Business Start-up Advice

Useful information to help you get going

Adding Value to the Tourism Experience

In the latest visitor survey ‘scenery and landscape’ was the top reason (91%) for coming to Exmoor. Short walks (75%) were the top activity followed closely by longer walks (42%) while staying here. 89% said they are planning to come again. Cycling also was enjoyed by 7% of those questioned, but this is a growing marketplace.

Walking and cycling are activities tourists are already wanting to do and Exmoor is without question one of the best places to enjoy both. But this is still not that well-known. We need to be pro-active in telling people. Find out more by downloading this informative PDF on packaging holidays (191kb).

Rural Tourism Toolkit

Whether you are a long established business or looking to start up in the tourism trade the Rural Tourism Toolkit is full of practical help and advice to support you. 

The toolkit provides 5 fully interactive PDF documents allowing you to quickly and easily navigate to the information you're after. Each section also contains a detailed case study to inspire you. Click here to access the Rural Tourism toolkit.

Tourism stats and insights

Check out the latest information on the inbound tourism to England from Visit Britain at You can also find out key facts and trends in England's own tourism from Visit England at Also visit the South West Tourism Alliance site for lots of local tourism information at

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for your website

SEO is necessary to help search engines understand what your website is all about. It is an essential job if you want your site to be found and listed by the search engines. The competition in tourism for good rankings (listing position) is fierce so be prepared for it to take a while for a new website to get into a good position on the search engines.

Initially promote your new website whenever you can. This will increase traffic to the site which will encourage search engines to trust your site and bring it up the listings. If you have had your site professionally designed, DO NOT expect your designer to optimise it for you, they rarely have any interest or knowledge of how to do this. For more information on SEO download this PDF on search engine optimisation (222kb). Use it to help your designer or to help you if you can update your own site.

Quality Information

Having an inspection by Quality in Tourism can seem intrusive and daunting. But the benefits far outweigh those worries. The inspector will point you in the right direction, ensuring your guests have an enjoyable stay with you. Happy guests are the easiest guests and are much more likely to recommend you. You will have pride in your establishment. Your business will naturally grow, helping you save on marketing.

To find out more about getting an inspection and star rating go the Quality in Tourism website.

Welcome Walkers

As an accommodation provider in Exmoor and the Quantocks, you are bound to get a lot of walkers. They are the prime market for this area. Making them particularly welcome will ensure you get repeat custom.

How to do this

Apart from what you would do anyway for your guests, walkers will be looking for:

  • Somewhere to dry wet boots and clothing, old newspapers to stuff boots
  • Maps of the area, local walks leaflets, recommendations of good local walks
  • Sandwiches for picnics, after breakfast
  • Evening meals if there is not a local pub or restaurant within a 10 minute walk
  • Often baths are preferred to showers, to soak tired muscles
  • Dogs welcome in the property.

Exmoor and the Quantocks is well covered by Walkers are Welcome. Ilfracombe, Lynton and Lynmouth, Porlock, Dunster and Wiveliscombe are all towns which are part of this scheme. Contact them to become part of this, giving you more exposure to walkers.

Green Credentials

As a tourism provider on Exmoor, it makes a lot of sense to aspire to the sustainable tourism ethics promoted by Exmoor National Park. Tourists, and particularly walkers will favour a business that is doing its bit to look after the local environment and to help people enjoy the outdoors without causing damage to it in the process. To find out more, have a look at the main sites page on Green Holidays and follow the links for further information.