As one would expect, those with children and teens tended to increase visits in the summer. While the older demographic groups dominated during the winter months. Seasonal fluctuations in Cornwall follow typical patterns found in non-tropical regions. The tourism trade in Cornwall depends on the influx of seasonal visitors during the warm summer months.
According to statistics from the Cornwall Tourism Board (2007), the largest percentage of visitors were from Devon. This is more than likely due to proximity more than any other factor. Other visitors can be broken down into the following general locations.
Percentage of Total Visitors to Cornwall
Source: Cornwall Tourism Board, 2007
It might be noted that Cornish residents were excluded from the survey. Therefore, these percentages only represent non-local tourism. One might notice that overseas tourism has a greater impact in numbers of tourism than it did in the dollar amount contributed to the area. When one combines the close proximity locations such as Devon, Hampshire, Bristol, and Wales one will find that they comprise close to one-fourth of the total tourism trade. According to the Cornwall Tourism Board, the area attracts a considerable number of repeat visitors.
Newquay, St. Ives, Bude, and Falmouth were the most popular bases from which to launch a holiday stay in Cornwall. The most frequent length of stay in the area was 7 days. The second most popular was 3-4 nights. This indicates that visitors to Cornwall find enough to occupy their time to stay for a considerable amount of time. Most visitors were on their main holiday, rather than a break or day visit (Cornwall Tourism Board, 2007).
One of the most important statistics found by the visitor's bureau was that in 2006, among the visitors surveyed, 90% said that this was not their first time to visit the area. Only 10% were on their first visit. This is important for Eden, as it indicates that they can capture repeat visitors by way of their seasonal events and concerts. If Eden gives them a reason to come back, they will return. Continued expansion and new exhibits will help to keep their brand fresh and new. Seventy-five percent of the visitors to Cornwall used cars as their major form of transportation when visiting the area.
Although visitors found the local food and drink adequate and satisfactory, it was not a reason to travel to the area (Cornwall Tourism Board, 2007). Visitors indicated that they received much of their information about places to visit and things to do in the area while in the area on previous visits. The Internet was the second most popular form of information transfer. Below that ranked brochures, guides and leaflets.
The Cornwall Tourism Board's survey revealed that what the customer wants and expects during their visit to Cornwall. In general, visitors felt satisfied with the accommodations, food, parking, ease of finding their way around and other attributes that contribute to a comfortable stay in the area. One of the key complaints was congestion along the A30, but there is not much that can be done about this as far as the Eden Project is concerned. The Cornwall area offers some of the prettiest scenery in the world and that alone makes it an excellent location for the Eden project.
Development of Eden
The Eden Project was a bigger success than was imagined when it was first conceptualized. It brings one million visitors to the Cornwall area and pumps
100 million into the local economy. It generates
13 million in goods and services, as majority of which are locally produced. The County of Cornwall has given approval for funds needed for the expansion of Eden and its continued growth and development (Cornwall County Council, 2006). The endorsement means that it is now time to take a look at the development of Eden, new marketing resources that are available and develop a plan of action for taking advantage of these resources.
Several key stakeholders can be identified in this project. Eden is an educational charity, which means that the community represents a stakeholder in the project. The County of Cornwall is a stakeholder due to the addition to the economy and influx of tourists to the area that Eden generates. The founders are stakeholders, several of whom were willing to work for free for 18 months until the project got off the ground. The founders and community are all stakeholders in the project and have an interest in its success. The Eden project received major financial support from many large corporations, who saw the project as beneficial to humankind on many levels.
The Eden Project is a charitable organization, with and educational purpose. This translates into more general risk for stakeholders. No person derives profit from the project, the project belongs to the community. The Eden Project contributes significantly to the local economy. The local community benefits from the success of the project. The Eden Project supports the community that, in turn, supports it as well. It is difficult to reduce the stakeholders in the project to a small group of entities. The Eden Project is an important one for the community that supports it.
Advertising Efforts of the Past
Early advertising efforts for the Eden Project were underway before construction was finished. Local newspapers helped to get the word out, reporting on construction. These early project emphasized the positive charitable aspects of the project. They did not want it to seem like just another theme park, designed to line someone's projects. This sense of greater good has been the key to the advertising campaign throughout the project. The project was promoted as ecofriendly and for the benefit of the globe.
The crux of the early advertising campaign was to use the most credible sources available. For instance, the National Geographic hailed the Eden Project as the Eighth Wonder of the World (Stables, 2003). This article did wonders to build credibility and bring awareness of the project to the world. High profile publications were the key to success of the early campaign. The Eden Project presents a positive outlook for the future, which is something that the public craves, in a world that can be so negative (Stables, 2003). The Eden project gives people hope that we can live sustainably and not have to sacrifice profit to do it. Theme and presentation was a key element of early advertising efforts. Emphasizing the relationship between people and plant was the primary focus of the advertising campaign. Green issues were at the forefront, a hot topic, which generated buzz among the public.
One of the key difficulties early advertising had was that national newspapers did not pay as much attention to the project as local newspapers. National coverage did not go into as much detail as local advertising. This may have been a major contribution to vast support locally, while areas of England that are further away have a lower number of visitors than the local area. It may not be an issue of simple proximity, but rather one of a lack of advertising in those areas that accounts for differences in attendance by region.
One of the points that was brought out in national advertising emphasized several contractions to the green movement theme, such as the presence of a huge carpark and utility consumption needed to run the place. These contradictions undermined the green theme of the project, but did not seem to hurt local traffic.
The global press began to pick up on the Eden project shortly before its opening. Journalists from the U.S., Japan, Australia, and Germany covered the opening and helped to spread the world among other countries. The media blitz was a well-planned effort. However, despite their attempts to use the media to their advantage, several negative comments, such as fears of spreading mad cow disease, materialized despite their best efforts. These comments were generally countered by the overwhelming number of rave reviews of the Eden project. Using the press in such as manner allowed the Eden Project the ability to take advantage of free advertising to the general public. As newspapers began to pick up the story, it snowballed. As a result, the Eden Project did not have to pay for advertising in major newspapers. This strategy was frugal and effective.
The Experience at Eden
The product that Eden sells is an experience. They do make money selling products at their gift shop and other minor income streams. However, their primary source of income derives from the experience that the customer has while visiting. The most important aspect of designing any marketing scheme is to understand the customer product thoroughly. In order to understand the product, one must take a tour of Eden to appreciate the experience. The experience will dictate the appropriate marketing mix that will be used.