Strategic planning

Research, statistics, planning, development and
marketing for tourism destinations and businesses.

Market research Tourism statistics Niche market reports Strategic planning Product development Branding & marketing

Identifying market opportunities underpins our approach to strategic planning, taking into consideration the views of stakeholders and local communities to ensure maximum economic, social and environmental benefits.

Utilising our experience and market intelligence, we can help your business through the provision of:

Audience and visitor development plans  checkbox Audience and visitor development plans
Business plans  checkbox Business plans
Master plans  checkbox Master plans
Tourism destination strategies  checkbox Tourism destination strategies

"The Beach Management Plan that Acorn produced provided Thanet with an effective strategic action plan for the future development and management of our 15 sandy beaches. We are delighted that the strategy is already being implemented."

Case Study Explorer

To learn more about our expertise please explore the case studies below

Tourism Market Intelligence System

Caribbean
Market research Tourism statistics Strategic planning Branding & Marketing

Research, design and implementation of a tourism market research system for the nine OECS member states in the Caribbean. The online tourism resource was aimed at helping the countries to compete more effectively within the American and European markets.

London City Information Centre Visitor Survey

City of London
Market research Strategic planning

Acorn was contracted by the City of London in 2014, 2015 and 2016 to undertake face-to-face interviews with visitors to the centre. The aims of the survey were to understand what services visitors require and to measure how staff are performing.

Saudi Arabia Domestic Tourism Product Development and Marketing

Middle East
Market research Strategic planning Product development

The 13 provinces of Saudi Arabia were surveyed by AC Nielsen to determine domestic visitor and trip characteristics: Acorn was commissioned to develop outline action plans for product development and marketing to boost domestic tourism in each one.

Crossrail Demand Study in Kensington

London, England
Strategic planning

Study to determine the demand and additional expenditure that would be generated in Kensington and Chelsea, as well as the rest of London, from visitors if a Crossrail station was developed on the King's Road.

Wealden Destination Management Plan

South East, England
Strategic planning

The District's visitor economy was comprehensively analysed to inform the next tourism strategy and marketing action plan. Based on our recommendations, increased business engagement was prioritised to ensure a collaborative approach to the new DMP.

Abney Park Cemetery Conservation Management Plan

London, England
Strategic planning

A stakeholder consultation was conducted, including a user-group survey and competitor analysis which formed Acorn's main contributions to this project, in collaboration with heritage and environmental consultants Actaland, to develop a conservation management plan.

Hurst Farm Country Park

South East, England
Strategic planning

Collaborated with environmental planners to research community needs, accessibility and infrastructure required for a potential housing development in Haywards Heath, West Sussex. The project included a comparative analysis of landscape plans for an adjoining country park.

Shepway Destination Management Plan

South East, England
Strategic planning

The Destination Management Plan for Shepway is based on extensive stakeholder consultation and shared responsibility. It provides a short, medium and long-term Action Plan to take forward the tourism sector to maximise economic growth.

Botswana Nature-Based Tourism Policy Review

Strategic planning

An analysis of existing information, and extensive consultations, advised tourism policy-makers in Botswana how nature-based tourism contributes to sustainable natural resource management, economic diversification and poverty alleviation.

Economic Impact Study of Saunders Island in the Falklands

Strategic planning

Economic study to assess the impact of the government building a road on Saunders Island, one of the most popular destinations in the Falklands, to improve the tourist experience and create revenue generating opportunities.

Eastbourne Accommodation Study

South East, England
Strategic planning

Robust evidence was needed to inform future planning policy and the Seafront Local Plan. Current and future demand for tourist accommodation was assessed to advise on development of new hotels, visitor accommodation and change of use applications.

Tourism Development Strategy for the Falkland Islands

Strategic planning

Developed a 10 year Tourism Development Strategy for the Falkland Islands with the aim of increasing tourism numbers and expenditure, lengthening the season, and creating an industry that will provide better employment opportunities for the population.

Nicaragua Niche Market Competitor Analysis

Strategic planning

To compare Nicaragua’s ecotourism, colonial culture, surfing and volcano offer with regional competitors Acorn delivered comprehensive market analysis and recommendations based on extensive consultations in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru.

