Connecting Edinburgh with Fife, the Forth Road Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span outside the US at the time of its construction in 1964. Rail crossings are made by the adjacent historic Forth Bridge. Due to its deteriorating condition, the Road Bridge has now been replaced with a new bridge – Queensferry Crossing – in 2017.
The Forth Bridges Forum, led by Transport Scotland together with Network Rail, is in the early stages of how to best capitalise on the quieter environment that is now on the Road Bridge as motorway traffic is diverted onto the Queensferry Crossing. Members of the Partnership have begun to address how best to make more of the Bridges area as a visitor destination and, to do so, commissioned the Tourism Consumer Insights team (formerly LJ Research) to research and develop such ideas.
What we did
To market test themes and concepts identified for the Forth Bridges as a visitor attraction, we surveyed potential visitors to the area using quantitative and qualitative research methods.
As part of the quantitative study, we surveyed more than 500 recent visitors to the UK using an online survey approach. We surveyed a range of different audience groups across age groups, gender, and origins so as to report on demand per different customer segments.
The other part of that market appraisal study was informed by various focus groups in the Edinburgh area. Focus groups were chosen as the most effective way to jointly think about ideas and generating debate amongst various visitor segments.
Our market research revealed which exhibition themes and attraction features were most likely to generate income and, crucially, how much visitors would be willing to pay per entrance ticket.
Feedback from the client confirms that the research and the market appraisal study in general has had a significant influence on their decision making, helping to focus on themes and activities for visitors to increase market demand. This research project is a great example of how quantitative and qualitative research can be used to identify markets, products and services that are most likely to connect with customers and increase revenues.