First posted Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Whilst some visitors to the county will have planned their experience meticulously before arrival, detailing where they will go and on what day and probably will have a ‘Plan B’ mapped out for inclement weather days too, many more will have chosen their destination and accommodation and that will be about it. As such, once they are here, they will be looking for ideas and suggestions on things to do and places to go, and invariably it will be the accommodation provider, the bar staff or waitress who gets asked.
Of course, many of these people will have a good idea of some of the things to do in the county, but given that they are busy people themselves and not able to spend much time away from their business to go exploring, it is quite possible that they won’t be aware of all that is on offer. Leaflets and brochures can help provide some more suggestions, but there’s nothing quite like meeting the team behind an activity or attraction provision to get a real feel for what they do, how, where, when and who their market is.
Pembrokeshire Tourism holds a range of events during the year, out of the main summer season, at which accommodation and food providers can meet and or visit attraction and activity businesses, and in doing so gain a better understanding of what they are offering and the markets they are targeting. Today (Wednesday 29th April) we have held an event at Crundale Community Hall with over 20 attraction and activity providers exhibiting, creating a showcase for their sector. A steady flow of accommodation and food business owners came through the doors and were able to get a much better idea of what is on offer in the county.
There are multiple benefits to this kind of event. Firstly business operators across the county get an opportunity to meet each other, and in doing so gain a greater appreciation of what is on offer, and in many cases are able to explore opportunities to work together (e.g. Wickedly Welsh Chocolate Co works with Oakwood Theme Park and others to provide specially branded products). Secondly, as accommodation businesses gain an understanding of the offer for the visitor, they are able to make a positive contribution to the cashflow of the businesses they are recommending – had they not met a particular attraction or activity provider, they may not have suggested them to their guests simply through lack of knowledge.
Thirdly, the accommodation or food business owner is able to increase their own local knowledge, sense of place and pride in their own business as they add value to their visitors experiences. The visitor who has had a good experience, received good advice and suggestions on things to do, will go away with more positive stories to tell and share with friends and family, which in turn could result in repeat bookings and new business based on the word of mouth recommendation.
So, play your part in keeping the conversation going, and get involved with our trade days and events – you might just be surprised at what you’ll learn!
First published on the Pembrokeshire Tourism Blog