Thanet Beach Management Plan

South East, England
Strategic planning

Thanet's 15 beaches are its greatest tourist asset. This strategic action plan produced a Master Plan for each beach identifying improvements to the visitor experience, locations for new beachside visitor accommodation and the management structure.

Namibia Target Setting

Strategic planning

Development of a project tracking tool for the Millennium Challenge Account team in Namibia to determine the impact of their various tourism sector projects on visitor arrivals and activities in the country.

EU Tourism Observatory

Strategic planning

This project involved the feasibility of a large online tourism statistics and information database for the European Union. The aim of the database was to provide a central resource of tourism data that could be presented in an innovative way.

Tourism in the High Weald

South East, England
Strategic planning

A review of tourism in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was undertaken to inform managers, the Joint Advisory Committee, about how the area is used and enjoyed by visitors and how public understanding and enjoyment could be improved.

A Vision for the Kent Coast

South East, England
Strategic planning

A Vision for Kent's Coast was developed, with a wider strategy for Kent's coast, drawing on the county's unique maritime past yet looking forward to revitalise its visitor offer while protecting and preserving its natural beauty for future generations.

Barbados Institutional Assessment and Expenditure Review

Strategic planning

The Barbados Ministry of Tourism and Barbados Tourism Authority were reviewed, together with all other publically funded tourism organisations, to identify potential for public sector reform and efficiencies.

Leisure Development Opportunities in the UK

United Kingdom
Strategic planning

CSMA Club contracted Acorn to inform them about domestic hospitality trends and how each of its Leisure Retreat properties is positioned in the marketplace, its competition, target audience and the potential for future development.

Woodberry Wetlands

London
Strategic planning

This award winning Masterplan and Business Plan for the development of a visitor facility at the Woodberry Wetlands, was part of a major regeneration scheme in Hackney and supported a successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

2012 Olympic Opportunities for Camden, London

London, England
Strategic planning

Study to investigate potential opportunities that Camden could pursue during the period prior to and during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, identifying key strategic opportunities relating to 2012 that would have an impact on promoting Camden.

Conservation Plan for Eltham Palace Gardens

London, England
Strategic planning

English Heritage required a Conservation Plan for Eltham Palace and Gardens. Acorn consulted local schools, colleges and societies to establish options for the future use of the gardens that complemented the site’s medieval and Art Deco heritage.

Public Consultation Exhibition for Uttoxeter

West Midlands, England
Strategic planning

Designed and coordinated a public consultation for presenting options for the development of a gravel pit for leisure. This involved the design of large presentation boards that were displayed in various locations in Uttoxeter.

Leisure Opportunities at Uttoxeter Gravel Pits

West Midlands, England
Strategic planning

A disused gravel pit was the focus of this study to identify future leisure uses for residents and to attract tourists to the area. Several options were identified, with 3 presented in detail, with outline design, planning considerations and costings.

Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve Masterplan

South East, England
Strategic planning

The Kent Wildlife Trust wanted a flagship visitor centre and reserve at the Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve. Acorn and Allen Scott's Feasibility Study and Master Plan provided a framework for best practice and innovative future development at the reserve.

Reculver Country Park Masterplan

South East, England
Strategic planning

Reculver Country Park needed a Masterplan to rejuvenate the once thriving destination. The market led approach clearly identified the need to provide for green tourism and move away for the traditional static caravan market.

Zanzibar Tourism Industry Strategic Plan

Strategic planning

ZATI, the Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors, required a strategic plan to direct their future growth and advise on how to support the Government’s Tourism Strategy. Acorn delivered a Strategic Action Plan for the next three years and beyond.

Public Funding for Tourist Accommodation in France

Strategic planning

Research into the availability of public sector funding for the development of accommodation in France. The equivalent in the UK was researched to provide a benchmark.

Hastings Destination Management Strategy

South East, England
Strategic planning

This destination management strategy looked at the Hastings-Bexhill area as it functions for residents, students and businesses, and made recommendations about how it could be transformed over a ten year period.

Tourism Industry Strategic Plan for Zanzibar

Strategic planning

Development of a strategic plan for the development of tourism in Zanzibar that would assist it to overcome three critical barriers: the supply of goods (in particular foods), training and education, and improvement in services and utilities.

