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26.08.04
Are locals the secret to tourism success?

With 20 per cent of people who visit Cornwall coming to see friends and relatives, tourist attractions need to recognise the value of local recommendations or risk seriously missing out, according to rural tourism specialist Cartwheel.

New research into the local visitor market is due to be unveiled by Bodmin-based PFA Research on 14 September. Both PFA and Cartwheel are expecting it to reveal how local loyalty needs to be cultivated by Cornish tourist attractions, particularly if they want to remain profitable in the off-peak season.

Cartwheel receives investment from both the Objective One Programme (EAGGF) and Defra.

To deliver the headline results of the research, plus other valuable market intelligence and analysis to Cornish tourist attractions, Cartwheel and PFA Research have joined forces to offer a half-day workshop 'Tapping your local market'. The workshop is being held at 10.00am – 1.30pm at Lanhydrock Golf Club on Tuesday, 14 September.

"The local market should be key for tourist attractions," says Gina Woodcraft, Chief Executive of Cartwheel. "Come rain or shine, Cornish residents are here with leisure time of their own to fill. It's inevitable that their likes and dislikes will influence visitors' decisions about where to go and what to do. It's a case of ignore locals at your peril.

According to PFA Research managing director Cathy Dickerson, the intelligence gleaned from the new local visitor research will be essential to every tourist attraction in Cornwall.

"No study of this kind has been conducted before, in that results will be directly relevant and highly actionable," says Cathy Dickerson. "Many tourism businesses conduct customer surveys, but often they're not asking the right questions. Also, once the results are in, it can be difficult to prioritise improvement plans and then measure the impact of changes made. This workshop will address all these issues. We'll cherry-pick the headline results of the research and deliver them with practical pointers on how to measure and act on local market information."

As well as unveiling the headline results of the PFA research, the workshop will also cover:

• analysis of the top five attractions for locals, and the secrets of their success

• actions that will help encourage local customer loyalty

• how to measure customer satisfaction and use the results profitably

• designing and implementing an effective customer survey

• benchmarking against similar attractions

The 'Tapping your local market' workshop is the latest of Cartwheel's Cutting Edge seminar series, designed to enhance skills and professionalism among tourism businesses in the South West.

The cost of the workshop is £50.00 +VAT per person and includes light refreshments. To find out more or book a place ring Cartwheel on 01392 877842 or email info@cartwheel.org.uk.

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Editor's notes:

For more press information contact Gina Woodcraft or Debbie Bristow at Cartwheel on 01392 877842.

Headline results of the PFA Research study 'Tourism in Cornwall: tapping the local market' will be made available to the press embargoed for Tuesday, 14 September

PFA Research will be offering three subscription levels for more detailed results, ranging from £150 to £950 to cater to the needs of tourism businesses of all sizes

PFA credentials can be viewed at www.pfa-research.com. For more details contact Cathy Dickerson on 01208 262007 or email cathy.dickerson@pfa-research.com

Cartwheel is the South West of England's leading farm and rural holiday company, offering visitors the chance to enjoy a unique countryside experience. It is a private sector limited company run by farmers and part funded by the European Union and Defra. For more information visit www.cartwheelholidays.co.uk.

All Cartwheel members are independently inspected and must comply with the company's quality criteria which encompasses accommodation, local food, green tourism and sustainable land management

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Sue Wolstenholme
Objective One Communications
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01579 370991

lmroberts@cornwall.gov.uk

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