Latest research on visitor sentiment is published by ALVA

Our colleagues at The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions have shared with ASVA the findings of the latest research commissioned by ALVA into visitor sentiment. The research was carried out by insight-led consultancy Decision House to gauge the views of the public on visits to re-opening venues. The key findings of the study, carried out at the end of April, were that :

  • Since early March there has been a further very strong positive shift in appetite for visiting attractions when they re-open. In particular, much of the large ‘stubbornly cautious’ segment is now at least beginning to consider visiting attractions.
  • With visit appetite now way higher than at the point when attractions re-opened in 2020, we might expect higher demand than last year – particularly once the ‘wait and see’ segment are reassured on safety.
  • Although still lower among those aged 55 or over, visit appetite has grown significantly across all age groups since early March and regional differences have disappeared.
  • Even with the perceived success of the vaccine rollout and continued declining infection rates however, there is a lingering nervousness about the visit attraction experience when returning to visit – particularly around crowds and distancing.
  • Three-quarters of the attractions-visiting public are not yet ready to remove Covid-19 safety measures, especially those focused on distancing.
  • Once vaccines have been fully rolled out to the population, there is notable support for some form of ‘proof of vaccination or exemption’ to gain entry to attractions, particularly indoor venues.

Bernard Donoghue, Director of ALVA, comments: “The research carried out for us by Decision House is hugely valuable. It will assist attractions planning or managing their re-opening and help them to take account of the views of their visitors, particularly before relaxing or ending distancing or other mitigation measures – there is clearly a lot of caution about abandoning these too early. 

We have been very pleased to fund and commission this research, first undertaken this week a year ago, and to provide it free of charge to all those working in the sector.”

ASVA Chief Executive Gordon Morrison adds: “We are grateful to ALVA for once again sharing these very useful insights with us. The findings reflect what we are hearing from our conversations with ASVA members. Those that have re-opened are reporting consistently that visitors are responding very positively when on site, however visitor numbers remain stubbornly low, particularly at indoor venues.  

“ASVA will be reaching out to members in the next few weeks to collect data on re-opening in order for us to inform key stakeholders, including the Scottish Government, about the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our industry and the need for further financial support. I would respectfully ask all members to take part in this crucial data gathering exercise.’’

The full research report is available here.