For the first time ever, Suffolk towns and villages are collaborating to deliver a countywide marketing campaign aimed at the under 35 market. This is the brain-child of the county’s relatively new Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) and Tourist Actions Groups (TAGs); All About Ipswich DMO, Bury St Edmunds & Beyond DMO, The Suffolk Coast DMO and Heart of Suffolk under Babergh and Mid-Suffolk District Council, supported by Visit Suffolk.
Recent research into the perceptions, attitudes and booking patterns of the Under 35s visitor market identifies areas of potential growth which Suffolk is perfectly placed to take advane of and develop strong and relevant campaign activity around.
The under 35 market has significant value as high spenders on accommodation, activities and food and drink products out of season and there is a significant growth potential for Suffolk and the Suffolk Coast from the under 35s market. Contrary to fears, this segment is “not a lost generation but an unaware and uninformed one” when it comes to the England’s own proposition. Suffolk and its coastline is well placed to deliver family holidays, ultra-short and short breaks and romantic escapes, with longer term opportunities for product development around activity and wellness holidays.
Key Characteristics of the Under 35s market segment research shows that:
• 63% have visited the English coast at least once in the last 3 years and would consider going again
• Under 35s take more trips per year than any other group, but they are constrained by time – they want to maximise time in destination. The Suffolk Coast, Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and the Heart of Suffolk are ideally situated to appeal to London & SE areas.
• A major market for ‘secondary purpose’ Wellness tourism, this group is particularly interested in outdoor activity and adventure, as well as healthy food and drink. Wellness tourists like to take short breaks (within two hours travel from home) and tend to travel outside the peak season. Many are high-spending. Most importantly, Wellness tourism complements other new forms of tourism (such as outdoor activity and adventure, heritage and cultural tourism, food and culinary tourism) all of which the DMOs are ideally placed to deliver.
• Unlike previous generations, only 40% of this market went to the coast as a child, a lot went abroad. They don’t have that inherent childhood experience, therefore there is an urgent need to engage with them now otherwise they won’t have that affinity with a coastal trip for the future.
The campaign’s main objective is to engage with the under 35s market, to place Suffolk firmly on their ‘must-visit’ list. It is vital to show this audience something authentic, true, original, unprocessed and convincing; indeed all of the unique qualities of Suffolk which make it attractive to this audience who place a high value on authenticity and experiential tourism.
#RAWSUFFOLK– unadulterated beauty, simplicity, what you see is what you get and it’s great! It also aims to build conversation and generate positive perception, increase spend on breaks out of season within this market.
The campaign is divided into two phases; Phase 1 for January through to March 2018 and then recurring in September 2018 through to November 2018 when it will have been honed and adapted from the lessons learnt in phase one.
There are four key themes:
- Adventure - beautiful wide coastlines, the most exciting and unusual outside activities, countryside, woods, forests and riverways.
- Food & Drink - the best pub lunches, where to try the freshest seafood, farmers markets and cooking with fabulous local produce.
- Wellness – peaceful spots, the best places to unwind, unique experiences to relax, escape technology, take a break from the fast life.
- Unexpected Experiences - quirky experiences unique to Suffolk, learn a Suffolk skill, contemporary culture with a twist, humble heritage.
To experience RAW SUFFOLK, visit www.rawsuffolk.com
Sue Warren from Bury St Edmunds & Beyond commented “ Visitors do not consider geographic or political boundaries when they are searching for inspiration for their next trip so it is great that we are working with other destinations in Suffolk, collaborating and cross promoting our areas in this way. We have a great offer both individually and collectively which we hope will encourage more people to stay here in Suffolk for longer. In particular, here in Bury St Edmunds, we are known for our heritage attractions, but we also have a fantastic foodie and shopping offer along with some very unique experiences which we know will appeal to the under 35 audience.”
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