A new county-wide survey into visitor trends and behaviour has got underway, with more than 2,000 face-to-face interviews planned in the coming months as part of a major Cumbria Tourism project to better understand people’s travel habits.
The Cumbria Visitor Survey will see researchers carry out in-depth questionnaires at almost 60 locations throughout the county – the first time this level of face-to-face research has been carried out since 2018.
One of the main aims of the new research is to find out more about the ‘new’ visitors who have discovered – or rediscovered – Cumbria over the last two years, as well as better understanding any changes in the way people plan to holiday in future.
The results will be collated and analysed between now and November and will help determine people’s perceptions and expectations of a stay in Cumbria, what motivates them to choose our destination and what activities they do while they are here. Questions will range from how they prefer to book, which locations they visit, how they travel, how much they spend, and how satisfied they were with their visit.
As the official Destination Management Organisation for the county, Cumbria Tourism takes the lead on the Cumbria Visitor Survey with support from the Lake District National Park and seven local authority partners. That includes Allerdale Borough Council, Barrow Borough Council, Carlisle City Council, Copeland Borough Council, Eden District Council, South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria County Council.
Cumbria Tourism’s Research Manager, Helen Tate, says, “The Cumbria Visitor Survey is a key piece of research which not only identifies where our visitors come from, but looks at everything from the size and composition of their party, to what they do – and spend – while they are here.
“Although we’ve been able to continue our online surveys during the pandemic, this is a crucial opportunity to restart our face-to-face engagement with a large number of our visitors. To gain a representative sample, we’ve carefully selected almost 60 locations which are designed to pick up different types of visitors and compare results with surveys carried out since the research began in 2006.”
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, adds, ““This is a golden opportunity to gather valuable information about trends and changes in what our visitors both expect and need from their next holiday.
“It’s also a really collaborative project. Cumbria Tourism’s role as the county’s Destination Management Organisation means we are in a unique position to work across local authority boundaries with our partners, to ensure we get the fullest, most accurate picture of evolving visitor behaviour.
“Collectively, we will use the results to support our national lobbying work as a county, to inform our future marketing activity and to identify opportunities and areas of development to help grow the value of our visitor economy and bounce back from the effects of the pandemic. It’s also fantastic insight for tourism operators to use directly in their own business development and marketing plans.”
Cumbria Tourism will reveal the key findings of the Cumbria Visitor Survey in the autumn.