The development of a Tourism Analysis & Promotional Plan 2019
The development of a promotional plan and the analysis of the tourism industry in Waterford to ensure the continued development and marketing of new and existing assets not only as individual attractions but also as a region. To achieve this the plan it was necessary to:
Evaluate the experience of visitors to Waterford
Evaluate the motivating factors of the priority visitor categories for Waterford
Evaluate the main visitor attractions in Waterford and how they fit with the target markets
Evaluate the wider tourist product offering
Prepare a gap/weakness analysis for the existing attractions and product offering in the context of the priority visitor categories
Prepare improvement proposals the existing attractions and product offering
The plan developed a unifying story for Waterford to link to target markets by providing a detailed promotion programme for Waterford, scaling up over the next 3 years which will grow visitor numbers by 15% annually. The marketing programme takes into account existing and planned initiatives by Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and local tourism operators. Developed a comprehensive measurement programme to track activity, engagement and impacts
A tender was issued to procure the necessary expertise with a budget of €45,000 allocated. It involved surveying 453 tourism providers, inclusive of tourism agencies, in the county followed by consultation through individual interviews, phone calls, two focus group sessions and two workshops.
Evidence of success
The Promotional Plan encouraged collaboration between Tourism stakeholders, the local authority and national structures for the development and promotion of Tourism in Waterford. Information gained allowed for stakeholders to plan for current trends whilst improving current tourism offerings. Created a unified message and delivered a promotional plan to guide tourism promotion in Waterford for 3 years. Due to COVID we cannot evaluate it's impact on numbers for 2020.
The tourism marketplace is changing an increasing rate and Waterford needs to ensure that it targeting, messaging and communicating in the most efficient and effective way. There was no existing cohesive and inclusive plan to promote Waterford and no analysis of the market in Waterford.
Potential for learning or transfer
This best practice provides an excellent template for the development of a tourism promotional plan for a small or medium sized region. The approach encompassed a thorough analysis of the status quo of the tourism industry in Waterford and produced a detailed three year Promotional Plan.
This was achieved through a process of extensive stakeholder engagement and an environment scan which helped to identify gaps and weakness in existing product and promotion. Survey and consultation findings were presented and discussed at workshop sessions ensuring that stakeholders were informed and able to give feedback in real time. This ensured buy-in and also promoted ownership as their feedback fed directly into the recommendations of the plan.
An important learning was that a thorough analysis of the tourism industry in Waterford was achieved by engaging with those on the ground working in the industry daily by giving them an environment where they could freely express their views.
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