Broadening visitor audience for heritage sites

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Why the client needed the research

The Welsh Assembly Government is aware that certain groups within the Welsh population are less likely than others to engage with Welsh heritage and to visit Cadw historic attractions.

Cadw therefore commissioned Beaufort to conduct consumer research to explore barriers to visiting heritage sites - and understand the steps Cadw needs to take to encourage more visits from these sectors of the population.

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Our approach

In addition to 10 focus groups across Wales, we incorporated site visits so we could get closer to the visitor experience. Each visit was topped and tailed with a family in-depth interview.

This approach provided the added dimension of identifying negative preconceptions amongst those who had never visited an historic attraction; and the ability to explore how the actual experience compared with expectations.

We included within the under-represented groups of the Welsh population:

- Those from the C2DE socioeconomic grades
- People from BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds
- Those aged over 60

The outcome

Our actionable recommendations centred on product development, pricing, interpretation and marketing and communications strategies for the future. The results are guiding the client on widening the appeal of heritage sites, with the emphasis on ideas for engaging difficult-to-reach audiences with Welsh heritage.

What the client said
Beaufort have provided us with valuable new insights into the barriers stopping certain groups engaging more fully with Welsh heritage, as well as highlighting practical steps we can take to encourage new audiences to enjoy our historic environment. And, as ever, Beaufort were a pleasure to work with.