Princes Risborough Visitor Development Plan

South East, England
Strategic planning

Extensive market research and stakeholder consultation informed a Visitor Development Strategy to enable Princes Risborough to roll out its existing Visitor Action Plan by linking elements of the town’s visitor offer into an integrated plan.

Tunbridge Wells TIC Business Plan

South East, England
Strategic planning

The 3-year Business Plan needed to address restructuring and funding constraints, while supporting local businesses, providing high quality service and increasing income. Relocation, proactive marketing, developing sales skills were key recommendations.

Visitor Payback Scheme in East Sussex

South East, England
Strategic planning

Study of the effectiveness of visitor payback schemes, which generate funds through businesses charging customers a small fee on transactions. Included a visitor survey in Seven Sisters Country Park assessing the views of visitors to such a scheme.

Camber Visitor Management Initiative

South East, England
Strategic planning

Developed a business plan and delivery mechanism that involved the implementation of a local shareholding company, owned by residents, that would be responsible for the operation of car parks, WCs, beach cleaning, and other relevant health and safety.

Strand Car Park - Creating a Pedestrian Plaza in Rye

South East, England
Strategic planning

Study to investigate the feasibility of developing the Strand Car Park in Rye, which has capacity for around 25 cars, into a pedestrian plaza. The rationale was to provide a valuable amenity area that would attract both visitors and residents.

Pebsham Countryside Park Business Plan

South East, England
Strategic planning

After delivering the Pebsham Countryside Park Recreational Demand Study and Public Consultation, we were asked to prepare a Business Plan addressing the financial and organisational implications associated with the planning and delivery of the project.

Establishment of a Tour Operating Company in Saudi Arabia

Strategic planning

Business study to assess the viability of a tour operating company that would focus on the international umrah market for inbound travel to Saudi Arabia.

Kent Tourism Information Centre Review

South East, England
Strategic planning

Review of the tourism information centre network in Kent with the aim of making them more profitable. The study also looked at how new technology could be more effective for collecting and distributing tourism information.

Pestalozzi Conference Centre Development in Sussex

South East, England
Strategic planning

Feasibility study for developing a conference centre at Pestalozzi's International Village in Sedlescombe in order to more effectively use the site, work more closely with the community, and generate an additional revenue stream.

Northern Ireland Tourism Review

Strategic planning

As part of a tourism review of Northern Ireland, Acorn prepared a comprehensive document on worldwide tourism trends. This identified key growth markets in Europe and beyond, as well as identifying growth market segments such as cycling and hiking.

Assessment of TSA Development in Cyprus

Strategic planning

Developed a proposal for the Cyprus Tourism Organisation to submit to the EC for funding for a tourism satellite account project. The document set out the scope of work, the stakeholders that would be involved, and the timeline and finding required.

Education and Learning Centre Business Plan

South East, England
Strategic planning

To deliver a high quality programme of education and outreach work, the Sussex Wildlife Trust needed a purpose-built education facility. Our feasibility assessment and business plan established the financial implications of a new centre.

North East England Tourism and Transport Study

North East, England
Strategic planning

As part of a broader tourism and transport strategy for the North East of England, Acorn undertook analysis of cruise and ferry passenger movements in the region. The study also included an assessment of cycling and walking holidays.

Investment Strategy for Uphill Lincoln

East Midlands, England
Strategic planning

The cumulative potential of Uphill Lincoln's historic assets: the Norman castle, cathedral, Bishop's Palace and Magna Carta, were assessed and investment opportunities identified to help Lincoln move from being a half-day to a short break destination.

Marketing Hungary through Improved Information Networks

Strategic planning

This study assisted the tourism information centres (Tourinform) throughout Hungary to collect and share data through an electronic network.

Dissemination of Tourism Information in Latvia

Strategic planning

Assistance to the Ministry of Tourism in Latvia to provide a better service disseminating tourism information electronically from their network of tourism information centres.

RMS St. Helena Re-Scheduling Study

Strategic planning

Study to investigate the re-scheduling of the RMS St Helena - the Royal Mail Ship that until 2016 was the only mode of transport available for travel to St. Helena in the South Atlantic.