Working with relevant industry organisations and government departments as outdoor businesses recover and prepare to reopen, the Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) has led an initiative to create and publish a series of three useful ‘Good To Go’ guides aimed at different sectors of the outdoor market. These helpful guides provide market specific background information, advice, links and guidelines on preparing businesses for reopening and accepting customers again.
Campsites, guest houses and hostels have all remained closed as well as outdoor stores during the pandemic, however with restrictions gradually being lifted, businesses are preparing to get back to normal and welcome customers, guests and consumers and the expectation is that the general public will have a renewed appetite for getting out into the ‘Great Outdoors’ again.
First in the series was ‘Getting Back On Track’ for the COVID-19 safe reopening of outdoor recreation retail stores. This concentrates on providing simple guidance steps and links to essential reading for store owners as well as advice on PPE and precautions to take with customers in-store and also with staff returning to work.
The second guide to be created is ‘Good To Go Camping’ which provides invaluable information, checklists and links for campsite owners in preparation to welcome campers and caravanners once again. This guide includes recommendations, advice on risk analysis and assessment as well as detailed industry guidelines published by the membership organisation, The Camping & Caravanning Club.
Lastly, to assist the reopening of hostels, bunkhouses, bothies and self-catering accommodation, ‘Good To Go Hostelling’ sets out a step by step guide with details of where to seek information on health & safety guidelines and risk assessment advice and templates. This includes agreed industry specific guidelines developed by the Youth Hostels Association.
Both the Campsites and Hostelling guides feature the nationally coordinated campaign by Visit Britain and the Department of Culture, Media & Sport across all four devolved nations which is designed to inspire confidence in returning customers to a safe and protected environment. Getting off its mark right at the start of the pandemic as outdoor businesses went into lockdown, the OIA quickly created a ‘Help Hub’ resource for its members and the wider outdoor community where useful information, links and advice could be shared.
Chief Executive, Andrew Denton has lobbied tirelessly with Ministers, government departments and industry organisations for the safe reopening of the outdoors and said, “We see it as a responsibility to our members to provide resources to help them through this pandemic. The market specific guides contain lots of useful information for outdoor business owners and we are all hopeful of a strong ‘bounce back’ effect and recovery process which will allow our industry to flourish once again and take advantage of the remainder of the summer season.”