Tourism experts at Visit Lincoln have started a 12-month research programme with thousands of visitors, residents, students and business owners across Greater Lincolnshire and England.
The results will be used to develop future plans and shape Lincolnshire’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda for the county’s £2.4bn visitor economy.
Data is being collected over the next 12 months, making sure that all seasons across the year will be covered. Research also includes an online survey to hundreds of visitors and non-visitors, and consultation with over 500 businesses plus detailed face-to-face focus groups.
Charlotte Goy, Chief Executive at Visit Lincoln, said this will be the first time business owners and leaders will be able to see the county ‘through the eyes of a visitor’ and insights will include intel on who visitors are, where they are coming from, what are their motivations to visit, what their stay and spend are, and crucially what would persuade them to stay longer in Lincolnshire, make a return trip and support local businesses.
“To have real impact we need to understand consumer sentiment and the Greater Lincolnshire visitor economy sector in depth,” said Charlotte. “This will give us post-COVID insight into what the recovery needs are in Lincolnshire and Rutland, and it will enable businesses, operators and local authorities to make sound, data-led decisions as they navigate new policies through Levelling Up and Shared Prosperity funding.
“We’re proud to be leading the way and this shows the type of work that we will be doing as the countywide DMO called Destination Lincolnshire.
“We will be sharing the findings throughout the next 12 months. I am really grateful to City of Lincoln Council, Boston Borough Council, East Lindsey District Council, West Lindsey District Council and the University of Lincoln’s Tourism Research Observatory for supporting this work.
“The intelligence will inform our strategy across destination marketing, accelerate decision making and lay the foundations for impactful collaboration as Visit Lincoln evolves into Destination Lincolnshire.
“The research will be fundamental in contributing to Lincolnshire’s progress across the visitor economy and inward investment opportunities – and echoes national best practice outlined by Visit England and DCMS in the National Tourism Recovery Plan released last year.”
The research is being led by Newcastle Gateshead Initiative (NGI) Solutions. NGI Solutions are leaders in destination management research having led projects such as Newcastle City Council’s Economic Recovery Consultation, Coventry and Bradford bids for City of Culture 2025, and visitor profiling studies for areas including but not limited to Leeds, Durham, Newark and Northumberland.
Ian Thomas, from NGI and who is also part of Visit England Research National Expert Group, said: “We’re delighted to be leading this project for Visit Lincoln. The extensive programme of research will provide critical insights as to how the county can continue to develop and stand-out as a leading destination.
“NGI’s projects to date evidence how crucial data is for effective decision making that results in action. By pioneering a project of this scale, Visit Lincoln will be at the forefront of destination management as they evolve into Destination Lincolnshire – the research will ensure the county is in a fantastic position to collaborate and grow.”
The project will be completed in September 2022. Alongside the full final report, there will be opportunities for district councils and sectors to commission a deep dive understanding into their specific audiences.
Chris Baron, chairman of the Connected Coast Board, added: “Lincolnshire is experiencing an exciting period of investment and growth through the Town Deals and other investment. Visit Lincoln’s research will generate data that enables strategic decision-making and action that has impact throughout the county long-term. We’re delighted to be involved with a dynamic organisation which has the vision to bring the county together to maximise the offering of our city, market towns, countryside and coast.”
Any business working in the visitor economy in Lincolnshire can take part in the research by filling out the survey . Those who do can win a Visit Lincoln Partnership package worth £250.
Image shows Charlotte Goy, CEO, Visit Lincoln
This content was originally published here.