Excellent response to Tourism BID business survey
We have seen a hugely enthusiastic response to the initial Tweed Valley Tourism BID survey, with valuable feedback and strong messages about how businesses would like the area to develop as a tourism destination in years to come.
Sent to more than 170 tourism-related businesses, the survey is part of the first stage of an extensive consultation with accommodation providers, activity companies, retailers, restaurants and others with an interest in tourism in the Tweed Valley.
The survey asked businesses a series of questions exploring their views on everything from access and infrastructure, advocacy, marketing and promotion and the visitor experience to the relative importance of specific markets, activities, events and festivals.
The questions clearly struck a chord, generating not only a large number of responses from a cross-section of businesses, but also some very detailed ones.
Although the consultation process remains very much in its early stages, the responses demonstrated some clear initial priorities. Chief among them is improving the wider visitor experience, in part through the provision of better, more accessible information about the area and understanding the different needs of various visitor segments.
The Tweed Valley is lucky to have a wide range of activities and experiences to offer visitors, and it is exactly this mix that is key to many businesses. Survey responses told us that while mountain biking is, unsurprisingly, important to local businesses, so too are activities such as walking, wildlife watching, plus arts, cultural and historical experiences. This reinforces the aim of the BID to build a business plan that is layered around not just bike-related activities, but also a wide range of other activities to offer a complete visitor experience.
Building a strong, recognisable Tweed Valley brand is another important theme identified from the survey, as is promoting that brand through a mix of specific marketing campaigns, online presence and traditional print media such as leaflets and maps for visitors. Other priorities identified by the survey include the importance of collective marketing, engaging with national tourism bodies to promote the area, plus leveraging the area’s prime geographical position to take better advantage of key transport networks from north and south.
"We’ve received so many good ideas and feedback from this initial survey, with a lot of businesses commenting on the same points and issues,” commented Emma Guy, Project Coordinator for the Tweed Valley Tourism BID. “There is real enthusiasm for driving the tourism product forward in the area and the importance of working collectively to make that happen."
This feedback will now be used to help shape the creation of a comprehensive, five-year business plan for the Tourism BID. This will be prepared between September and November, with further consultation, including group meetings with businesses throughout the Tweed Valley, planned for that period.
Businesses that have not yet had a chance to complete the survey are still very welcome to do so - the more input received, the better. The survey is available online here