Twenty years of sustainable tourism development for destinations worldwide

Twenty years of sustainable tourism development for destinations worldwide

Helping tourism businesses innovate and stimulate the visitor economy

Helping tourism businesses innovate and stimulate the visitor economy

Welcome to Acorn Tourism Consulting

What We Do

Inspiration

  1. Clifton Suspension Bridge Balloon Festival
    Our reputation in the field of tourism statistics and measuring the economic impact of tourism is unparalleled. We are experts in the development of systems of tourism statistics, compilation of tourism satellite accounts and natural capital accounting, as well as measuring the local economic impact of tourism. Our ATOM forecasting model and T-Stats tourism tracking system are two products we have developed and installed in destinations across the globe.
  2. Scuba diver in the Caribbean
    We plan and develop tourism products and experiences that are financially and environmentally sustainable. Acorn’s in-depth understanding of niche visitor markets ensures we can help you differentiate yourself from your competitors by creating innovative market-led experiences. We can provide options appraisals, feasibility studies, business planning and capacity building to support your product development process.
  3. Butcher's window
    In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, it is essential to have a strong brand and a marketing campaign that clearly promotes your values and resonates with your target audience. Acorn builds destination brands and content marketing strategies. We deliver digital marketing campaigns, build national tourism websites and create inspiring content. Working with travel influencers we can do social media takeovers. We can also monitor your brand awareness and the effectiveness of your promotional campaigns.
  4. Aerial beach umbrellas
    We can help you work out where you want to go and how to get there. Acorn uses a well-defined strategic planning process to establish how you can become a more competitive and sustainable destination or tourism business. Our approach is collaborative, engaging widely with your stakeholders, creating a joint vision and co-developing an Action Plan that can be implemented with the available financial resources and workforce.
  5. Woman leaning out of train window
    We offer expert qualitative and quantitative tourism market research, including face-to-face and online surveys, focus groups, bulletin boards, and business and stakeholder consultations. We maintain and update vast databases of research that include niche market and destination profiles, inbound and outbound tourist flows, and industry trends. This allows us to commentate, predict and forecast with insight, intelligence and confidence.
  6. Couple of high rock in Norway
    T-Stats is our online tourism tracking system for destinations. We understand that every destination is different, so T-Stats is tailor-made to allow you to track whatever is important, from accommodation occupancy, through to visits to attractions, footfall, attendance at events and even the weather. Bringing all this together into one easy-to-use database provides information for assessing the effectiveness of marketing activities, attracting investors, assisting funding applications or simply getting to know your destination better.
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Acorn Tourism Consulting has:

Inspiration

  1. Successfully completed
    302
    projects
  2. Enjoyed working with
    157
    clients
  3. Delivered projects in
    82
    countries
  4. Served the sector for
    20
    years

Where We Work

Number of results: 288

, currently showing 1 to 20.

  1. Address

    Worldwide, CBI, The Netherlands Enterprise Centre

    Telephone

    5000

    CBI, The Netherlands Enterprise Centre,

    A detailed study into the Baby Boomer traveller market was required to support SMEs prepare suitable tourism products for the European market segment.

  2. Address

    East Sussex, United Kingdom, Tourism East Sussex

    Telephone

    30000

    Tourism East Sussex,

    This study was commissioned to provide a greater understanding of the potential of Visitor Payback Schemes and how they might be implemented in East Sussex. Whilst the study assessed the potential for a scheme at Seven Sisters Country Park, the…

  3. Address

    Seychelles, Ministry of Tourism, UNWTO

    Telephone

    48000

    Ministry of Tourism, UNWTO,

    Assessment of the system of tourism statistics, and design and development of an airport exit survey and cruise visitor survey, leading to the development of a tourism satellite account. The study included extensive training with staff in the…

  4. Address

    Tanzania, Tanzania Association of Tour Operators

    Telephone

    24000

    Tanzania Association of Tour Operators,

    Market research study to assist Tanzania with its growth strategy which aimed to double tourist arrivals by 2012. The study also identified market segments into which Tanzania could diversify, as well as targeting new source markets to attract,…

  5. Address

    East of England, United Kingdom, Natural England

    Telephone

    25000

    Natural England,

    Sustainable tourism itineraries were developed for six protected landscapes in the East of England, working closely with local tourism businesses. Visitors were encouraged to explore the local area without using their cars.

