Friday, 30 August 2013

Mobile messaging and the tourist industry

Hiker and mobile phone
Hiker receiving a text
According to research commissioned by Text Local, one of the UK's leading mobile messaging companies, almost 1,000,000 mobile phone users across the UK want to hear from a travel company once a month.  
Opportunity: There are 4.74 million mobile users across the UK that would welcome communications from travel companies. By 2015, that number will increase to 5.2 million.
The number of opt-ins on a smartphone will increase from 2.7 million to 4 million over the same timeframe.
CRM key stats: Males account for 58.1%of opt-ins. In total. 1.71million opt-ins in the UK would want to hear from a travel company more than once a month. The demographic most likely to opt-in is the 35-44 year olds. 
Around the UK: The south of England (West Country, Meridian and London) will account for 1.59 million opt-ins. Of these opt-ins, 948,119 would want to hear from travel companies once a month or more.
Text Local say that the travel and tourism industry is seeing a huge increase in profitability through mobile messaging, due to its powerful viral capabilities. Ticket sales often come from friends and family who have been forwarded an SMS text. Sending e-tickets mobile vouchers and coupons via text – all with bar codes for data capture -  ‘is a perfect medium for this sector removing the need for expensive printing and postage.’
Attractions, tour operators and travel agents can then build up an ever growing database from customers opting-in to receive offers and information, 'there’s no better channel to get the message across than mobile.' And it can be used for research, sending web links etc

Monday, 12 August 2013

Do overseas tourists venture outside London?

VisitBritain Report
London and beyond 

Delivering greater ‘regional spread’ is one of the challenges for inbound tourism to Britain. VisitBritain recently commissioned research agency Olive Insight to conduct a study into -  why many visitors do not go beyond London what the barriers are and also what attracts those that do go beyond London to do so 
The research was undertaken in four established markets (France, Germany, Norway, and USA) via a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods, focusing on the views of recent visitors to Britain. The caveat is that these findings reflect views and behaviour in these markets only and which may be very different in other markets  - especially emerging markets 
Overall findings  
  • London remains the key draw within Britain, even for those who have visited before, but many would want to see other places in Britain as well as London again when they return  - ‘London Plus ‘ appeals to the majority   
  • Knowledge of destinations drives desire, but knowledge of British destinations other than London can be low, although this varies notably by market  
  • Those who visit London are often want to ‘see’ / ‘do the sights’’ rather to have a particular type of holiday experience. This is different from behaviour when choosing competitor destinations and does not reflect the growing importance of ‘experiences’  
  • The most common practical barriers to going outside London were concerns about transport / access  
  • Most common draws for going outside London were heritage, variety, countryside, unique places to stay and the British people
  • Travel agents remain important for a minority, especially in Germany and the US, but the majority in each market report booking independently, with Britain particularly attracting independent travellers. However there is a gap for tours, packages and agents, or at least suggested itineraries, to enable trips outside London which many lack the knowledge to make the most of  
  • There is no one ‘ideal’ itinerary when combining London with other destinations  - ‘London Plus’ but  most are willing to travel 2-3 hours to / between destinations, preferably by train

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Heritage railways £250m boost for economy

Llangollen Railway  tourism
Llangollen Railway
Heritage Railways are worth £250m to the UK economy, a report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Heritage Rail has revealed. Over 100 heritage railways and tramways attract tourists and provide local employment as well as valuable skills training and apprenticeships.
The Group concludes that apart from the economic benefits, heritage railways also provide employment for over 3,700 staff nationally and a productive outlet for a staggering 18,500 loyal volunteers.

The study also concludes that there is more scope to run public transport services on some heritage lines and recommends simplified planning processes to help them expand and particularly to connect with Network Rail.

A six month study by MPs and Peers heard from heritage railways, main line train operators, museums and tourism experts and the Heritage Railway Association.

45 years after the end of steam on BR, over 750 steam locomotives remain on heritage railways. More surprisingly, a total of 520 steam charter trains (more than one a day) ran on the national rail network last year in addition to the heritage lines.
Mark Garnier, MP for Wyre Forest and Chairman of the Group commented: "Britain pioneered heritage railways and is unique in the extent and richness of its railway heritage. This report is the first time the extent and success of the heritage railway movement has been fully assessed and the results are impressive.

"What has been achieved has been remarkable and with a few recommendations to Government and the continuing enthusiasm of the army of railway volunteers and the loyal staff, we believe a lot more can be achieved in the future "  The Minister of State for Transport, Simon Burns MP said: "Britain has a great rail heritage and as well as preserving an important aspect of the nation’s history, heritage railways also make an important contribution in supporting tourism and local economies. We are looking closely at the report and will consider its findings."
 Attract has undertaken a number of marketing consultancy assignments involving heritage railways and similar heritage attarctions

Click here for the Heritage Railways Report

Severn valley Railway tourism
Severn Valley Railway