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SOUTH HAMS Tourism Business Survey 2003 Produced by South West Tourism Research Department February 2004 Produced by South West Tourism Research Department.

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Presentation on theme: "SOUTH HAMS Tourism Business Survey 2003 Produced by South West Tourism Research Department February 2004 Produced by South West Tourism Research Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 SOUTH HAMS Tourism Business Survey 2003 Produced by South West Tourism Research Department February 2004 Produced by South West Tourism Research Department February 2004

2 2 Contents Page Summary4 Background6 Research Objectives7 Methodology8 Statistical reliability9 Results11 Environmental Policy12 Environment and Landscape16 Transport19 Local Community23 Financial support for natural resources28 See separate report for: Appendix 1responses to question 3. Appendix 2responses to question 8. Appendix 3 responses to question 9. Appendix 4Sample Questionnaire

3 3 Summary This report presents the findings of a postal survey of tourism-related businesses conducted between July and September 2003 in the South Hams district. The self complete questionnaire survey captured: Business awareness and perception of green issues Business use of environmental policies Cost savings from the environmental policies Perception of increased business (e.g. visitors) attracted by the use of environmental policies

4 4 Summary Results (everything you really need to know about this report!) Environmental policy 70% of businesses had some sort of environmental policy (15% were formal policies, 55% were informal environmental policies) Only 15% felt an environmental policy saved them money (55% did not, and 29% were unsure) 39% of businesses felt that an environmental policy attracted or retained visitors – this was 8% lower than in 1998 representing an increasing level of uncertainty about this issue. The Environment and Landscape 95% of businesses felt that it was advantageous to use the natural environment to market the South Hams to its visitors On average 80% of businesses perceived that visitors were aware of key designated heritage landscape areas, 62% felt that this influenced their visitor’s decision to visit the South Hams Transport 37% of businesses felt their visitors had enough access to information about alternatives to the car - 72% of businesses did not feel that the ‘information available on non-car methods of transport was encouraging exploration of the South Hams’ and there is a rising level of uncertainty about the advantages of marketing non-car methods of transport, particularly for their business specifically.

5 5 Summary Results …continued (everything you really need to know about this report!) The local community 82% of businesses made a point of offering local produce to their visitors 72% of businesses felt the character of the local community is important for tourism 54% of businesses did not have any local residents as customers Financial support for natural resources Financial contributions were the most popular methods of support for the local community 78% felt that the South Hams should include provision for sustainable / green tourism facilities and activities in their official plans

6 6 Background This report presents the findings of a survey of tourism-related businesses in the South Hams area conducted between July and September It was commissioned by South Hams District Council and undertaken by South West Tourism Research Department. The 2003 research was designed to provide up-to-date information on the perception and attitude of tourism-related businesses in the South Hams area, in order to compare to the findings and the business attitude toward ‘green’ tourism that was surveyed in 1998.

7 7 Research Objectives 1. To collect up-to-date comparable information on the attitude and perception of tourism-related businesses toward ‘green tourism’ issues, both internally and externally to the businesses themselves. 2. To explore what difference South Hams being ‘green’ makes in practical tourism and environmental terms. 3. To capture business perception of visitors use and awareness of environmental initiatives and establish a level of performance of these based on the perception of the business. 4. To compare results to baseline data captured in Where possible, to identify emerging trends so that more informed decisions can be made in relation to marketing initiatives and facility provision. 6. To establish what tourism-related businesses would like to see happen and where they would like to see the South Hams focus its attention.

8 8 Methodology A postal self-complete questionnaire survey was distributed to over 650 tourism-related businesses (mainly accommodation providers but also 44 attraction / leisure experience related businesses). Questionnaire design was dictated by 1998 research to enable accurate comparisons to be made. After a short drive of follow up telephoning in October 2003 a total sample of 148 returned questionnaires was achieved. This was a 22% response rate. (typically postal surveys yield an average 8% response rate) A sample questionnaire can be found in Appendix 4

9 9 Statistical reliability All sample surveys are subject to statistical error. The size of this error varies with the sample size and also with the order of magnitude of the research findings being considered. The survey results in this report are presented for all returns and only split where appropriate. The following table shows the respective sample achieved for each visitor type and gives the margins within which one can be 95% certain that the true figures will fall (assuming the sample is random). The figures shown are at the 95% confidence limits. Thus, for example, we can be 95% certain that, for all respondents, with a result of 50%, the true percentage is the range 41.9% to 58.1%. The margins of error shown above should be borne in mind when interpreting the results contained in this report. Considering the above, the sample was too small to create a meaningful split by type of business. Analysis therefore, presents the response from all businesses. (considering 44 out of 650 businesses were attraction/leisure providers it would not have been wise to split these business responses, even if the sample response was greater than 148 businesses)

10 10 Statistical reliability cont. All Businesses Research findingsSample: % or 90% +/ % or 80% +/ % or 70% +/ % or 60% +/ % +/- 8.1

11 Results Results are presented in the following order: Environmental policy The Environment and Landscape Transport The local community Financial support for natural resources

12 Environmental Policy The survey sought to establish the level of tourism-related businesses that had an environmental policy. Furthermore, attitudes were surveyed towards the perceived effects that such a policy has. Note: the term ‘environmental policy’ was not defined, therefore it was left to each respondents interpretation of what they understood the term to mean.

