Influencing Visitor Behaviour
Top Tips on Influencing Visitor Behaviour
More than ‘A to B’
Make the journey part of the experience
Promoting the full range of ways that visitors can explore. Highlight public transport including lake cruises, and bus and train services. Mention discounted tickets, local walks, cycle hire, horse-riding and guided tours. Point visitors to car-free itineraries and inspiration here, including ‘rail trails’ for Cumbrian coast line.
Highlight electric car hire and charging points
Co-Wheels has details of low emission car hire in Cumbria. Encourage visitors to check zap-map.com for locations, types and prices of charge points. The Lake District National Park also has car park charging points in Coniston, Grasmere and Glenridding. (Scroll down this page for more detail on EVs).
Travel to and from the county has a large carbon impact, but by doing what we can to extend the length of visitor stay, we will reduce the amount of travel per visitor day spent in the county. Extending the stay can also help reduce turnaround costs, cleaning costs and marketing costs.
This is a big shift to make, but how could you help? When marketing could you promote holidays alongside/instead of short breaks? Can you afford to make your rates slightly more competitive for a longer stay, if costs are reduced? Can clusters of attractions work better together to inspire visitors to stay longer in the local area?
Authentic local food, retailers & experiences
Provide information in public areas and bedrooms
to signpost the very best of the Lake District, Cumbria. Aim to give them a richer experience which enhances the impact on the local economy and environment by providing examples of new areas, attractions and ‘hidden gems’ to explore. Use visitlakedistrict.com for inspiration on local events and itinerary ideas.
Give examples of local specialities and information on where to buy them
Visitors love to try – and take home – authentic food and drink and gifts. Encourage them to support local communities.
Highlight your own businesses’ history and unique qualities
Make sure people are aware of the history and story of your business, highlighting how you built the business you have today and all the care and attention to high quality products and services you offer.
‘Leave no trace’ messaging
Provide guidance on ‘respecting, protecting and enjoying’
the local area, telling them why it matters to you and the destination. It could include highlighting a Countryside Code leaflet on your website and giving some friendly, informal tips in guest email confirmations to encourage people to take litter home, follow local signage and avoid blocking rural roads/driveways.
Encourage people to plan routes and book ahead
for the best overall experience. Give them tips to be ‘Adventure Smart’ by watching the weather, thinking about the equipment/clothing they need and asking themselves if they have the right knowledge and skills for their outdoor adventures. Highlight Safer Lakes for up-to-date information on car parking.
Your own green credentials
Let your customers know the actions you’ve taken
and how it will improve their experience. Make the most of social media to drip-feed information. Be as visual and creative in ‘telling your story’ as you can, but take care not to exaggerate or mislead increasingly eco-savvy visitors.
Ensure your staff are fully briefed
on the steps you’re taking; they are your best and most loyal ambassadors!
Enter awards and certification schemes
to enhance your credibility and create new PR opportunities.
Visitor & Corporate Giving
The concept of ‘giving back’ strongly resonates with visitors and is a great way of helping staff feel more empowered and more engaged with your overall vision. Some examples include:
- Consider a voluntary giving scheme where you collect funds from visitors for a Cumbrian charity, to help them ‘give back’ at a local level. Cumbria Community Foundation or The Lake District Foundation and are just two local causes you may want to consider. You could make a corporate donation to a local environmental or educational charity, or even adopt a ‘charity of the year’. For instance, Fix the Fells has a range of opportunities countywide for businesses to get involved, including being a corporate sponsor and business fundraising.
- Encourage visitors to support the areas they love by volunteering to keep the Lake District, Cumbria in tip-top condition. Fell Care Days are a great example. A snapshot of other volunteer opportunities includes: Cumbria Wildlife Trust, The National Trust and The Morecambe Bay Partnership. Forestry England also have a range of opportunities to get involved at Whinlatter Forest, Grizedale Forest, Ennerdale, Dodd Wood and Hardknott with everything from restoring native woodland and building mountain bike trails to becoming Osprey project volunteers.
- Contribute staff time to a local charity, by allocating a day a year where staff can volunteer. Research shows that Millennials in particular place a high value on their employer’s commitment not only to ‘giving back’, but actively creating opportunities for staff to do the same – making this a useful tool for recruitment and retention. For instance, Cumbria Wildlife Trust holds ‘Wild Wellbeing Days’ and ‘Wild Work Days’ which can help support your staff’s health and wellbeing, as well as making a difference to wildlife conservation.
Electric Vehicles (EVs)
Travel is one of the largest contributors to Cumbria’s carbon footprint, both from residents and visitors. Not only do we need to reduce the amount we drive (especially for short journeys) we also need to look at how we drive. This is where Electric Vehicles (EVs) come in….
Electricity North West has provided a great EV case study on the work they are doing to encourage more active travel and the use of EVs amongst staff.
Meanwhile, Zero Carbon World have also produced a great Myth Busting Guide
About EV Charging
There are a number of options for EV charging, and depending on your customers’ needs you don’t necessarily need an all singing, all dancing rapid charge point. For overnight charging or sites with a dwell time of 3-4 hours then a 7kw charger connected to your current supply is likely to be adequate. You may not need to upgrade your connection in order to install one of these either.
Learn more about the different types of charger out there. Depending on your charger, you may need to upgrade your energy supply to support the additional demand. Electricity North West’s online guide here can help you with this.
The cost of charging an EV varies depends on the size and type of vehicle, how empty it is, how big its battery is and how much you pay for electricity.
See the table below for indicative costs from ZeroCarbonWorld:
If providing charging for visitors, then there are a few different pricing models:
- Work with an installer who will install a paid-for charge point where payment is made though an app to the installer.
- Install your own chargeable charge point.
- Install a slower charger which connects directly to your supply. You can choose to pass on a charge through an EV room rate or a parking charge.
Funding and Support for Charge Point Schemes
Free Charging Points for Hospitality Businesses
Zero Carbon World have free slower charge point units available to hospitality businesses. You pay the installation and energy costs, but can pass on a charge to the end user.