A study carried out by the National Coastal Tourism Academy makes for some fascinating reading. Below, we take a look at some of the findings, and what their research shows…
It is important to remember that this survey targeted those who had NOT visited the English coast for an overnight stay in the past five years, and shows how people can slip away and not come back – as well as highlight perceptions of why those people have not visited for so long.
- Most non-visitors had visited the English coast at some point in the past so had experiences to shape their perceptions. Therefore, unlike destinations abroad, their views were not a ‘blank canvas’ which has both advantages and disadvantages.
- The vast majority of non-visitors were positive about at least one of the English coastal types.
- Although there is a perception that most people think of England’s coast as traditional seaside, most non-visitors are more attracted by other destination types.
Six coastal ‘types’ and imagery were presented: Coastal Retreats, Harbour Towns, Lively Towns, Active Breaks, Traditional Seaside and Port City.
The findings are just some of the challenges that we here on the Island will recognise – ‘prefer to go abroad’, ‘weather is too unreliable’, ‘the coast is closed in the winter’, ‘too expensive’, ‘prefer non coastal holidays’, ‘too far to travel’, ‘not interested in the activities’ or ‘seems a little downmarket/tacky’.
The report suggests that:
“The main barriers to visiting are a preference for destinations abroad, unpredictable weather and perceived expense. None of these barriers is insurmountable with targeted communication and product development.”
“A significant challenge is overcoming inertia – providing a reason to visit now, when there are so many other leisure opportunities and holiday options available.”
The National Coastal Tourism Academy study makes a series of recommendations to overcome these perceived barriers, including out of season promotions, a shift of attention to other activities available during inclement weather, or focussing on a different type of experience available during the ‘shoulder’ season.
Visit Isle of Wight continues to work with Wight BID levy payers on a number of projects designed to broaden and cement the appeal of the Isle of Wight, including the Explore Victoria’s Island Trail, the Literary Heroes Trail, the Isle of Wight Walking Festival and much much more.
Download the National Coastal Tourism Academy report, have a read and let us know what you think!
With thanks to the National Coastal Tourism Academy for reproducing some of their work here.