While we move up and down the COVID-19 rollercoaster, we try to be resilient and dream about fun future travel plans. It’s clear that people are eager to travel again. But what will the world of tourism look like once the pandemic dust has settled? At Outside the Corral we firmly believe that horse riding holidays are the next big thing. Here are five reasons why.
1. Part of tourism AC (After COVID-19)
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely altered the way we will travel in the future. With a lot of time to reflect during lockdowns, we have become more conscious on how we want to invest our precious time and money. As a result, travel is moving away from mainstream mass tourism towards travel with more personal value. Travellers seek the kind of journey that values the quality of their experience far more than the quantity, with a larger focus on personal interests and philosophy.
Horse riding holidays are the ultimate form of this ‘tourism AC (After COVID-19)’. They are immersive, meaningful, authentic and deeply rewarding experiences that enrich your life. Add their strong sustainable character and you’ll understand how horse riding holidays are incredibly future-proof. That brings us seamlessly to reason number two.
2. Sustainable and responsible
If it was not already the case before COVID-19 hit, the pandemic has opened our eyes to the importance of sustainability and taking care of our planet. It sent us a warning that we need to change the way we live, travel and treat the world. Especially in the tourism industry the growing awareness is apparent. The tourism of the future is only one that is sustainable and responsible.
Horse riding holidays are the embodiment of responsible travel: leaving nothing but hoof prints, creating a dialogue with local communities and paying local partners directly. Under the condition that you visit an outfitter that is as ethical as it appears, of course. At Outside the Corral responsible tourism is at the heart of our DNA, aimed at having a positive and minimal impact on the local communities and environments we travel to. We carefully select local outfitters that share these values of sustainable tourism and demonstrate them through their way of operation. This can take many different shapes: producing own organic food, being energy self-sufficient, adopting a zero food waste policy, being part of supporting programmes for the local communities and of course taking excellent care of their animals.
3. Social distancing at another level
We definitely developed a deep love for space. Living space, working space, personal space, social space, mental space.
Now altering virus variants are still causing new COVID-19 waves and we have to be very cautious, riding holidays are a very safe travelling option. All of our partners are small-scale – often even family-owned – businesses, located in rural and remote areas. During your holiday you’ll be in contact with only a limited group of people, spend most of your day outdoors and effortlessly apply the act of social distancing.
But even when COVID-19 becomes a less influential factor in our lives (hopefully soon!), horse riding holidays are a great option for those in need of space. They are the exact opposite of mass tourism and a great way to escape our crowded daily lives.
4. Connection with nature in the most authentic way
During the successive lockdowns there was always one common thread: people wanted to go out into the nature. Never before have parks, forests and other natural areas been so crowded with walkers, cyclists, runners, etc. This was not just because there was nothing else to do at certain times, but also because everyone felt this was the best way to stay sane and positive. We collectively rediscovered nature and its healing power.
The most authentic way to connect with nature is definitely from horseback. While your four-legged friend takes you off the beaten track, you really become one with nature. You experience your surroundings in a different, slower, more intense way. It’s a moment to take time and to be inspired by the idyllic setting. On horseback you are unplugged from the daily rush and routine and you live in the moment. A real detox!
5. Growing role of horses
Horses are ‘hot’. In the sports sector in Flanders the total number of equine sports enthusiasts grows every year. But more importantly PaardenPunt Vlaanderen notes that the horse is starting to inspire many other sectors apart from the sports sector. Coaching, therapies, teambuilding, tourism & leisure activities, etc. in which horses play a leading role are becoming more and more numerous and popular. At Outside the Corral we are not surprised by this. Horses are incredible creatures with so much wisdom, value and honesty to share. Everyone dealing with horses knows that horses are a perfect mirror. A horse can see right through you, a relieving sensation compared to dealing with people. This characteristic makes horses very appealing actors to work with in many different sectors. Spending your holiday in the company of horses undoubtedly has a positive effect on your mental health. Their therapeutic effect will not escape you!
Do you have any questions or comments on this article? Are you ready to start planning your own riding holiday? Do not hesitate to contact us.