Shore Potential: Connecting the past with the future
NCTA’s director Sam Richardson, was recently a keynote speaker at the Seaside Heritage Network’s conference “Beside the Seaside” which explored themes relating to seaside heritage which has had a major influence on coastal communities today.
Sam pointed out that Coastal Tourism is a growing industry with untapped potential for all destinations and local businesses. But there are significant gaps in understanding of what the coast offers, not least among the under 35 age group where perception is a major issue.
At the same time, according to the research, almost half of international visitors claim they have no knowledge of Britain’s coastline and Wellness tourism is also a big growth opportunity for the coast. One in five of us has taken a wellness holiday and 59% of us would like that break to be on the coast but at present, that figure is just 8%.
- The coastal experience is considered a very British one
- Walking on beaches and eating fish & chips are the most appealing attractions
- Quick wins: beach holidays, romantic holidays, family holidays, short breaks
- By 2024, over 55s will make up a third of the UK population (22.6m)
- Would prefer to visit a coastal harbour town off-peak
- 63% keen to explore history and heritage of destination
- Only 15% of all international visitors go to the coast (c.1.8m)
- Visit to the coast is combined with a visit to a capital/historical city
- Discovering history and visiting stately homes/castles proved most popular
To tap into one of these sectors, the international market, we’ve been undertaking a Discover England Fund pilot to attract more Dutch visitors to the East Coast of England; we’ve launched a ‘Coastal Pass’. This cutting-edge marketing and booking tool provides interactive video so visitors can create their own personalised itineraries to explore and discover more of the east coast of England.
Full case studies on the Under 35s, Empty Nesters, and International Visitors can be found in our National Coastal Tourism Academy Resource Hub.