Strangely, Brexit and the strength of the Euro against the Pound will partly contribute to one of the UK’s fastest growing markets in 2017 – tourism. Over the last six years tourism has been the fastest growing sector in the UK in terms of employment, providing 45,017 FTE jobs in Cornwall in 2011.
In 2015, the UK ranked eighth in the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) international tourism arrivals league and the UK is forecast to have a tourism industry worth over £257 billion by 2025.
Your visitor destination, however big or small, needs to provide a unique and memorable visitor experience. You need to take a holistic approach and ensure your visitor experience lives up to your advertising, marketing and PR campaign.
You should think about:
- What makes your destination more visible when compared to others?
- What do you offer that’s different?
- What media do your audience respond well to?
- How do you make your visitor experience memorable?
- How do you get your visitors to tell others about their experience?
The above points are all important but there is one thread that runs through all of them; design. It is vital that every aspect of the visitor journey is of the best possible quality of design and strategic positioning to allow your destination to really come alive for visitors. Whether you are a museum, garden, arts venue or historical site you need to present yourself well.
There are many ways that good design can improve your visitor experience from ensuring you have appropriate signage to welcome your visitors and direct them effortlessly around your site to providing engaging interpretation displays and communications support that tell the story of your attraction.
ABG Design works with many of the UK’s leading visitor attractions and they are proud to have delivered engaging and effective design and communication support for three of the UK’s top ten visitor attractions; visitor signage for the Tower of London, a milestone exhibition for St Paul’s Cathedral and the new visitor signage scheme at the Houses of Parliament.
Howard Miles from ABG Design explains: “It’s a subtle design balance interpreting and enhancing some of the UK’s leading historical venues. It’s about striking the right level of interpretation and wayfinding that works with the architecture and historical context of the buildings you are working with. The design is meant to compliment and not dominate the surroundings, giving access for all visitor groups.”
Another design aspect that can determine the success of a visitor attraction is the brand design. You must ensure that your brand truly reflects the nature of your attraction and that it works in the context of the surroundings in which it will be delivered, not just on paper.
ABG Design is pleased to have developed brand identities for Telegraph Museum, Porthcurno and Victoria & Gallery and Museum, Liverpool.
ABG Design’s extensive portfolio of visitor attraction clients has provided them a depth of knowledge and understanding that is delivering results for many of the UK’s leading visitor destinations.
There are some exciting projects underway that are due to conclude and open to the public in 2017. Follow ABG’s Twitter feed @ABG_Design for information or visit www.abgdesign.uk.com.
Contact ABG Design on 01872 248355
This article first appeared in the Dec/Jan issue of Business Cornwall magazine. To subscribe, click here.