Most visitors come from Scotland or England and people visit Ayrshire, Arran and Cumbrae on day trips or as part of a longer visit. Up to 80 per cent of visitors return to the area – so it must impress.
Who visits Ayrshire, Arran and Cumbrae?
Two types of visitor come to the area, those on day trips and those on longer breaks or holidays. Most visitors are Scottish people looking for a fascinating day out and will probably return for further visits so let them know everything that is on offer.
Research shows just under half of people staying overnight in the area are from Scotland, 39 per cent from England and an important three per cent from the USA. The British visitors may be on short breaks but the American visitors will almost certainly be on a longer holiday.
Almost half staying visitors are in the 55 years and over age group, they may have lots of travel experience and will have high expectations so attention to detail is important.
Most visitors on holiday stay in the area for a week so they need plenty of well planned activities to keep them occupied. It may be worthwhile suggesting warm and wet weather activities knowing the weather in the West if Scotland.
Half of people on holiday in the area will make at least one visit to the Isle of Arran, so information on travel to the Isle and things to do while there are essential. Even sending people prior information about events and festivals in the area can help them plan their trip prior to arrival.
Visitors to the islands mostly stay in self catering accommodation so they will need to know about local shops to buy food as well as local restaurants and cafes if they choose to eat out. It is also important to make sure they have access to all the information about the area in their accommodation and a point of contact for questions.
Research shows 62 per cent of visitors’ book in advance either by phone or online, clear internet presence is essential. Visitors could be encouraged to book activities at the same time as accommodation so information about local attractions, things to do and events and festivals is important at the booking stage.
Most people arrive in the area by car, so car parking facilities are important or to encourage them to use local transport you could offer pickups and drop offs and access to the local bus/train timetables.
Day visitors like to spend their time visiting castles, monuments and churches so make sure they know where these are and how to get to them. People on longer breaks prefer to spend some of their time shopping so perhaps link up with some local shops to offer information about what’s on offer.
Research shows the average day visitor spends £17 while the staying visitor spends £19 a day so ignore the day-trippers at your peril.
What visitors want and need
Like all visitors, visitors to Arran, Ayrshire and Cumbrae want and expect high standards in all areas; cleanliness, quality and service.
Visitors praise the warm welcome given by local people but there is always room for improvement in customer service so don’t be complacent. Think about encouraging them to write reviews of your property on review sites such as Trip Advisor for example.
As always, visitors want more information about what there is to see and do in the area so think about having personal recommendations ready for them to browse. Make sure you include everything such as things for children and evening entertainment.
If you remember one thing
Visitors to Arran, Ayrshire and Cumbrae keep coming back for the beautiful landscape and warm welcome. However they want this backed up by excellent customer service, high quality food and comprehensive information on what to see and do.
Source: Ayrshire and Arran Visitor Survey, VisitScotland, May 2009