further.space launches £9M alternative tourism business

Tourism entrepreneurs Peter Farquharson and David Maxwell launched further.space at the Northern Ireland Leisure Show at Balmoral Park on Friday, 2 November.

further.space is  a new and innovative alternative tourism company set up to co-ordinate the provision and installation of design-led pods as tourist accommodation in unique and unexpected locations.

The start-up firm aims to establish up to 100 micro tourism joint venture partnerships throughout the U.K. and Ireland.  The company has set a target to deploy 500 pods in hand-picked locations over the next five years in partnership with landowners seeking to maximise the potential of their land through tourism.

CEO of further.space, and former founder of Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland, Peter Farquharson said: “My background is in creating sustainable global accommodation solutions.  Whilst it is well documented that the tourist industry is one of the biggest growth industries in Ireland and the fifth biggest industry in the world, often some of our most attractive natural landscapes suffer from accommodation shortages limiting local potential to access the tourist pound.  Our vision is to empower landowners in spectacular off-the-beaten-track locations to create profitable, sustainable and low maintenance micro tourism businesses on their land, that has both societal and economic benefits for the entire area.”

The tourism market on the Island of Ireland attracts 12 million tourists annually culminating in 72 million overnight stays.  As the market grows so does demand for alternative accommodation options with up to 37% of tourists recorded as preferring non-traditional accommodation solutions including pod based ‘glamping’ experiences in spectacular locations.

further.space is the sister company of  Intupod, who manufacture multi-purpose aluminium structured pods in Belfast.  further.space is the customer facing business that will establish a select network of joint venture business partners with landowners and existing tourism ventures in hand-picked locations.  The company offers business partners a complete tourism support package – from financing and planning support to marketing and booking systems.

COO of further.space, and energy efficient housing entrepreneur, David Maxwell stated: “Our research shows that landowners are attracted by the opportunity to diversify into tourism, however the process of establishing a tourism business on their land is often limited by financial or logistical impediments.  The unique further.space joint venture business model means we can provide financial support, planning expertise and booking systems to deliver bed nights.  This allows our partners to concentrate on the experience, by hosting the guests and managing housekeeping and maintenance of the pods on their land.  The model is designed to deliver security and a long-term opportunity to capitalise on a burgeoning tourist industry.”

Each pod is forecast to deliver an annual revenue of £18,000 per year, with 500 pods over 5 years estimated to generate a total revenue of £9M.  A partnership with four pods on site will generate an annual revenue of £72,000 per year and £360,000 over five years.

“Unique spaces in unexpected places is the key to success,” surmises Peter: “All locations will be handpicked to create experiences that go beyond the ordinary.  Our pods are designed to bring guests closer to nature and further away from the hassle and pressure of everyday life.  Together with our partners we aim to deliver experiences that provide a unique perspective on life in spectacular locations.”

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