Unlocking our Coastal Heritage - Economic growth

To increase the economic benefits derived from visitors by attracting higher spending visitors, increasing use in the shoulder months and off-season, and provision of an integrated marketing and promotional campaign

The SW Research Company was commissioned to provide a robust monitoring and evaluation framework to estimate of visitor spend to be calculated and the effectiveness of the Unlocking our Coastal Heritage project in delivering economic growth. This company specialises in tourism research and its other clients include the SW Tourism Alliance and many of the region’s Destination Management Organisations.

The core of the research was 2,481 face to face interviews were undertaken with a minimum of 200 in coastal, urban and rural locations per county.  This understanding of staying visitors movements on holiday and to estimate leakage out of coastal locations and additional spend coming in from other areas. This was then modelled alongside national datasets (including the Great Britain Day Visit Survey) to allow for an overall estimate of the volume and value of the Coast Path to be calculated. The Gross Value Added (GVA) and employment estimates were then calculated using ONS and Cambridge model data.

We have not yet been able to produce an estimate for 2013, as this is dependent on the release of the 2013 Great Britain Day Survey dataset by Visit England. During 2012, the number of staying visitors to the SW as a whole declined compared to 2011, but this was offset by a substantial increase in day visits. The reason for this is thought to be a combination of the recession, Olympics, Jubilee, and an exceptionally wet Autumn. It is anticipated that improvements to the path and its promotion undertaken during 2013 along with better weather and economic conditions will have led to increased numbers of Coast Path walkers and associated spend.

SWCP Coastal Visits survey -  Methodology and key findings   (2.5mb pdf file)

SWCP Year 1 (2011) analysis summary - Key findings  85kb pdf file

SWCP Year 1 (2012) analysis summary - Key findings  85kb pdf file