- On 25 Aug 2020
Top level visit for World famous Coast to Coast trail to highlight exemplar business during CoVid-19 pandemic
Cumbrian company The Coast to Coast Packhorse welcomed The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak on a mini outdoor adventure to highlight the importance on the magnificent C2C way, promote the good ol’ British ‘Staycations’ for all ages, and to talk about collaborations and innovative business planning during the devastating outbreak.
As part of the Chancellors visits to highlight exemplar business, Coast to Coast guardian and leading operator of walking, running and cycling holidays and bespoke services on the World-famous trail, The Coast to Coast Packhorse was honoured to welcome Rishi Sunak onto part of the trail in Richmond, alongside their new collaborative partners for bag and passenger moving operations- Sherpa Van.
Mark Sandamas, Owner at The Coast to Coast Packhorse adds:
“It was an important opportunity to talk to The Chancellor about the devastating impact the CoVid pandemic has had on our sector, and our historic business that started with just bag movements around 30 years ago- not long after Alfred Wainwright kickstarted the love for the trail.
Throughout the initial closure we had to completely adapt our operations and business model, and find innovative solutions to ensure business survival, as well as a way to accommodate our customers that had hoped for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with us this summer.
Fortunately, our customers have been incredibly supportive and understanding and we have been able to add a whole new dimension to the company for the future. With sheer determination, a fantastic team around me, supportive partnerships, and hope & positivity- we will be able to make our customers’ visits even more special moving forward.”
The company welcomes and encourages thousands of visitors onto the trail each year, of which almost 50% is international tourism.
The innovate SME estimates an annual average of over £2M economic contribution in the local areas*.
During the visit- The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak said:
“The Coast to Coast way has a certain magic to it. The ability to walk cross country, pass through 3 completely different and individually mesmerising national parks; the all-important economic boost that the route gives to the local economy and livelihoods in the areas, and of course- it has a special place in my heart as it passes through my own constituency.”
When asked about his favourite area to walk, The Chancellor mentioned he loves walking the C2C section besides the River Swale between Keld and Reeth with his family.
The Chancellors parents thoroughly enjoyed walking the Eastern half of the C2C with The Coast to Coast Packhorse, and Mr Sunak stated that he intends on doing the full C2C way when he retires.
Rishi Sunak has been an advocate of The Coast to Coast way throughout. He has welcomed a Conservative manifesto pledge to back his campaign to make the famous Coast to Coast Walk a National Trail. National Trail designation will mean resources being devoted to maintain and upgrade the route which brings thousands of visitors to the local areas every year.
The newly established collaboration on operations between The Coast to Coast Packhorse and Sherpa Van to combine bag and passenger moving operations during the CoVid-affected season will mean an immediate reduction on contact points and transmission risk by 50%, and directly demonstrates a positive response to the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought on the whole adventure travel and holiday sector.
Mark Sandamas, owner of The Coast to Coast Packhorse
“This is something we have been discussing for a couple of weeks since I first reached out, and it is great that we are both of the same mindset. It will ensure not only the best level of service for customers doing the Coast to Coast but also prioritises the health and safety for all the vital accommodation partners.”
Tali Emdin, Manager, Sherpa Van
“This was a great opportunity to meet with the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak in our own backyard of Richmond to discuss hospitality and tourism and how we are working together during this devastating crisis. We are pleased to be collaborating with Packhorse to provide a uniform health and safety protocol for our accommodation partners and drivers.”
The Coast to Coast Packhorse has been hailed as exemplar by The Chancellor for its innovative and thought through response to the pandemic.
The company has also launched The Official Coast to Coast Running Festival – to celebrate the end of the C2C season; and The Official Coast to Coast Cycling Festival – to celebrate the opening of the C2C season – annually; as well as launched The Virtual Coast to Coast challenge for aspiring C2C’ers across the world https://www.myvirtualchallenges.com/virtual-challenges/