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Using interpretation to improve the visitors’ experience at heritage sites

Oct 8, 2018

Failte Ireland is the National Tourism Development Authority of Ireland, They are at the forefront of developing resources and training for Irish tourism SME’s – take a look at this very useful manual they have created to help heritage site managers understand and improve how visitors experience their heritage sites. It offers a practical and pragmatic approach suitable for busy people with businesses to run. It assumes customer/visitor satisfaction is a core part of business success and recognises that for heritage sites the quality of the visit experience and the insights that visitors gain into the story and significance of
the place are key factors in building that satisfaction.

Understanding Culturally Curious Visitors

Oct 8, 2018


Who are the Culturally Curious?

  • They choose their holiday destinations carefully and are independent ‘active sightseers’ looking to visit new places, and expand their experience by exploring landscapes, history and culture. They are unlikely to return for some time once they have visited a new place, and often travel in a couple or as individuals and rarely in a family group. The age group for this demographic is 40 plus.

What do they want from their holiday?

    • The Culturally Curious visitor is interested in all that a place has to offer, and are attracted to authentic travel.They love to delve deeper into the history of a location, and crave unusual experiences and enjoy connecting with nature and wandering off the beaten track.

What don’t they want from a holiday?

    • To party; to see things they’ve seen before; to do package trips, ‘laid on’ activities or to be told what to do.

Where are they most likely to be seen?

      • Exploring landscapes – Megalithic or early Christian relics
      • In castles, gardens, museums, country houses and art galleries
      • On literary tours, UNESCO sites, visitor centres, browsing for books to deepen their experience
      • Enjoying good food and wine, particularly local specialities
      • At unique local festivals and events
      • Walking, cycling, or pleasure boating to explore a new place

How long are they likely to stay and where?

    • Culturally Curious are most likely to stay in a hotel, self-catering accommodation or a B&B as long as there’s a lot to see. They will usually choose somewhere with access to scenery and good walks. They are three times more likely to take long breaks than average but they also take more short breaks than average, both at home and overseas. They are unlikely to return for a while unless a destination is truly diverse, preferring to move on to new discoveries.

What are they likely to pay for?

      • Something that is out of the ordinary
      • Superior service – “people recognise me by name”
      • Interested – “knows me, knows what I want”
      • A human guide that offers real insight into the history of a place
      • Environmentally friendly features

What makes a great food and drink experience for them?

      • Get the best table and be well looked after
      • Peace and quiet with good wine and food
      • Classic Irish menu with a twist
      • Good quality food because “I’m looking after my health”
      • Personalised service where people call me “Mr. …..”
      • Mid morning breakfast “so I can sleep in …”

What are their media habits?

      • Their use of social media is growing
      • Medium to heavy TV which drives some online search
      • Lighter internet usage – preference for search rather than social media
      • Newspapers are prominent
      • Radio is important

Are there differences between Culturally Curious markets?

How can I adapt my business to the Culturally Curious visitor?

    • Ask yourself:
      • How does my business fit the Culturally Curious motivations?
      • What does my business offer that meets the specific wants of this segment?
      • What delivers on their desire to discover and learn about Irish culture?
      • What helps them connect with local culture and learn about local stories?
      • What allows them to immerse themselves in Ireland?

Where can I find out more?

Article shared from Failte Ireland

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