ALVA Public Sentiment Tracker Results – 17/02/21

Our friends at the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) have shared with ASVA their latest wave of public sentiment research they commissioned with Steve Mills of Decision House. It follows similar sentiment tracker research conducted last Spring and Summer to measure the changing public mood about the nature of the UK epidemic, and to gauge the effect on people’s optimism of the successful roll-out of the vaccine programme. ALVA have highlighted to us that the latest research has been modified to increase the numbers of people interviewed in Scotland, so we would highly recommend that ASVA members take the time to review the results.
Highlights from the research include:

  • Over half our audience has begun to return to at least some attractions since the end of the first lockdown, but visits have primarily been to outdoor sites – members, families and young people most confident
  • Confidence around visiting attractions is now more polarised compared with the first lockdown – whilst more will return quickly, there has been even greater growth in the segment unlikely to visit for a long time
  • Indeed, around 40% feel less positive about visiting than they did during the first lockdown (18% feel more positive), with the impact of the virus now feeling greater for many – high infection rates, new variants etc.
  • Concerns around distancing remain the focal point – pre-visit reassurance around limiting capacity (via pre-booking) and the ability to control distancing in practice will continue to be vital. The market is now much more accepting of mandatory mask wearing
  • But when re-opening again, we need to remember that there are growing numbers who are questioning the value of the experience – we need to try to offer as full / normal a visit as possible
  • With that in mind, it is important to note that anxiety around using facilities at attractions, while still high for many indoor facilities, is easing slightly – apart from interactives and audio guides
  • The advent of vaccines is beginning to have some positive impact upon attraction visiting prospects, although this will be limited until the market feels that rollout to the wider population is complete
  • In the short term, the impact of the vaccine is mainly in encouraging the fearful to at least consider a visit – moving people from ‘unlikely to visit for a long time’ to ‘wait and see what happens for a short while’
  • As it stands, attractions are unlikely to see short term rapid increases in visits driven by a vaccination rollout – the impact of having the first vaccine dose increases the proportion saying they will visit any attraction from 44% to 48%, although the impact is greater (+7%) among those aged 55 or over
  • There has been some growth in empathy with the plight of attractions – the lead up to reopening may be the optimum time to play on this altruistic message again
  • There has also been increasing confidence around use of public transport to travel to attractions

You can view the full report here. We would like to thank Bernard and the team at ALVA for sharing this information with ASVA.