Using A Community Tourism Development Model To Explore Equestrian Trail Tourism Potential In Virginia

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Carol Kline PhD, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: As the tourism industry grows so does the demand by tourists for specialized travel alternatives. One niche market that is growing but has received very little attention in the tourism literature is equestrian tourism. Increased demand makes the development and planning of equestrian tourism critical to minimize conflict among stakeholders, and provide necessary infrastructure for patrons. The purpose of this study was to assess equestrian trail riders' perceptions and attitudes about the viability of and need for equestrian trail tourism development in their community. An online survey was conducted with members of the Virginia Horse Council. According to the findings, not only was equestrian trail tourism viewed as a viable industry for the county, current resource users voiced their support for expanding the market, which would result in retention and growth among related businesses and facilities. Trail riders felt that the greatest needs in developing equestrian tourism lay in the areas of marketing, support from officials, educating local officials about the economic importance of the horse industry, organization within the horse community, and developing additional trails. Results from this study will be useful in a general sense for rural tourism planners within and outside of the community wishing to increase equestrian trail tourism.

Additional Information

Kline, C. S., et al. (2015). "Using a community tourism development model to explore equestrian trail tourism potential in Virginia." Journal of Destination Marketing & Management 4(2): 79-87. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2015
Equestrian trail tourism, Trail development, Horseback riding, Community development model

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