VisitBritain.org states that “Since 2010 tourism has been the fastest growing sector in the UK in employment terms. Britain is forecast to have a tourism industry worth over £257 billion by 2025.” A pretty impressive fact…
So, this blog is designed to offer the 9.6% of the UK population who currently work in visitor attractions somewhere to come to get ideas, share thoughts and hear about my experiences of being a manager in visitor attractions (VA). It’s for employees, managers, leaders, decision makers of these unique environments to read about all types of topics that are of interest to us in this field but may not hold much interest to friends and family. I know that if I start talking enthusiastically about ‘wayfinding’ in the pub it’s not long, even after some polite nodding along, until my pals eyes are glazing over!
I want to share with you my varied experience of working in a number of different ‘days out’ locations combined with my drive to create that much sought after perfect visitor experience!
Who am I? Well, I have worked in VA for around 17 years from pubs to paintball sites, theme parks, castles and zoo’s to art galleries – I’ve had a pretty varied career so far and am fairly certain that in that time I have learned so much through success and plenty more through errors! I’d like to put some of this knowledge and experience somewhere where others might benefit so that’s why I decide to write this blog.
I’ll not just be looking back though. I’ll use places I visit in my usual day-to-day life to bring thoughts and ideas here so that you can read them and see if there are any nuggets to take back to your place of work or business. Some will be amazing examples of how businesses are getting it right up and down the country which can inspire us all, however, whilst I wont name and shame, I will also use examples of how NOT to do it and why not to do it so that we can learn together. I may even occasionally suggest you try something new or re-look at what you are currently doing to see if you are happy and if the customer truly is king where you are…
I’ll try to present some topics where there aren’t just ‘right and wrong’ answers but where there are your own factors to consider in your attraction and what your company’s brand/ethos/values are about which may also influence some of your decisions. I will venture into some fairly dry territory such as directional signage to some much more glamorous topics like staff engagement and creating or magic moments.
I hope you enjoy what you read and please do comment, share and use this to provoke conversations in your workplace too.