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Herefordshire Perception & Awareness Research. January 2012 Contacts: Ben.moxon@arkenford.co.uk. Introduction. The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (MLEP) area covers the local authority areas of Herefordshire Council, Shropshire Council and Telford and Wrekin Council .

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herefordshire perception awareness research

Herefordshire Perception & Awareness Research

January 2012

Contacts:

Ben.moxon@arkenford.co.uk

introduction
Introduction
  • The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (MLEP) area covers the local authority areas of Herefordshire Council, Shropshire Council and Telford and Wrekin Council.
  • This research is being undertaken to inform the 3 component local authority areasabout;
    • The profile (and relevance) of current visitors?
    • The types of trips taken
    • The emerging markets?
    • The markets that provide best ROI?
    • The types of message they will respond to?
    • How to package up the product for these markets?
  • In short the research will :
    • Demonstrate clearly the profile of existing visitors to the region (and specific local authority areas within it)
    • Provide the necessary strategic insight to identify types of potential visitors that could be targeted for a future visit
methodology
Methodology
  • Arkenford conducted an online survey using an online panel provider
  • A total of 1502 interviews conducted
  • Quotas set on respondent origin
    • 501 respondents living within 90 minute drive time from The Marches
    • 1001 respondents living further afield
  • And past visit or future visit consideration
    • At least 500 consider Shropshire as ‘My Type of Place’
    • At least 500 consider Herefordshire as ‘My Type of Place’
    • At least 500 consider Ironbridge Gorge as ‘My Type of Place’
  • This ensures that we can produce stand alone reports for each destinations as well as wider report for The Marches
  • Fieldwork conducted in December 2011
  • A review of other existing insight helps add context to the primary research
awareness of destinations
Awareness of Destinations
  • Awareness and appeal of areas within The Marches is greater than for the wider area itself
  • Awareness and appeal of Herefordshire is high, with 83% stating they would consider it for a holiday/short break/day trip which is much higher than the other areas within The Marches
  • 73% of respondents who stated that Herefordshire appealed to them would also consider Shropshire for a holiday/ short break/ day trip
index of destination awareness
Index of Destination Awareness
  • The segments that are more likely to perceive Herefordshire as ‘My Type of Place’ are Cosmopolitans and Traditionals
    • Cosmopolitans are generally keen to try new experiences / see new places and are generally very positive
    • Traditionals are more risk averse, prefer more rural holidays, relaxation and history and heritage
  • Herefordshire also appeals to Functionals
    • Functionals are a group who are fiercely independent and budget orientated
awareness local vs non local
Awareness: Local vs. Non-local
  • There is not much difference in consideration and appeal of destinations within The Marches when comparing the local and non-local findings
visit history1
Visit history
  • Three quarters of respondents have never visited The Marches… or they don’t know they have ever visited!
  • Respondents are more likely to have visited Herefordshire and/or Shropshire than they are Ironbridge Gorge
  • % of sample who have visited is up on figures reported in 2008/9
index of visit within past 2 years
Index of visit – Within past 2 years
  • Cosmopolitans are most likely to have visited Herefordshire within the last 2 years
    • They are one of the most active segments
  • Herefordshire has also attracted a greater than average share of Traditionals
  • In comparison, Shropshire and Ironbridge Gorge have attracted more Followers
destination visit local vs non local
Destination visit: Local vs. Non-local
  • Herefordshire is more likely to attract a local market in the last 2 years as opposed to visitors from further afield, which is in line with The Marches as a whole
type of holiday
Type of holiday
  • Herefordshire is perceived to be a place to visit as a couple / with other adults
  • In comparison, respondents consider Ironbridge Gorge to be a places you could visit with children
length of trip
Length of Trip
  • Herefordshire is predominantly viewed as a place to visit as part of a short break
  • Only 25% consider it to be somewhere to visit as part of a day trip
period of holiday
Period of holiday
  • Herefordshire is a destination considered to be suitable all year round
  • Interestingly, it is seen more as a place they would visit in off peak period as opposed to peak period
awareness of location
Awareness of location
  • The majority of people correctly placed Shropshire, Herefordshire and Ironbridge Gorge in the West Midlands
    • Is there really confusion around Herefordshire and Hertfordshire?!!
activities enjoy
Activities Enjoy
  • Visiting local towns / villages / countryside, scenic areas and landscapes is the most appealing activity
  • Outdoor activity and shopping appear at the bottom of the list
herefordshire associations
Herefordshire Associations
  • The strongest Herefordshire associations are the market towns/ villages/ scenic countryside and landscapes
