Using a community tourism development model to explore equestrian trail tourism potential in Virginia

Carol S. Kline, David Cardenas, Paige P. Viren, Jason R. Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


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[U+05F3] 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Destination Marketing and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015.


  • Community development model
  • Equestrian trail tourism
  • Horseback riding
  • Trail development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing


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