Environmental Tourism Research Amongst Consumers in the UK

About

Summary

The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) required primary market research amongst visitors to coastal and upland areas in the United Kingdom, which included the West Coast of Scotland, Southwest England (Devon and Cornwall) and the North Pennines AONB.  The overall aim of the study was to measure visitors’ attitudes towards the environment and what it might cost them personally to protect it.

The market research was split into two phases.  The first phase related to the Marine Ecosystems Research Programme (MERP), which took place in the West Coast of Scotland and Southwest England.  In these two areas, the research was focussed on visitors who went wildlife watching, mainly for cetaceans, seals and sea birds.

The second phase related to the Valuing Nature Programme (VNP), and took place in the North Pennines AONB.  The focus of this research was on a range of recreationalists, including walkers, cyclists and bird watchers.

Our Approach

The study required 700 completed interviews across all three areas, with around 30 different interview locations being used for data collection.  This was a challenging task as in many of the locations, in Scotland particular, there was low footfall.  Identifying visitors who had taken sea-based wildlife trips was also challenging as it required interception as soon as they touched land.  We were able to undertake some interviewing onboard sightseeing vessels at sea, during the trip itself, and these proved to be particularly successful.

Conjoint analysis was required to provide insight into the preferences of the markets in each of these locations, offering them various situations of which they needed to choose their preferred one taking into consideration that sometimes there was an increased cost to their preferred option.  This required interviewers to be particularly skilful at explaining each question, and recording the correct answers.

Outcome

The data from the survey was used as input into a model to provide strategic guidelines for a wide range of stakeholders including the tourism, fishing and agricultural sectors with relation to the protection of the environment.

Directions

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Environmental Tourism Research Amongst Consumers in the UK

Client:

Scottish Association of Marine Science,

Location:

United Kingdom
Scottish Association of Marine Science

Contact us

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

+44 (0) 1580 879970

contact@acorntourism.co.uk