  • Herefordshire is least associated with shopping and cultural exhibitions, events and festivals
herefordshire associations1
Herefordshire Associations
  • Little difference between age / gender or origin in terms of associations
  • Those more likely to make stronger associations across different product offers are:
    • Cosmopolitans and Traditionals
    • Families
    • Current and lapsed visitors
types of o utdoor activities people enjoy
Types of Outdoor Activities People Enjoy
  • The more gentle the outdoor activity, the more people will enjoy it!
    • River walks, forest trails and gentle strolls are the most appealing outdoor activities;
    • Extreme sports appeal to far fewer consumers
    • Golf & Angling have least appeal indicating what a niche activity they are
index of activities my type of thing
Index of Activities: My type of thing
  • Gentle exercise has appeal to wide cross section, especially older audience, and Traditional and Functional ArkLeisure segments
  • More physical activity (canoeing, cycle trails, etc. appeals to a younger, more leading edge segment groups
  • Families also enjoy this (supervised) offer
destinations offering outdoor activities
Destinations Offering Outdoor Activities
  • Herefordshire is perceived to be the destination that offers the outdoor activity that people enjoy by the largest percentage of people
types of food drink
Types of Food & Drink
  • Traditional pubs and tasting/ buying locally sourced produce are amongst the most popular food and drink offer
  • Farmers markets and Farm shops are also increasingly popular
  • Some interest in ‘learning’ about food
  • Less interest in the ‘top end’ food and drink offer indicating niche appeal
who enjoys different food drink
Who enjoys different food & drink?
  • Widespread appeal for traditional pubs, tasting/ buying locally sourced products and tea rooms
  • Style Hounds and Cosmopolitans (leading edge segments) will go for top end product
  • Cosmopolitans, Style Hounds and Traditionals are segments likely to enjoy locally sources products and farm shops
destinations offering food drink
Destinations Offering Food & Drink
  • Herefordshire is considered to be the destination that offers the food and drink product consumers enjoy by the largest percentage of people
types of history heritage
Types of History & Heritage
  • History and heritage is of interest to a large proportion of consumers
  • Most popular are areas of natural beauty and historic towns
  • Other ‘man made’ options such as monuments, castles and houses are also popular
  • Guided history tours and industrial heritage are the least enjoyed product offers
who prefers different history heritage
Who prefers different History & Heritage?
  • Because of the high % of interest, history and heritage appeals to a wide cross section of the population
  • Younger audiences / families are more likely to want guided tours (bring the product alive)
  • Most engaged Arkleisure groups are Cosmopolitan and Traditionals
destinations offering history heritage
Destinations Offering History & Heritage
  • Over three quarters of respondents feel that Herefordshire offers the history and heritage they enjoy
  • However, despite lower interest in Industrial Heritage, Ironbridge Gorge is seen by most people as the destination offering the history and heritage they enjoy
  • Part of this will be the power of being a ‘brand’ as well as the delivery of the product (living history)
types of places to visit when exploring
Types of Places to Visit when Exploring
  • Outdoor space is as popular as towns and villages when it comes to enjoyment of exploration
  • Viewpoints, rivers, canals and waterways, and national parks all have great appeal
  • Cathedral cities have more appeal than larger cities
  • AONB sites are more appealing than WHS appearing at the top of the list of the of the places people enjoy to visit when exploring a place
who enjoys different places to explore
Who enjoys different places to explore?
  • Exploring outdoor areas has widespread appeal across all types of consumer
    • This is especially the case for Cosmopolitan, Traditional & Functional segments
  • Younger, more leading edge segments are more likely to want to explore major cities
destinations offering places to sightsee
Destinations Offering Places to Sightsee
  • Herefordshire is seen by most people as a destination that offers the places to sightsee and explore that they enjoy
types of cultural events festivals
Types of Cultural Events & Festivals
  • Country fairs and food and drink events and festivals are the most appealing types of events and festivals
  • The most interesting art festivals are craft orientated
  • Theatre and art exhibitions also have some appeal
  • Sports and literary events have less appeal
who prefers different events festivals
Who prefers different events & festivals?
  • Events and festivals are particularly appealing for younger consumers and families
  • Country fairs and food and drink events have widest interest
  • Younger audiences / families / leading edge segments more likely to enjoy sporting and music events
  • Style hounds and Cosmopolitans more likely to enjoy music events and festivals
destinations offering cultural events festivals
Destinations Offering Cultural Events & Festivals
  • Herefordshire is seen by most people as the destination offering the cultural events and festivals that they enjoy
types of shopping
Types of Shopping
  • Towns with quirky / unique / independent retailers are enjoyed most
  • Consumers also have a passion for markets, both specialist and more general
