NaTour - North Sea partnerships in Nature Tourism
To develop a greater understanding of North Sea regional ‘nature tourism’ market segments, to create successful nature tourism assets, private and self-led tour itineraries and destination marketing strategies to target trans-national visitors in turn supporting and enhancing local economies.
To understand the individual nature tourism/wildlife or ‘eco’ tourism needs of each respective North Sea regional market segment and how this may differ from domestic markets. This will allow each North Sea region country to better target alternative European markets to increase inward tourism spending.
Create knowledge partnerships between organisations responsible for destination marketing in these countries (public, private and third sector)
The creation of destination marketing plans for each country, targeting all other respective inward nature tourism markets with the tools to successfully meet visitors’ expectations and encourage extended stays which benefit the local economy
Provide training for SMEs, DMOs and nature tourism asset managers on the needs of different North Sea regional nature tourism markets
Facilitate and support a marketing and communications campaign that promotes the respective nature tourism opportunities in each North Sea country to other trans national partner countries
Areas targeted may be in regions of social deprivation or coastal decline (such as East Yorkshire, UK) where nature tourism offers a sustainable tourism output to stimulate jobs and economic growth
- Conferences, exchange visits and knowledge sharing for DMOs and nature tourism asset managers
- Pilot tour itineraries for different trans-national nature tourism market segments in the North Sea region
- Destination marketing plans for each country to target other respective North Sea region countries
- Trans-national marketing and promotional campaigns
- Training for DMOs, SMEs and nature tourism asset managers
- Primary research from tourism bodies and academic experts to understand market needs
‘Nature tourism’ is one of the fastest growing tourism market segments in the world, and provides a sustainable option for economy growth in areas that may be experiencing economic deprivation or decline of other tourism segments or traditional industry (such as areas of the UK coast). Research has proven that with successful destination marketing, discrete areas can drive a multi-million £/EU tourist economy based on wildlife and nature activities. In East Yorkshire, this has grown from £9m per annum to £15m per annum in 5 years (c. 290 FTE employment jobs).
However, many of these new and emerging markets have a poor understanding of trans national tourism market segments, e.g; 38% of German inbound tourists to the UK reference ‘nature’ as a primary reason for visiting (the second highest category after history and architecture), however the majority of these visitors travel to traditional nature tourism areas such as Scotland, limiting the opportunities for other areas such as East Yorkshire.
In addition, both DMOs and tourism SMEs may have a limited understanding of trans national markets and so are not able to effectively market to these segments or provide a high quality experience for tourists when they visit. As a result, visits may be limited in time or repeat custom reducing the local economic benefits within local communities.
It is also crucial to fully research and understand the needs of trans national nature tourism visitors to successfully target the more generalist tourism market where nature tourism may form part of a wider visit but where nature and wildlife could provide added value and encourage additional and repeat trips.
Promoting green economic activity