7 Feb 2011

UK Tourism - The BIG Problem

The big problem with UK tourism is that our tourism businesses fail to provide the Visitor Information that properly informs, inspires and compels consumers to choose the UK as their destination of choice.

Research indicates that 80% of these Tourism Businesses websites contain no Visitor Information. These websites contain no destination content that would help consumers to plan their trips, inspire them to do more things, arrive sooner, stay longer and spend more money!

80% of travel bookings take place on the websites of Tourism Businesses; the websites of the Hotels and Visitor Attractions that people rely upon to make their decisions on where to stay and what to do.

There are c200,000 Tourism Businesses operating in the UK. It is estimated that the combined website traffic generated by these tourism businesses easily exceeds 100,000,000 consumers per month [the number is probably far higher].

Visitors that are informed arrive earlier, stay longer, do more things and spend more money.

How do we know that consumers want this information?
  • 66% of consumers want access to Visitor Information to help them plan their trip [Frommer]
  • As many as 38% of consumers will avoid booking because the hotel website does not give them enough Visitor Information about the destination [Forrester]
These findings tally with VisitBritain's own research that highlights the market failures of:

  • Imperfect information – significant failures where both consumers and businesses in the visitor economy suffer from information gaps and potential visitors (both overseas and domestic) do not have the relevant information to use in their decisions
  • The free-rider problem - due to the fragmented nature of the industry, an individual business or a group of businesses are unlikely to market a place

It seems that Tourism Businesses find it difficult to provide Visitor Information because:
  • The information is difficult to source and time consuming to maintain
  • Tourism businesses do not want to promote other tourism businesses 
  • They don’t realize how important this is in a consumers purchase process

But make no mistake, this is a major industry wide problem. Consumers want access to Visitor Information, however Tourism Businesses do not (or cannot) provide it! On a national scale this seriously undermines our country’s competitive position in both domestic and overseas markets

33 million 
consumers are denied the 
Visitor Information they need

This is UK Tourism's BIG problem. The inability of our tourism businesses to provide Visitor Information that properly informs, inspires and compels consumers to choose the UK as their destination of choice.