Annual Visitor Survey Launched On Scilly

busy hugh street with visitorsThe Islands’ Partnership has launched their annual visitors’ survey.

Executive Director David Jackson says the online questionnaire should find out what tourists want and help shape the Partnership’s strategy in the future.

David expects that up to 2,000 holidaymakers will take part and they’ll be asked where they have come from.

The 2014 survey revealed that 98% of visitors were from the UK, but the proportion of visitors from the southwest fell from 38% in 2013 to 33% last year. That means Scilly is attracting more visitors from elsewhere in the UK.

2% are overseas visitors and 24% of them came from Germany, with 14% visiting from Holland.

This new survey will also reveal whether our visitor age profile is changing.

57% of 2014 visitors were at least 45 years old and around 1 in 5 were of retirement age.

Only 6% of respondents were day-trippers.

David says questions on whether visitors are flexible over arrival day could be valuable in assessing the importance of traditional changeover days and weekend travel.

A quarter of last year’s visitors were newcomers and 42% travelled here following a personal recommendation.

2014’s visitors were most satisfied by accommodation and inter-island boating, eating out and activities.

Travel experience also scored fairly well for customer service and information but not so well for cost or flexibility. Air passengers were more satisfied than boat users.

Only the retail and grocery provision scored less than average.

The Partnership will be hoping to repeat 2014’s result where 98% of visitors rated their holiday experience as either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ and nearly everyone said they would return.

The IP now has two staff working on event management and visitors will be quizzed on what type of festivals or attractions appeal to them.

David says this new survey will provide a benchmark to measure how successful the IP’s attempts to develop tourism here have been.

Anyone taking the survey will also be asked what they think of the new Porthmellon Innovation Centre, built on the old wholesalers site, and the Council’s other European funded work.

David says the islands have received significant funding for these projects and there’s an obligation to gauge the reaction of visitors. They want to know whether the investment has improved the visitor experience at the airport and Porthcressa.

Visitors can complete the survey on Visitislesofscilly.com until the 15th November and you’ll have the chance to win a bespoke Tanglewood Kitchen Christmas Hamper.

A specialist agency will assess the data and it is hoped that the results will be published in January.



9 Responses to Annual Visitor Survey Launched On Scilly

  1. Carolyn Garman, Islands' Partnership August 6, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Just to clarify: The Annual Visitor Survey 2015 closes on 15th November, to ensure visitors to Scilly throughout the season have the opportunity to complete it. All surveys (including the valuable comments) are read and the results tabulated and analysed. You can find the survey via http://www.visitislesofscilly.com/visitorsurvey

    • Aroundperranuthnoe Blogspot August 7, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      Just to clarify my point – why only mention the survey now – a survey needs to be done when the holiday is fresh in your mind and should be available from the beginning of the season not two thirds of the way through ! Once a holiday is over and two months or so have passed most won’t bother so the figures will not be accurate

    • Fiona Murray August 7, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      Oh that’s good.. Thank you! I hope I get to come back to the Isles very soon ! 🙂

  2. Fiona Murray August 5, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Well, I just put a huge effort into filling that out ! 🙂 I thought I was going to fail to be able to send it when I put a longish comment in the final box and got the red warning message “Please supply a valid email address” It wasn’t clear that the final box WAS only for putting your email address in.. Luckily, i took out the rest of the comment and the survey was submitted. ! :-).. I do hope it’s all read.. I’ve made a few suggestions and written a lot in a couple of the boxes! 95% positive! lol. I agree with the comment above though. The survey should run a bit longer. given that the Scillonian runs until .. October is it? I think the end of September would be a better time to close the survey. Oh and I noticed that the IP has just TWO members of staff working on event management.. I think you need THREE !! 😀

  3. Peter August 5, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    I’ve just completed the survey. As expected, it is a complete waste of time. The questions are too narrow to give a proper impression. For example, anyone reading my answers would conclude that I hate Scilly, because my ratings of accommodation, eating out and transport were poor. But they asked for overall ratings. If I had been asked to rate our current accommodation providers, I would have scored them excellent, but, overall accommodation in Scilly is poor. Likewise, most eateries on Scilly beggar belief re their poor cuisine, indifferent service and early closing (“What!? You stopped serving at 8pm!” In most countries, people haven’t even started to eat, and you want to attract visitors from abroad”. We witnessed a German family being turned away just after 8pm). But there are, again, exceptions to this: Dibble and Grub are trying hard to provide healthy, well-cooked and interesting food, and the little cafe by the coastguard houses on St Agnes is trying hard. On our recent visit, the staff in a very well-known and long established eatery close to St Mary’s harbour left us without clearing our dinner plates for around twenty minutes (only four tables occupied), so busy were they laughing and joking with each other, having first doused us and our food with pungent cleaning spray from the adjacent table, so eager were they to prepare for the next day. So no dessert for us and no tip for them.
    Notwithstanding, I rated our holiday as excellent because, as addicted Scillophiles, we know we have to put up with rubbish eating-out and risky transport in order to enjoy the bigger picture, but please remember people like us are now dying. We spoke to one very angry family on their first visit who won’t be returning following a poor experience with Skybus.
    As regards the question on the survey about the Porthmellon Innovation Centre, well, what relevance is that to the average visitor? I wasn’t particularly eager to check out conference facilities or small business office space during my holiday! We looked at it and concluded it was an empty, garish, huge and costly white elephant which makes Scilly look a bit naff, frankly. Then we went to Oriel’s studio and had a nice time.

  4. John Whapshott August 5, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I agree. We usually visit in June/July, before the school holidays start. I would love the opportunity to complete a survey. Can it not be made available online? Or have survey forms available from the smart new Information Centre? The larger sample you have, the more accurate the information will be.

    • Andy Hargreaves August 5, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      Hi John. The link in the story will take you to the online version of the survey.
      Regards
      Andy Hargreaves

      • John Whapshott August 5, 2015 at 2:38 pm

        Thanks Andy. In future I’ll read the story first!

  5. Aroundperranuthnoe Blogspot August 4, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Yet again the Annual Survey only taking place in August – surely it should take into account far more visitors – possibly June to end September or even Easter to end October then that would give a far more thorough vision of exactly who visits, when and why etc.