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Research Findings…

BDRC continental (Research Company) main research findings for the Association of Leading Visitor attractions (ALVA) quality benchmarks in 2010-11 (presented at VAC October 2011):

  • The quality of what there is to do or see at attractions tends to increase visit duration
  • Increased visit duration adds to use of catering and to a lesser extent to retail
  • The quality of what there is to do or see at attractions leads to a significant increase in the likelihood of recommendation
  • For most sites, recommendation and the website vie for being the most important influence of visiting.

Berry and Shepherd 2001 (Cultural and Heritage Sites and their Visitors: too many for too few, in Richards, G. Cultural Attractions and European Tourism, Wallingford: CABI Publishing):

‘60% of visitors find out about a venue through word of mouth’

In 2001 the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) commissioned a piece of research conducted by Professor Robert Johnston of Warwick Business School, called ‘Service Excellence = Reputation = Profit’

The research found:

‘The organisations with the better reputation for service excellence have an average turnover (revenue) about 45 per cent higher than the organisations with a poor service excellence reputation’

‘The positive service excellence rated organisations yielded a 71 per cent higher profit per employee’

‘At a simple level there is a marked contrast between the average profit before interest and tax of the two groups of nearly 50 per cent’

The research points out ‘In 1997 an Ernst & Young study, “Measures that Matter,” found that as much as 40 per cent of the average company’s market value is based on non-tangible assets, including its reputation.’

The research goes on to say:

‘Reputation sustains a virtuous cycle of competitive advantage. A positive reputation is “a corporate asset that is a magnet to attract customers, employees and investors,” bonding them to the organisation allowing them to benefit from its success and share in its reflected glory. Such loyalty further supports financial value and results in cost savings and increased level of profit’

‘Importantly, a good reputation will also increase customer tolerance. If something does go wrong, as often it does, customers will be much more tolerant and forgiving toward an organisation that they trust and respect than toward an organisation with a lesser reputation.’

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