24 Nov 2009

Visitor Attractions Need Customers Too!

Why should a Visitor Attraction have an iVisitor Guide - after all they just give free promotion to other businesses don't they? Or will they increase the chances of that Visitor Attraction getting more bookings?

Well let's think about what sort of customers a Visitor Attraction might want:

- Single people, couples or families?

- People who live locally, who are prepared to travel from outside the area or both?

I won't get deep into demographics because the basic point is that Visitor Attractions probably want all of the above yet it is almost 100% certain that their website does nothing to help consumers plan their trip! If I was considering travelling from outside of the region and I was bringing my family I would want to know things like:

1. Is there something else we can do whilst we are there? I like gardens but my wife likes art galleries - can we do both? Is there a softplay area nearby for the kids?

2. Is there someone who can recommend a great local gastropub so I can enjoy a quality lunch? Or how about somewhere to eat that will welcome my 3 young children and look after the whole family?

3. If I wanted to stay over where can I find details of local good quality hotels, B&Bs etc?

One of the iVisitor Guide clients is Ness Botanic Gardens and they really go the extra mile to make sure that consumers can make the most of their stay. Kevin Reid [the man in charge at Ness] commissioned us to create a guide that showed other local Visitor Attractions, a range of accommodation providers and a selection of great places to eat. Kevin knows that if he is not providing this information then the client is potentially not going to turn up at all. Think about it! If I have an interest in going to Ness Botanic Gardens and they are capable of helping me plan the entire trip then I am going to be much more likely to do so.

These are not unusual requirements. We all recognise that when we are trying to plan any sort of trip that it often takes far too long to find the information we need and we end up travelling unprepared. We miss out on the really nice lunch, stay somewhere drab and out of the way, spend our time in the area not knowing what else could occupy our time and give us a much better experience.

iVisitor Guide can also provide you with the statistics that tell you really important things like:

- which other Visitor Attractions are of most interest

- which Accommodation Providers get the most enquiries

- which Restaurants get the most hits

Armed with this information the Visitor Attraction manager now knows exactly which local businesses they should be cultivating better relationships with.

In particular the statisitcs that can be gained from the iVisitor Guide for Ness Botanic Gardens illustrates that Accommodation Providers received over 48% of all hits. This alone is a clear indication that a great many of the potential visitors to Ness Botanic Gardens are travelling in from outside of the area and they'll need help with ideas on where to stay, places to eat and other things they can do to help make the most of their stay. By having an iVisitor Guide on their site Ness are making sure that their prospective visitors don't have to go to any other website to get this information, are building brand loyalty from a very early stage and greatly increasing their chances of getting those consumers to visit.

Why would any Visitor Attraction not want to help their clients in this way?