Saints and Sinners : Developing new audiences for historic churches by expanding the visitor experience Rosi Lister CCT North, Tourism and Audience Development . CCT are 18 months into a 3 year Tourism Strategy
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Saints and Sinners: Developing new audiences for historic churches by expanding the visitor experience
CCT North, Tourism and Audience Development
CCT are 18 months into a 3 year Tourism Strategy
We see tourism as the vehicle that will drive footfall to our churches; growing our income and numbers of supporters
Supporting the Tourism Strategy are national action plans for Learning, Interpretation and the Arts
What have we learned?
That we cannot resource the kinds of tourism promotions that we want – on our own.
That most of our churches don’t have the facilities or dwell time that visitors expect for a day out.
That the only way to succeed is by working with others to offer visitors more, via packaged promotions
We needed to clarify what we were offering – what is our tourism product?
But we discovered that there’s more to it than that…
CCT’s collection of historic churches are rooted in English landscapes.
When we saw our historic churches within their landscape environs they became a visitor attraction full of opportunities…
– walking, cycling, touring, canal tow paths, coastal, woodland, historic towns…
Places to discover when out for a walk
Working with partners
Such as Cycling Touring Clubs
But there is still this problem of visitor facilities…
The business case for the visitor experience
We know from research that visitors spend more if they are enjoying themselves, so finding ways to increase that sense of visitor satisfaction is vital to maximise the support afforded by the visitor economy.
If we are the ones who have helped the visitor find the best local spot for a slap-up Sunday lunch before walking it off virtuously to one of our churches we will benefit from that feel-good factor.
So the quality of everything we promote as part of the package is vital.
Quality is subjective, so we listen to our visitors and respond to what they tell us.
To enhance the visitor experience further we have piloted special interest tours, treasure hunts and art trails
We have brought together a national partnership of like-minded organisations who see the potential of visiting historic churches as an added benefit to their members and customers, providing greater choice of things to do, see and find.
We are planning to pool resources and come up with a joint marketing campaign that will present the idea that visits to our churches by car, by boat, on foot or by bike, are a part of a characteristically British day out or holiday.