The National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) has announced a long-term partnership agreement with global car rental company Hertz to support its remit to help drive economic growth around UK coastal resorts.
The first result of the new partnership has been a study that examines the perceptions of people who do not go to the coast.
The NCTA said the research provided fresh insight into how coastal resorts and businesses can attract new visitors and, crucially, demonstrated that many of the barriers can be overcome – particularly for off-season tourism.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Hertz to help boost coastal tourism. One of our key recommendations is for coastal destinations to work collaboratively with the private sector. Hertz will playa key role in helping to shape the vision for the coastal visitor economy by joining a new coastal tourism leadership working group,” said NCTA director Samantha Richardson.
“We know there is a need to raise awareness of what there is to see and do on the coast, but we also know there’s enormous potential for growth. Seventy-nine per cent of under-35-year-olds describe the coast as fun, and only nine per cent would dismiss a visit to the coast altogether, but we need to transform the way destinations communicate with this age group.
“Similarly, the number of people taking activity breaks has grown across all age groups and 37 percent of those considering this type of holiday would prefer the coast. We also know that onefifth of British holidaymakers book a wellness break at least once a year and some 59 percent would like to go to the coast.
“The opportunities for growth are clear-cut, but to enable coastal businesses and destinations to tap into these we need to work with the private sector. Hertz is ideally placed to help enable that growth and attract new markets.”
The findings from the new Perceptions study reflect previous research by the NCTA that has shown a uptick in the fortunes of UK coastal destinations.
The Academy identified key areas for year-round coastal growth particularly from activitybreaks, health and wellness holidays and attracting the under-35 age group – the latter being a core demographic for the seaside amusements sector.
Richard Davies, general manager of Hertz UK, added: “The coast is a fantastic natural asset for the UK, no matter what the season. Weare very pleased that we are helping the coast reach its full potential by supporting the NCTA with this important work.
“With our extensive footprint of locations in coastal towns and cities across the UK, we see this new partnership as a logical fit and trust that, with the support of companies like Hertz, further coastal growth will be achieved.”