which has been a dream of mine for almost a decade, then. I always felt the urge to travel since I was very little. I actually went on my first vacation on my own when I was seven. Whenever I had the opportunity to travel I took it and I always returned a richer person. I love learning about other cultures, seeing different places, experiencing new things and getting in touch with different people. For this reason and because I felt like working in the tourism sector was the right thing for me, I decided to study International Tourism Studies.

Why am I studying International Tourism Managenemt?

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

As with many other young people also for me, travelling has not only become a desire but also a way to express individualism. Once I am operating in the tourism sector, I’ll have the possibility to travel, work abroad and by that realize my dream. Despite of that, there are many other motivations which led me to my field of study.
More than in any other business sector, the prospects of success are depending on customer-orientation and the abilities to respond flexible to their individual needs. This characteristic goes well with my personal skills and interests, as I believe to be an open minded, creative and also efficient person.
Another interesting aspect of tourism is the variety of working challenges as a result of many different influential parties.
Certainly there are also economic reasons for my decision to study tourism:
The tourism industry is growing very fast and is, according to the UNWTO, one of the most important contributors to the GDP in many countries. Even in times of economic crisis people are willed to spend their money in the tourism market. It’s therefore a quite safe industry in regards to the workplace- and income security.
With the participation in the dual degree program in International Tourism Management, we are getting a broad education in business studies and tourism. This puts us in the good starting position for a future career.
Until that, I expect to gain a deeper knowledge of the business models in tourism industry by participating the course “Tourism, Innovation and Business Models” and I’m looking forward to our practical project during our lessons.

Why am I studying tourism?

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Tourism is not only the largest service industry but also the fastest growing industry in the world. Approximately 77 million people worldwide are employed by tourism. Tourism has got a great economic impact and creates a wide range of jobs in different hierarchical levels.
This is one of the main reasons why I chose to study International Tourism. I do not know exactly which job I want to take after my studies so that I am happy to have many possibilities as to where I want to work after I graduate. Additionally, I am of the opinion that this course of study prepares me very well for working life since we do not only learn about tourism as an international phenomenon but also about business studies. Moreover, I enjoy learning foreign languages and meeting people from other countries and exploring their culture. Today it is very important to be able to communicate and do business with international business partners and therefore it is necessary to possess intercultural competences, which we acquire throughout the semesters.
From this lecture I expect to learn about business models and their application in tourism based on the project we are going to work on.


Why am I studying tourism?

Friday, September 5th, 2014

From the economic aspect, tourism is one of the fast growing industries in the world, especially in the developing countries. For example, China has become one of the biggest tourist generating countries in the world and plays more and more important role in the global tourism market. According to the Statistisches Bundesamt, Deutschland, China is the fastest growing origin country to the German tourism market in 2013. The overnight tourists from China increased 22% in 2013, which means it created more opportunities for the people who are bilingual of Chinese and German, like me. From this aspect, it is a right decision to study tourism for a Chinese student in Germany or in Europe.

From my personal aspect, I have never worked by an insurance group as coordinator for couple of years before I came to Germany and gathered some experience of how to communicate with the customers, besides I love learning language, talking with the people from different cultures and experiencing those cultures from the point of view of local people. To choose a college course, I always believe, the best course to study is the one that leads you to your overall career goals and objectives. Therefore, when I entered to the college, I knew clearly that the new subject should improve the knowledge I have already had and then bring me something new. Apparently, the tourism course meets perfectly what I need. The course of tourism involves management, E-business, cross-culture, law and polishes my language level as well. Moreover, the course of tourism, compared to other subjects in the university, focus more on the practice, which is better for the future career.

At last, I expect to learn more practical cases of the business models in tourism industries, such as, not only the tour operators or travel agencies, but also some related sectors like event organizations, NGOs, culture agencies and etc, to know in which model they run their business and how to keep their business sustainable developed.

Why am I studying Tourism?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Overall, tourism is a curious subject to analyse currently. It represents a multi-disciplinary branch of the knowledge and even we could call it as “a science that studies other sciences”, its concept and trajectory changes oftentimes and every expert who has dedicated its career to study have its own point of view. As for me, I study tourism because I was looking for an interesting degree able to be studied from different types of fields or perspectives. Languages are one of my priorities as well as I focus my interest on some areas such as economics and marketing as well, I do not deny that the knowledge of other cultures is another key factor that took part of my decision especially when we start travelling and knowing a little bit better the world where we live.

Nonetheless, I would like to emphasise that this course can approach the main framework of the current tourism in my opinion. I also stand out that I am really keen into this subject because it is focused partly on one of the branches I like the most, I expect as a result improving my knowledge especially about what concerns business models and innovation. Therefore, I strongly believe that this subject can be useful in order to outline more details about the tourism as well as its future. It is not only important taking into account the past (history) of the tourism but also its future, the tourism has become an important economic pillar nowadays and with a proper management we will be able enough to bring it to a cost-efficient and sustainable future.

