A South Australian island farm will be the first location for a new tourism franchise business launched by Auchterhouse farmers, Ross and Caroline Millar.
The Millars, who run the five-star romantic Hideaway Experience at Balkello on the outskirts of Dundee, have partnered with Carly Bussenschutt, a South Australian beef and sheep farmer to take the Hideaway concept to an international audience.
Two new sites are being built in Kangaroo Island and an additional two Hideaways are being constructed at Balkello this year.
Caroline and Carly first met in 2013 when the women undertook a Nuffield Farming Scholarship. They agreed to work together after Carly identified a gap in the market for luxury couples breaks on Kangaroo Island.
After visiting the island in November 2016, Caroline decided the destination and the proposed location for the first Australian Hideaway was perfect.
She said: “Kangaroo Island is the size of Angus and Perthshire and is effectively Australia in miniature, with everything you would expect as a tourist from the whole continent, found in one island. The Kangaroo Island Hideaway is opening in the first half of 2018.”
The Millars have developed criteria for prospective franchisees which include skills and attributes, together with what the existing property or land must feature.
“It may be that where we have a fantastic potential site we bring in our own local management team to run and service the business and the owner acts as a landlord or silent partner,” she said.
“Carly is a very astute businesswoman and so her feedback as we work through this pilot phase will be extremely valuable. It is not a common occurrence to have a Scottish tourism business exporting its services internationally, so this is a really exciting prospect.”