Monday, August 23, 2010

British people. The prime target market for Scotland's tourism

Bit by bit, VisitScotland, the quango which handles tourism for the country, is getting its act together under new management.

They’ve just released some data from market research which shows who visits Scotland on holiday from our own land. Now this is better than the stuff they usually concentrate on, getting Australians back, and attracting Americans.

The old VisitScotland management liked all the junkets in New York too much for my liking. No one said anything about the UK visitors a year ago. Yet the UK accounts for 80% of all the visitors to Scotland.

They have identified several market segments for visitors to Scotland. In the way it has been published it is almost impossible to do anything with the data. Additionally it is four years old!

Anyway, here is a short summary. Warm Affluent southerners, as they call the prime market segment. Mostly professionals, average age 49, they like outdoor activities, and have some kind of relationship with Scotland already, through family or University. They’ve got the most dosh to spend and they use Bed and breakfast and self catering.

Young domestic explorers is the next group, aged 25-45, either couples, singles, or young families. They book at short notice very often. They come from the North of England or Scotland. Rather low on disposable income but high on internet bookings.

Next are the Mature devotees. Often retired, they prefer hotels and Bed and Breakfast and go touring a lot. Usually from the North of England and Scotland, they look for offers but tend not to use the internet.

The 4th group is called Affluent active devotees, those people who are fairly energetic, in their middle years. They like the outdoors, good restaurants, and stay in hotels.

VisitScotland has also identified a couple of what they call “cold” market segments, not so good for Scotland.

These are; Southern travel Junkies, average age 45, who take most of their holidays abroad. They don’t like Scotland too much. The final group is Northern Sometimes. They keep fit, use gyms, are image conscious, not good for Scotland.

Our experience in Bayview cottage.

We have had about 200 families stay with us. All kinds, all shapes, all sizes they’ve been, and all nice bar two. We’ve made some very good friends.

Most of them, 80%, are British, with about of these 20% coming from Scotland, particularly for short breaks off season. Professional people have been very prominent, the biggest concentration of guests. They split into, families with youngsters in their teens, couples, young and middle aged, then families with little ones,

We know what they like to do on holiday, and we know how they find our cottage on the internet. We ask them, they tell us.

They do love the place, even if it rains. But they much prefer it if it is sunnier, obviously. They like the local facilities, the meals out and have no complaints about the amenities. I have not heard one complaint about a restaurant, for example. Well, I did have a couple about an expensive restaurant which closed down.

Our website receives a very large number of visitors each year, one of the biggest in the area. Many are looking for information about Glencoe not necessarily for accommodation.

We have only one cottage to let. So the visitors looking for accommodation are disappointed with us because either we are full up every week except the off peak season, or else they are looking for short term lets, on odd days of the week, and we cannot do that.

Sorry, folks, for late bookings, and short breaks in the peak season you need the big self catering complexes.

Some of these that I know of personally in the area are:
6 cottages above Onich, with wonderful views
A large complex of cottages and chalets on the shore at Onich
Loch Leven Chalets on the shore side
Different cottages owned by the Clachaig

Here are some other links
Different holiday cottages around Scotland in the Autumn, Winter, Spring
Bed and breakfast and hotels around our area Lochaber and Lorne
Find Holiday cottages anywhere
Wonderful photographs of Glencoe
Appin one of the glories of Scotland
Walks, 20 of them in Glencoe
Walking hills in Glencoe
Walk Ben Nevis one day?
Munroes mountains in Glencoe
Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
  • Short Breaks Glencoe
  • Stories about Appin villages blog