13 13 6.3% more businesses in 2003 had a formal environmental policy than in 1998 Although almost double the proportion of businesses had a formal environmental policy, generally the results are similar to the 1988 survey. 15% (6.3% more than 1998) of businesses had an environmental policy. 55% (4% less than in 1998) have an informal environmental policy 30% (2% less than in 1998) have not got any form of environmental policy.

14 14 Fewer tourism-related businesses think there are cost savings from environmental policy Of those businesses with an environmental policy: 15%, (3% less than 1998) of businesses indicated that the environmental policy saved them money. 56% (4% more than in 1998) of businesses thought their environmental policy did not save them money. 29% (1% less than 1998) were unsure. Of those saying ‘yes, an environmental policy saves money’, only four businesses put a value to the saving. This was £360 average saving per year.

15 15 Environmental policy attracting visitors There were roughly equal proportions of businesses saying that sustainable / green practices help attract or retain visitors. This represents an 8.7% drop in those businesses feeling that these practices help attract visitors. Looking in more detail, 47% of businesses with an environmental policy thought that environmental practices attracted/retained visitors. (this is 36% fewer than in 1998)

16 The Environment and Landscape The survey sought to re-establish the level that tourism- related businesses supported the way the natural environment was used to underpin marketing initiatives

17 17 Do tourism related businesses consider it advantageous to use the natural environment to market the area? 95% of businesses (2% less than 1998) considered it advantageous to use the natural environment in marketing campaigns for the area generally. 78% felt this approach was advantageous to their business specifically (that is 11% less than 1998). Uncertainty about this issue has risen from 7% to 16%.

18 18 On average 80% of businesses perceived that visitors were aware of key designated heritage landscape areas. 62% felt that this influenced their visitors’ decision to visit

19 19 Changes to the local landscape (either current or future) that were perceived to significantly affect the area as a place to live and visit are listed below. This was a very open ended question which yielded very qualitative responses. In an attempt to quantify the responses, they have been loosely grouped into dominant themes. A full transcript of responses can be found in their entirety in Appendix 1 – when reading, these responses should be considered in the context that each response represents a sample of one. They make very interesting reading and offer an insight into how individual business think and feel about local landscape issues. Negative effect dominant themes included: 1.Loss of distinctive landscape areas (e.g. sameness of new development, old buildings left to crumble, farming is no longer viable, coastal erosion, pressure to build creeping over landscape areas); 2.Quality of life issues which included traffic congestion and pollution, and affordability of houses. Positive effect dominant themes included: 1.Economic benefits (of tourism and confidence in business) 2.Quality of life issues (cleanliness of environment, good access to natural environment)

20 Transport The survey sought to establish the extent to which tourism businesses provide information for their customers on non- car methods of transport.

21 21 Equally, 37% of businesses felt that they and their visitors had / did not have access to enough information about non-car modes of transport to explore the South Hams. (e.g. buses, walking, cycling and horse riding routes) Additionally, 72% of businesses did not feel that the ‘information available on non- car methods of transport was of high enough quality and accuracy to encourage exploration of the South Hams’. 28% felt it was. Do businesses and their visitors have access to enough information about non-car methods of exploring the South Hams? (e.g. buses, walking, cycling and horse riding routes)

22 22 Furthermore, without implying commitment, 33% of businesses were interested in supporting the collection of donations to develop 'Hopper' bus-type services (e.g. coastal area bus services for walkers and residents) for the South Hams 42% of businesses said they would support the idea but not for their business and 25% thought it was of no relevance. Still positive, but growing uncertainty about advantages of the provision of non-car methods to explore the South Hams. 77 businesses suggested routes or services included the following: better links to the coast and the moors, as well as better links to isolated areas. A full transcript can be found in Appendix Businesses suggested which ways of exploring should have priority. Suggestions included – 39% Bus, 37% Walking and 31% cycles – a full transcript can be found in Appendix 3

23 The Local Community The survey sought to establish how businesses and their visitors valued locally produced or locally distinctive elements of the tourism experience in the South Hams.

24 24 The majority of businesses (82%) made a point of offering local produce to their visitors 61% offer local produce regularly 21% do this occasionally and 18% don’t

25 25 72% of businesses felt the character of the local community is important for tourism.

26 26 54% of businesses did not have any local residents as customers Of those businesses that do, about a third had only a small proportion of local residents as their customers. These figures are not surprising when only 32% of businesses actively target local residents as possible customers - this is 10% more businesses with local customers than in 1998.

27 27 Financial contributions were the most popular methods of support for the local community Businesses were asked a series of questions relating to their support for community activities such as sponsorship or hosting charitable events. Only a few businesses responded to this question – these response rates should be considered when looking at the comparison results in the right hand columns – the results show the majority of businesses have regular local community involvement

28 28 Financial support for natural resources When asked If asking for donations is viable, who should administer the scheme? Two thirds (66%) of businesses thought the scheme should be administered by an Independent Charitable Trust. 34% thought the scheme should be administered by the Local Authority Please note: in 1998 the ‘on the Right Tracks’ scheme did not exist. The comparable question read: Would you be prepared to ask visitors/guests for donations to support local initiatives?

29 29 The majority of businesses (78%) felt the South Hams should include provision for sustainable / green tourism facilities and activities in their official plans Finally… The survey sought to establish how many tourism-related businesses were involved in other business activities. (80% of businesses did not respond to this question) Of those that did, the vast majority were involved in Farming, which included arable, livestock and dairy. Other business areas included green education, heritage and hospitality.


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