  • Preference for high street offer over more up-market boutiques
who prefers different types of shopping
Who prefers different types of shopping?
  • Independent segments are more likely to want to shop in markets or towns that are unique
  • Younger audiences / mass market segments are more likely to enjoy the high street shopping option
destinations offering shopping
Destinations Offering Shopping
  • Herefordshire is seen by most people as the destination offering the types of shopping they enjoy
value associations
Value Associations
  • Herefordshire, compared to the other 2 destinations, is seen as the most:
    • Luxurious
    • Fresh
    • Vibrant
  • Similarly, Shropshire is mostly seen as:
    • Vibrant
    • Fresh
destination perceptions
Destination Perceptions
  • The area is seen:
    • As a place to explore the surrounding area
    • Is Safe
    • A year round destination
    • Offer lots to do
    • Has a quality feel
  • It is not see as expensive or particularly touristy
destinations consideration
Destinations consideration
  • Top 3 “My type of place” for a visit:
    • Hereford
    • Shrewsbury
    • Shropshire Hills
  • Smaller towns that have appeal include:
    • Ross on Wye
    • Hay on Wye
    • Ludlow
attractions consideration
Attractions consideration
  • Ironbridge, Hampton Court Castle and Grounds and Severn Valley Railway are the top 3 place that are considered to be “My type of place”
  • Some attractions have very low levels of awareness, yet could fit the bill in term of history and heritage offer, e.g. Eastnor & Goodrich Castle
accommodation most likely to choose
Accommodation – Most likely to choose
  • Most are likely to choose an independent hotel (3-5 stars) or B&B / guest house if staying in the area
  • Self catering option is as popular than budget chains
  • 1 in 5 will look for a camping option
accommodation preferences
Accommodation preferences
  • Functionals are more likely to look for cheaper accommodation options
  • Style Hounds and Cosmopolitans will look for the most expensive / luxury
  • Self catering sought by families / Discoverers
  • Camping popular for younger people, families and the Discoverer segment
accommodation factors influence choice
Accommodation – Factors influence choice
  • The factors with the strongest influence on the choice of accommodation are:
    • Word of mouth / previous experience
    • Accommodation website or brochure
    • Late rooms / special offers
accommodation influences
Accommodation Influences
  • TripAdvisor and Late Rooms / offers is the domain of the younger audiences, families and leading-edge segments, especially those in the mass market
  • Older families, Cosmopolitans, Style Hounds and Traditionals will be influenced by a Tourist Board Website
information gathering before trip
Information Gathering – Before Trip
  • Before a trip, most respondents gather information from an internet search
  • Recommendations/ Word of mouth are also important for gathering information about a specific area
  • Consumers are more likely to get information from an accommodation website than they are a destination brochure
  • Increasingly people search for information on mobile devices
information gathering during trip
Information Gathering – During Trip
  • During a trip, leaflets from Tourist information centres and hotels/service stations are the most popular ways of gathering information
  • Around a quarter of respondents search for information from their mobile phone during a trip
  • Respondents are as likely to get information from the Tourist information centre as they are from the Tourist board website during the trip
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Individually, consumers are more aware of and interested in visiting Herefordshire, Shropshire and Ironbridge Gorge than they are The Marches
  • Segments that show greatest consideration are all independently minded;
    • Cosmopolitans, Traditionals, Functionals and Discoverers
  • % of visitors is up since 2008/9
  • Are destinations attracting the right sort of visitor?
  • Seemingly, only Herefordshire attracts more than fair share of Traditionals, only Ironbridge Gorge attracts more Discoverers
  • Visitors tend to remain older age groups travelling as couples
conclusions1
Conclusions
  • Perception of all the area is that it is a destination for couples on a short break for both locals and non locals
  • Encouragingly, seen as a year round offer, with plenty to do, and one that is not too touristy or expensive
  • However, spontaneous top of mind thoughts in relation to individual areas are not tourism or leisure related … i.e. do not necessarily give a reason for people to visit
  • When prompted destinations are generally seen to offer the type of product people enjoy … but destination are not top of mind / best in class so consumers do not necessarily visit to undertake these activities
  • Data will help destinations to steer and develop their product offer, targeting it at the right sort of visitor
  • Must target day visitors as well as staying visitors as there is real potential to grow this market
conclusions2
Conclusions
  • Internet is key
  • Over 90% seek information over the internet, using Tourist Board and non tourist board sites
  • Need to work with partners to ensure information you want to show is on as many sites as possible
  • Ensure that all online information is accessible via mobile
  • Printed information is more valuable when people are visiting