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SPORTS TOURISM


GETTING INTENSE C


Rhian Evans and Geoff Vaughan came up with the brainwave of launching pop-up campsites at local sports clubs in London. Aimed at visitors seeking cheaper accommodation options, the initiative has left its own sports legacy


ampingninja is an online booking tool for hundreds of campsites across the UK, using the same model as Hostelworld and Late Rooms, but dedicated


to the campsite industry. As outdoor enthusiasts we were inspired to launch the business in 2009 while finding it difficult to book a camping weekend, as the only available online tools at that time were directories, which didn’t actually let you book a pitch. We decided to look at how we could solve such a problem.


It soon became clear that this project


would need substantial investment – one of the main reasons this model had never been attempted before in the camping industry. We entered The Big Idea competition run by the Travel Trade Gazette and Dubai Tourism and after a written pitch was accepted we made it through to the final six. We pitched to our ‘Dragons’ and in 2009 were told that we had won – Campingninja was born.


CAMPING AT THE GAMES While discussing the forthcoming Olympics, we came up with the idea of setting up temporary campsites at sports clubs in London to accommodate visitors. As we both play for our local rugby


(Rhian) and cricket (Geoff) clubs, we were well aware that many sports grounds have underutilised space during the summer months and that nearly all community clubs would jump at the opportunity to raise some extra revenue for much needed reinvestment. And of course, existing clubs already have all the necessary facilities in place (parking, showers, toilets, bar and catering). So the seed was sown and we set to work on making Camping at the Games a reality. The objectives for Camping at the


The Campingninja team manage camping projects from set up through to delivery 64 SPORTS MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK 2013


Games was to make the Games accessible to all by offering an affordable accom- modation option, within easy access of the Games’ venues. We wanted to enable community sports clubs such as


www.sportsmanagementhandbook.com


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