Museums and Heritage Show 2011

Museums and Heritage Show 2011My first gig back at Audiences London (after 9 months on maternity leave…) was at this year’s Museums and Heritage Show at Earl’s Court.  AL was again invited to curate one of the seminar series (making it our third year at the show).  So amongst the giant blow-up frankenstein monsters, a multitude of audio guide providers, interpretation experts and cabinet makers and a frenzy around social media… we offered a tranquil space to think about visitors.

Sarah Boiling and Sangeeta Sathe of South London Gallery talked about the virtues of sustained audience monitoring in the context of the visual arts benchmarking project. Quickly followed up by a focus on segmentation, the driving force for a collaborative project and campaign byLondon’s orchestras to attract those less knowledgeable about classical music.  We then took a quick trip into the world of tourism with highlights from Susanna Mann from the Royal Collection on Group Tour Organisers and Operators.  Another royal connection followed as Helen Ball talked about the FUSE project developed with the Royal Parks to engage young people with the arts organisations surrounding the park. And finally a romp through any other kinds of relationships that organisations had developed a sustained…

Relationship building themes of the day for me were… know your visitors; hand over the reins to your visitors – give them the opportunity to develop ideas and run the show once in a while; collaborate and the return on investment can last for years; and finally keep evolving, don’t stand still… and you’ll  have more engagement, income and happier visitors!

How culture contributes to life in the Capital

London Councils have just published their ‘Playing Their Part: culture and sport’s contribution to local life in the capital’ factsheets. These are free to download and provide good success stories, useful figures and interesting details of how Londoners and London benefit from a vibrant cultural and sporting offer.

Who are these Cultural Tourists we keep hearing about?

Besides coming along to our symposium which will answer all your questions about the cultural tourism market (shameless plug = 25 May, Tate Modern, book now via our website here!) we’ve now published the second of our free guides to get you thinking about these potential audiences.

The London cultural tourism market: definitions, facts and figures is your quick reference guide to the key information about what cultural tourism is and how it links to the arts and heritage sector.

Fed up of tourists getting in your way? Get them in your venue instead!

Our Cultural Tourism event on 25 May is fast approaching and in the lead up to this jam packed programme we’re publishing four FREE resources to give you some top tips and tools for attracting visitors to the capital to your event or venue. That’s over 25 million potential audience members!

This first short how to guide outlines the number of ways in which Visit London can help you signpost your organisation to visitors to London, including useful guides and toolkits, marketing and PR opportunities, editorial and event listings. Download this document from our website here.

Upcoming resources include:

  • Essential facts and figures on London’s cultural tourists.
  • 2012 opportunities for attracting cultural tourists.
  • Glossary of tourism terms

Sign up to our newsletter here to hear about them first. Oh and do come along to the event, we’d be delighted to have you along.

Wish You Were Here… Cultural Tourism for arts and heritage in London
25 May 2010, 10am – 5.30pm
Tate Modern, Starr Auditorium & Foyer
Price: £95.00 +VAT | Early Bird Rate £75.00 +VAT (Book before 6 May)
www.audienceslondon.org/wishyouwerehere
Book your place now

Cultural Tourism in London

I’ve been doing some research into this area and have been pleasantly surprised to discover in reading Visit London’s Media Fact Sheets, that London is regarded as the world’s most popular city destination for international tourists.

But perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised at London’s popular world city status, given that four of the ten most popular museums in the world are located in London – along with many other factors of course!

Did you know that in 2007 London had twice as many international visitors than Paris, and almost twice as many as New York too?

According to the Mayor of London’s Cultural Metropolis document (outlining Boris’ priorities for Culture from 2009 – 2012), seven out of ten visitors to London say that the city’s cultural offer influenced their decision to visit.

In 2007, while the number of overseas visits to London was down (by 1.3% on 2006 to 15.3m), the spend was up by 5.3% to a record £8.2bn, and the visits were longer (expanded by 2.4% per annum since 2000).

As you might expect, most overseas visitors to London come from Europe (47% of them in fact), and the largest international market is the US (15%).

The overseas market generates the largest slice of tourism income, with £8bn for the first time ever in 2007.

Over the last ten years, whilst overseas arrival have grown strongly, domestic overnight visits have declined steadily – a pattern mirrored across the UK.

A typical overseas visitor will stay 6.2 days, while a domestic one will stay 2.3 days.

Some interesting facts about London acting as a gateway to the rest of Britain…

Did you know? (Source: LDA: London Tourism Vision)
45% of all overseas visitors entering UK do so via London?
In 2004, 45% of all spend by overseas visitors in Britain was in London.
London’s gateway status is similar to that of cities such as Sydney (50% of visitors to Australia) and Dublin (54% of visitors to Ireland).
But – other capital cities such as Paris (accounting for 12% of visitors to France) and Rome (accounting for 10% of visitors to Italy) do not dominate their respective national tourist economies to the same degree that London does in the UK.