Cross Channel Visitor Survey
In 2005, Kent County Council and the Comité Régional de Nord Pas de Calais commissioned a major piece of market research, funded through Interreg, to understand how their regions can further benefit from the cross-channel market. A visitor survey was undertaken by Arkenford and we were asked to provide recommendations based on the results.
Analysis of the visitor survey, and comparison with a similar survey undertaken in 2000, highlighted that very few cross-channel passengers actually stop in Kent or Nord Pas de Calais, however those that do are generally very happy and return several times a year. The challenge was to raise awareness of the two regions and their destinations, address some negative perceptions and find creative ways of encouraging transit passengers to stop.
Recommendations included encouraging passengers to stop by providing better and more tailored information at the point of booking; encouraging repeat business through special promotions and incentives; increasing length of stay through accommodation packages and improved information for hosts; and attracting new visitors by focusing on the local market, VFR and niche markets through a festivals guide, themed packages, raising the profile of individual destinations, and highlighting the opportunity to cross the Channel as an attraction in its own right. Closer collaboration between the authorities and operators was identified as being key to success.
The market research and recommendations were presented to stakeholders from the public and private sectors from both sides of the Channel at a special Cross-Channel Research Conference.