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The stars are aligning for sustainable domestic tourism

Napthens - March 2nd 2021

Guest article from Adam Gough, Head of Property at Natural Land. 

It’s fair to say that recent history has been eventful. It has featured amongst other things, a worldwide financial crisis in 2007/8, the persistent threat of terrorism, the advent and uncertainty of Brexit, a shocking global pandemic and the existential threat of climate change. However, across each of these scenarios domestic tourism has performed strongly and proven itself to be economically counter cyclical.

Natural Land have 15 years’ experience in the domestic tourism sector which includes masterplanning, achieving valuable detailed consent, then delivering and, through operating partner Together Travel, operating completed schemes on behalf of clients. Advising from extensive operational experience, Natural Land believes in well-conceived, holistic rural masterplans that are financially viable and operationally fit for purpose.

For rural landowners using underperforming or redundant assets to access domestic tourism is a win-win, replacing a drain on cashflow with robust revenue streams. This diversification, if operated on a sustainable basis, will also directly support the sensitive rural communities in which they sit.

Sustainable tourism has a vital role to play in rural recovery whilst creating a platform for tackling climate change. The rural setting naturally encourages a renewable approach to heating and electricity, sustainable drainage solutions that contribute to increased biodiversity, all of which position potential schemes attractively to a newly established green finance and ESG lending market.

On a macro level when the economy emerges from COVID-19, investment that was traditionally focussed upon retail and urban commercial will be looking for a new home. Workforces have dissipated thanks to the relative success of working from home, high street retail has been further decimated by online platforms and urban centres are looking for their new purpose. Whilst there is some way to travel, domestic tourism has all the credentials and characteristics to become the bold new asset class investors are looking for.

Major lenders who have previously just dipped their toes in the industry are now investing time educating themselves about domestic tourism and self-catering accommodation. They will find a market that creates capital appreciation and long term yields. A market that has mass participation and directly supports rural businesses through servicing and supply chain

Natural Land have a proud track record of delivering sensitive masterplans across the UK from John O’Groats to Cornwall and from North Wales to North Yorkshire which have now become thriving operational tourism destinations.

For further information please contact Adam Gough on or 07939 225 643