  6. Address

    Zanzibar, Tanzania, Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors

    Telephone

    36000

    Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors,

    Marketing and branding strategy commissioned by the Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors to develop a realistic marketing plan, budget and source of funds from both the public and private sectors for implementation.

  7. Address

    Worldwide, Mintel

    Telephone

    2500

    Mintel,

    Niche market report covering Astronomy and Natural Phenomenon tourism, that includes the market size, characteristics and analysis of the sector’s future, along with leading tour operator profiles.

  8. Address

    Barcelona, Spain, Private Company

    Telephone

    10000

    Private Company,

    We shared our nautical tourism business and blue economy marketing expertise with the developers of an innovative underwater activity attraction and beach club, where divers and their families can enjoy and celebrate the underwater world.

  9. Address

    Haywards Heath, United Kingdom, Borde Hill Gardens

    Telephone

    3000

    Borde Hill Gardens,

    Borde Hill is a stunningly beautiful and botanically rich heritage garden, set within over 200 acres of traditional parkland. The owners of Borde Hill engaged Acorn to work on an audience development plan for the estate, to broaden its appeal and…

  10. Address

    Oman, Ministry of Tourism, UNWTO

    Telephone

    120000

    Ministry of Tourism, UNWTO,

    Capacity building project for the Ministry of Tourism to improve the system of tourism statistics. New surveys were implemented, including a cruise visitor survey, an attractions survey, and an assessment of the value of Oman's overseas tourism…

  11. Address

    Uganda, CBI, Netherlands Enterprise Agency

    Telephone

    30000

    CBI, Netherlands Enterprise Agency,

    CBI Netherlands required a detailed Value Chain Analysis of the Ugandan tourism sector to identify the challenges and opportunities to support the growth of the sector. The findings of the VCA would then define the scope of a five-year tourism…

  12. Address

    Worldwide, CBI, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency

    Telephone

    5000

    CBI, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency,

    A comprehensive market research study into the SAVE tourism market (Scientific, Academic, Volunteer, Educational) and how it is positioned within the broader global tourism industry.

  13. Address

    Falkland Islands, Falkland Islands Tourist Board

    Telephone

    18000

    Falkland Islands Tourist Board,

    The objective of this study was to undertake qualitative research in the form of focus groups to gain a better understanding of long-haul travellers and the types of holiday that they go on, how they choose a destination, plan and book their trips,…

  14. Address

    Jordan, USAID

    Telephone

    15000

    USAID,

    Acorn compiled the first Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) for Jordan with a reference year of 2012, and subsequently updated this two years later for a reference year of 2016. This study updated the 2016 TSA to provide estimates of Tourism Direct…

  15. Address

    Kent, United Kingdom, Thanet District Council, EU Interreg IVa

    Telephone

    40000

    Thanet District Council, EU Interreg IVa,

    Thanet's 17 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 appropriate management…

  16. Address

    Belgium, European Union

    Telephone

    135000

    European Union,

    Feasibility study 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 to assist all EU…

  17. Address

    Suffolk, United Kingdom, Great Yarmouth Borough Council

    Telephone

    10000

    Great Yarmouth Borough Council,

    The Winter Gardens in Great Yarmouth is in desperate need of restoration. We provided an option appraisal for its future use and the initial business case for a Phase 1 HLF bid.

  18. Address

    Hungary, Hungary Ministry of Tourism, European Union

    Telephone

    35000

    Hungary Ministry of Tourism, European Union,

    Study to establish the most effective and efficient delivery systems for distributing tourism information to existing and potential visitors to Hungary, tour operators and travel agents, travel writers and researchers, as well as within the…

  19. Address

    Sussex, United Kingdom, Tate’s of Sussex

    Telephone

    5000

    Tate’s of Sussex,

    The South Downs Heritage Centre applied for planning permission for an education barn and nine eco-lodges. Acorn undertook an assessment of the need and demand for the South Downs Rural Crafts and Heritage Centre and full planning permission was…

  20. Address

    City of London, United Kingdom, City of London Corporation

    Telephone

    33000

    City of London Corporation,

    Annual survey undertaken since 2014 to execute a face-to-face questionnaire with visitors to the City Information Centre in London. The aims of the survey were to understand the services visitors require and to measure how staff are performing as…

