Survey Reveals How Much Visitors Love Scilly

hugh town from porthlooVisitors to Scilly are very satisfied with their holiday choice and they love the scenery, the food and their accommodation.

They find transport here to be value for money, and, perhaps more importantly, most tourists would recommend the islands to a friend and would return.

These are some of the encouraging results of a written survey, arranged by the AONB and filled in by 452 visitors last summer.

Many other areas of the country could be envious of the degree of satisfaction that Scilly visitors felt in choosing the islands.

80% of respondents said their overall holiday experience was excellent, 17% described their break as good and just one visitor rated Scilly as poor.

Food and drink was good or excellent and the same positive responses were offered on accommodation and St Mary’s transport services.

The islands’ scenery and wildlife are the main drivers for visitors. Most people find all the islands tranquil and don’t feel that there is an issue with light pollution. Building awareness of its impact has been an AONB campaign recently.

150 of the respondents learned about Scilly from recommendation and 52 people discovered the islands online. Just 19 people learned about Scilly from the tourist brochure, but the guide proved more of a tool in booking a place to stay.

94 of the people surveyed used the brochure to find accommodation and 148 of them used the internet.

Around two thirds of people have visited at least twice and the majority of those have been here over five times. One respondent claimed to have visited 135 times!

The majority of visitors fly over and visit in groups of two, for one week, and choose self catering breaks.

They mainly come from the South West, South East and the Midlands and drive to their flight. Most would return in the peak summer months with spring being the second most popular season.

St Mary’s and Tresco were the top two accommodation destinations with 355 and 161 respondents staying there, respectively. 29 people respondents stayed at St Martin’s, 19 on St Agnes and 17 on Bryher.

The findings challenge commonly held beliefs that the cost of travel to Scilly is an issue for the majority of visitors. 46 people felt that the travel services offered excellent value for money, 147 thought it was good and 83 felt it was fair. 63 visitors believed it was poor.

Julian Pearce from the islands’ TIC described the survey as encouraging. He said there sometimes seem to be a focus on the negative things, but the feedback from the respondents does show that we have an excellent product and there is much to celebrate.

But he added that this shouldn’t be seen as a reason for complacency but rather a ‘call to arms’ to make sure that those visitors do return and do recommend the islands to friends and relatives.

As with all surveys, Julian says, there needs to be a note of caution, in that they are only a snapshot in time and obviously only reflect those opinions of the people that completed the form and more value comes from comparing the surveys year on year.

The AONB are hoping to get wider distribution for 2013 and accommodation providers or businesses can get copies from the TIC.

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