Why am I studying tourism management?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

According to the World Tourism Organization the tourism sector is a growing industry. Despite many challenging crises all over the world, people are more and more willing to travel. The steady but rapid growth fascinated me so that I wanted to take a deeper look at this business. In addition, it was really important for me to select a degree program that operates on an international level and that combines the general business administration with a particular focus on something “special”. As I love to travel and see the world, the tourism sector seemed perfect. Studying (International) Tourism Management also requires a strong interest in different languages. Since I did not want to study languages in general or for teaching reasons I am sure that I can use and improve my language skills in the tourism sector. Next to these personal factors there is one big social aspect that made me decide to study tourism. When working in the tourism field you can often help others. Not only that you enable travelers to enjoy their best time of the year but tourism itself also helps countries to widen their economic sector.

With our project I hope to get a better and most important practical insight into the “real” business that goes beyond the theory of tourism models. The fact that we actually help someone personally and on a real level will hopefully help us to apply our knowledge so that we will additionally memorize it way better than hearing it in theory only.
As the tourism sector is a growing and diversified industry it faces new and constantly changing challenges. I would like to learn about these recent challenges and possible solutions in class that we then may apply to our project individually.

Why am I studying tourism?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Tourism has always been a service sector that contributed to the economic outcome of a country to a great extent. People all over the world have travelled for a hundred of years and still do so which implies that this sector is most likely the fastest growing and persisting industry, even in developing countries. Some African countries for example, generate almost everything of their GDP through tourism. I know that tourism isn’t always the greatest thing since sliced bread. The sector is nowadays faced with several challenges like climate change but that is what it makes so interesting.

Those reasons simply encouraged me to study Tourism Management. I knew I wanted to study something about economics after I have finished my “Abitur” in which I majored in economics and languages. The fact to be able to study economics with a major in tourism, which is something I have always been interested in, made the decision easy for me what to study.

This course should give me an insight in specific tourism enterprise and their business models. I would like to learn more about different business models and if the implementation of those is different to the “normal” industry. Moreover, I would like to learn methods for proper research in general and especially in tourism with current examples.

Why I am studying Tourism

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

From an economic perspective, it is very easy to say why I am studying tourism. The tourism industry is one of the fastest growing industries and contributes to the GDP in most countries all over the world, in developing countries even more than in the developed countries. This aspect already shows the possibilities that the tourism sector has.

But tourism is not only about making money. It has so many different challenging fields that make it so fascinating and the tourism industry is able to improve the quality of life for a lot of people on the one hand, but on the other it creates unique experiences for others. Because of these aspects, I decided to study tourism and this is also what I expect from the class. Due to the fast growing industry I would like to work with current issues that may show how the tourism sector looks like in the future and with which challenges the sector might has to deal with. Additionally, I prefer practice over theory which means that I would like to learn from practical examples. Another fact that is very important to me is the interaction with other international students (even if most of us come from Germany) to exchange experiences and to learn from each other.

Why I’m studying Tourism?

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Usually it would be easy to answer the Question ‘Why did I choose to study Tourism?’ – maybe because I like to travel. But honestly, this isn’t a proper answer to this one. Almost everyone in my personal environment like to travel, but no one ever decided to study this field. Furthermore I did not get much opportunities for travelling during the last years due to my time-consuming apprenticeship in Berlin and a long-term injury.

A few years ago I’d met some guys from Sweden who are pretty busy in organizing and promoting scandinavian artists and music events in Berlin and all over the world. Lucky me, they asked me if I would join them by supporting them in Management, Accountancy and Organization of all this stuff. This guys are today one of my best friends.

During this time, which lasted for almost 2 years, I’ve gotten an pretty intense inside look in scandinavian culture and way of life. I was fascinated by getting in touch with other people from all other the globe and be productive with them. Additional to my rhetorical skills, my flexible manner of handlings each kind of task and my passion for other cultures, I found myself being part of one of the world’s biggest industries – the tourism sector.

After my apprenticeship I wanted to complete my practical knowledge with more theory in order to improve my opportunities for getting a proper job. I’ve never felt a passion for this long in my life and this feeling encounters me to go ahead with my future prospects. Tourism is the perfect way to combine several skills and areas of modern business and also the easiest way to get in touch with other people in order to learn more about ourselves.

I would like to work in the marketing segment of an european – maybe scandinavian – company in the nearer future. In order to keep my motivation up, the course should also concentrate on danish examples of business models and some innovations from Scandinavia.


E-tivity 1: Reason for studying tourism management and my expectations of the course

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

My main motivation for studying tourism management is my intent to achieve a Bachelor’s degree in business studies related to specific subjects in tourism. The program not only would teach me valuable academic skills, but also will provide me with many new and interesting opportunities, in particular to continue my studies in international management for a Master’s degree. In addition to that I would gain a deeper understanding of the service industry, especial in the tourism sector in order to work in a position of responsibility in an international company e.g. in the airline industry. Even though I already have gained a vocational training plus work experience in the service industry, I still feel that in order to build up a solid foundation for my future career and thus realize my dream of working and living abroad, I have to gain a throughout understanding in this area. Therefore I chose to study tourism management with a major in Destination Management & Planning and Air Transportation in combination with a minor in International Business. My expectations for the course Tourism, Innovation and Business Models:
– To gain a deeper and wider understanding of Business models in the tourism branch, specific in relation to Danish tourism and therefore to be able to compare that with the knowledge of German tourism as well as the general theory
– Compare information of previous excursions and talks of several Business models and development strategies in the area of Destination management and planning with the rural tourism in Denmark and its example of the equestrian tourism concept (application oriented with extended view)

Etivity 1 Studying tourism

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

I love t travel