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Featured Projects

Inspiration

  1. Colombia tourist routes community based ecotourism
    We worked with three very different rural communities, all with exceptional biodiversity and all of which had been severely affected by the conflict in Colombia. Together with E3 Group in Colombia and RHS Kew Gardens, we developed tourist routes that promote forest protection and peacebuilding through community-based ecotourism.
    1. 1 Jan 202231 Dec 2022
  2. Responding to COVID-19: Impact on Tourism in Jordan
    Developed a model for projecting visitor arrivals and expenditure to Jordan, the Middle East and worldwide over the period to 2030. Scenarios for the development of the pandemic were then applied to identify impacts on visitor arrivals, expenditure, gross direct tourism value added, and employment.
    1. 1 Jan 202231 Dec 2022
  3. Bristol Market Research Clifton Suspension Bridge
    Bristol Future Parks was part of a two-year national Future Parks Accelerator scheme to enable Bristol City Council to transform their green spaces and become financially sustainable. Assessments of 10 pilot parks and best practice case studies informed a strategic roadmap for the way forward.
    1. 1 Jan 202231 Dec 2022
  4. Lincoln Cathedral, UK
    Study to provide Visit Lincoln and two surrounding local authorities with an in depth understanding of the profile of visitors, focusing in particular on demographics, lifestyle and interests. Also included the investigation into seasonality impacts through deployment of an accommodation survey.
    1. 1 Jan 202231 Dec 2022
  5. Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa used Influencers to raise awareness as part of their international
    Acorn worked with the Great Ethiopian Run, Africa's biggest road race, to produce a 3-year digital marketing strategy to increase international participation. This involved 4 high-profile travel influencers participating in the race and generating a reach of 1.25 million and 8% engagement.
    1. 1 Jan 202231 Dec 2022
  6. Roseau, Dominica
    Study contracted by Discover Dominica Authority to develop a sustainable voluntourism strategy for the country with the overall aim of increasing visitor numbers and expenditure. This included practical guidelines for the private sector on how to develop this niche segment.
    1. 1 Jan 202231 Dec 2022

"Acorn Tourism has produced multiple tourism research projects for the CBI including tourism sector Value Chain Analysis and niche market studies for SMEs in developing countries.  They are a very solid research partner and always deliver to great satisfaction."

Arthur Scheinhardt
Programme Manager Marketing Intelligence, CBI, Netherlands Enterprise Agency
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Blogs

Courses to help boost your knowledge on Sustainable Tourism

Courses to help boost your knowledge on Sustainable Tourism

Read time: 3 mins

Here at Acorn Tourism Consulting, we believe in the strength of working together to build a greater sustainable future for the tourism sector and beyond. We have been promoting some sustainable tourism through our social media platforms and decided that it would be helpful to also collate them all into one blog.

Bellhurst  Trust Carbon offsetting East Sussex

Acorn’s Carbon Offsetting Projects expand..

Read time: 1 minute

As part of our journey towards carbon neutrality to help compensate our emissions we already support a flight offsetting charity called Atmosfair.   Our donations provide efficient cooking stoves in Lesotho which save 80% of energy, produce less smoke and avoids deforestation reducing the need for firewood.  We chose this charity in Lesotho as we have worked there and work regularly in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Sustainability Competitions

Which global competitions would suit your business or initiative?

Read time: 2 min

Alongside sustainability certification, there has been a growing number of competitions arising throughout the travel industry around sustainable development and growth. Some of these competitions help to promote businesses and initiatives, whilst others provide funding and support to help organisations prosper and grow in a sustainable and regenerative manner.

Can email newsletter help you grow your business?

Can email newsletter help you grow your business?

Read time: 1 min

It is good business practice to keep in regular contact with contacts on your database and email newsletters, which are easy and cheap to produce, are the best way of doing this.  Broadly, email newsletters are the first step towards generating a sale at some point in the future.

The one magic sentence that will ensure you are doing it right

The one magic sentence that will ensure you are doing it right

Read time: 2 mins

Some may tell you that there is no magic potion for success in business, whatever industry, or sector one is working in. We disagree. There is one principle that, if followed, will almost always bring success: ...

Tourism Recovery – How Far Have We Come?

