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Largest ever visitor survey results revealed

Scilly's biggest ever visitor survey has revealed more demand for online booking and more tourists aged 45 and over.

The research, conducted in 2016 by the Islands' Partnership in conjunction with The South West Research Company, showed that half of visitors to Scilly want to book online and that 67% are more than 45, an increase of 10% in the last three years.​

'Scenery', 'peace & quiet', 'beaches' and 'wildlife' remained the main attractions for the 2,381 respondents (95% of whom were staying visitors). The 'general atmosphere', 'sense of welcome' and 'customer service amongst accommodation providers' scored highest for visitor satisfaction, while the 'value of food and drink', 'quality of shops', 'range and quality of evening entertainment', and 'range and quality of groceries' scored lowest.

More than 40% of all visitors were from the southwest region of the UK, with at least 20% of visitors having Cornwall and Devon postcodes.

The survey findings have revealed a continued loyalty to Scilly with 70% of repeat visitors. First time visitors in 2016 accounted for 30% of the total number, mirroring the 30% of first-time visitors in 2015 and up from the 26% who were new to Scilly in 2014. Of the first time visitors in the last two years, 60% opt to come to Scilly for a short break, of between two and four nights. 65% of the survey respondents said that star ratings in making their accommodation choices were important or very important, an increase from 59% in 2015.

Only 29% of visitors booked accommodation online last year, although 47% of respondents said that they would have done so had they been able to, an increase from 41% in 2015. 62% of visitors found the website a useful source of information when booking their holiday.

“The 2016 Isles of Scilly Visitor Survey was our most comprehensive to date, and with 95% of those who completed it being staying visitors, it has given us a meaningful, qualitative insight on overall trends as well as visitor behaviour and satisfaction levels amongst visitors to the islands,” said Islands’ Partnership Executive Director David Jackson.

“With three years of visitor surveys behind us, we are much better able to build a complete picture of, and respond to, the needs and habits of our visitors.

"It is important that understand our visitor profile and their experiences so that local businesses and the Islands’ Partnership can align services to their needs and expectations and support product development that will help to enhance and grow the visitor economy."

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