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

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