Tourism Alliance Update – 7 March

Here’s today’s update. The Covid guidance and updates from Government us very much winding down now and there is nothing particularly of relevance that has been issued for a few days except for a small statement that visitors from Russian do not now need a pre-departure test to come to the UK (not that I’d except a lot of visitors from Russia at the moment). However there is the attached Sentiment survey from ALVA which is very useful in gauging people’s response to the removal of Covid restrictions.

  • AVLA Sentiment Tracker (copy of ALVA’s latest sentiment tracker survey attached)

The key findings are:

  • There are now only small minorities – around 10% for indoor attractions – whose anxiety is strong enough to prevent them from visiting an attraction, which represents a very strong shift in positivity since summer 2021. There is now an overriding sense that the time has come to return to visiting attractions
  • However, ongoing visit nervousness is still apparent, with around 40% still expressing concerns about visiting attractions – mainly centering upon a continued anxiety about crowds
  • Many caveat a desire to return with a need (and sometimes, expectation) for some safety measures to be retained. Indeed, there remains over 40% of the market who disagree that all Covid-19 safety measures should be removed
  • However, there is a growing proportion of the audience who are pushing back against some of the more onerous measures – pre-booking, mask wearing and proof of vaccination status – to the extent that they are a visit barrier
  • In particular, general encouragement of pre-booking or perhaps compulsory pre-booking during busy periods now appears a more sustainable strategy than blanket compulsory pre-booking
  • It feels like the market still needs the ‘safety blanket’ of some overt Covid measures, even if these are primarily signals to demonstrate that an attraction has the best interests of its visitors at heart, and messaging around respecting fellow visitors
  • In deciding upon measures to retain and remove, we perhaps now need to change the question from ‘which measures keep our visitors safest?’ to ‘which measures least impact upon the experience?’

For your information, you will find a press release from Positive Impact here.