Tourism Recovery – How Far Have We Come?

Tourism is very clearly in the recovery phase following COVID-19, but to really understand the level of this recovery, and at what point visitor numbers, spend, footfall (whatever is important in your destination) surpass where they were before the pandemic, regular tracking is required.

Which sustainability certification should tourism businesses choose?

Which sustainability certification should tourism businesses choose?

Read time: 3 mins

Tourism businesses are facing increasing pressures to conduct their activity in a sustainable way to reduce their impact on the planet and contribution to climate change or biodiversity loss. A sustainability certification for tourism businesses can help provide structure and guidance with clearly defined steps to take to achieve these sustainability goals.

How to use marketing to tackle sustainability issues?

How to use marketing to tackle sustainability issues?

Read time: 3 mins

Tourism often plays an important role in a destination’s economic development, bringing in visitors to spend money in local businesses, inward investment to develop infrastructure and providing jobs for residents. However, managing a destination sustainably is not an easy task. Tourism, if not planned and managed appropriately can become destructive – over tourism, degradation of the environment, loss of culture, disruption of local community’s lives, seasonality, etc.

How to use social media to grow your business?

How to use social media to grow your business?

Read time: 1 min

Social media has become an incremental part of any business’ digital marketing strategy. With a constantly growing number of users, social media is a convenient and cost-effective way for a business to reach the market, engage with consumers and grow.

Sustainable destination management, where should you start?

Sustainable destination management, where should you start?

Read time: 1 min

Sustainable destination management is as much a necessity as it is challenging. A destination is a very complex ecosystems composed of multiple stakeholders that can sometimes have competing interests. Organisation, cooperation, collaboration, consideration of all stakeholders and effective systems for measuring and monitoring are essential. Sustainable destination management is not a target to achieve, it is a journey and ever evolving. A destination can never truly be sustainable, but some are getting pretty close! 

Our journey towards carbon neutrality

Our journey towards carbon neutrality

Read time: 2 mins

Most individuals and businesses are becoming more aware of their carbon footprint and mindful that emissions should not creep back up to pre pandemic levels. At Acorn Tourism, we’ve been trying to work out how we can make our operations carbon neutral.

The journey has not been simple…

Tourism impacts residents quality of life: here’s what you can do.

Tourism impacts residents quality of life: here’s what you can do.

Read time: 1 min

Monitoring inhabitants’ satisfaction has been identified by global sustainable destinations management standards as one of the essential guidelines to follow when working towards a more sustainable tourism industry. The local community is likely to be the one that suffers rather than benefits from tourism activities when their needs are not considered in tourism development.  Tourism activities are likely to disrupt residents’ quality of life: more traffic, less access to the city centre due to higher prices, etc.

How to become a sustainable destination?

How to become a sustainable destination?

Read time: 2 mins

Managing a destination sustainably is not an easy task, and there are various threats and challenges that destinations are increasingly facing.  And carbon offsetting and planting trees will, unfortunately, not be enough.  From threats linked to climate change and increasing GHG atmospheric concentrations to challenges related to the wellbeing of the population and visitors, the management of waste, energy, water but also culture and heritage, and the engagement of local businesses, it can sometimes be challenging to identify the next steps a destination should take.

20 years later… what has changed?

20 years later… what has changed?

Read time: 3 mins

On the 10th of January 2002, Alison Burgh and Kevin Millington created Acorn Tourism Consulting Ltd. In 20 years, the tourism industry has evolved dramatically, our work has significantly changed, but the people that we have met along the way have remained as inspiring and resilient!

What is the Green Destinations Top 100 Stories?

What is the Green Destinations Top 100 Stories?

Read time: 2 mins

The Green Destinations Top 100 Stories is an annual competition launched in 2014 to help destinations at different stages of their journey towards sustainable and regenerative tourism. The Top 100 is an effective tool for every destination, whether they are looking to learn more about reporting and communicating sustainability, wanting to establish themselves as an industry leader by sharing an innovative project implemented, or looking for an achievable yet ambitious first step to learn more about destination sustainability guidelines.

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Contact us

3 Woodland Enterprise Centre, Hastings Road,
Flimwell, East Sussex, TN5 7PR, UK

+44 (0) 1580 879970

contact@acorntourism.co.uk