1
09/2022
AUTHOR
Caroline Asselin
IDEAS

Consulting the locals: a must

Read IN FRENCH

TouriScope is increasingly conducting surveys of local residents for its clients.

In recent years, destinations have turned to their residents to play the role of host and ambassador. Over time, this search for authenticity has had an influence on hospitality strategies, marketing efforts and tourism development. But for the past two years, in the absence of visitors from further afield, these same residents have been courted by all the players in the ecosystem. What if we asked them what they think of all of this? A novel idea? Not so much…

TouriScope is increasingly consulting local residents for its clients. Most often, this is done in the form of surveys, but other methods, such as focus groups and interviews, are also effective.

The trend is particularly noticeable among destinations, but the approach has proven to be relevant for other stakeholders as well, including tourism project promoters or leaders of existing organizations.

Consulting residents: 2 main objectives

While there can be many reasons for seeking residents’ opinions, the purpose of doing so generally falls under one of these two categories:

1.      To guide tourism development

2.     To evaluate the perceptions of the locals and ensure social acceptability of an activity or project

1- Guiding the development of tourism

In this case,residents are surveyed primarily as current or potential clients. Livingnearby, it pays to attract them as they represent opportunities for repeatbusiness. In addition, since they travel short distances, the carbon footprintof their visit is reduced when compared to visitors from afar. This isconsistent with any sustainable tourism development and climate changemitigation approach.

A separate questionnaire can be designed specifically for residents or can represent a client segment in traditional market research. To do so, we ensure that a sufficient number of local respondents are surveyed by applying a geographic location criterion.

What questions to ask?

Typical market research questions are used, such as:
- What types ofactivities have you enjoyed (in the location studied)? During which seasons?
- Which were yourfavorites?
- What types ofactivities would you like to see more of (at the location)?
- In your opinion, what are the main obstacles to visiting (the location)?
- Etc.

Although the work we have done for our clients is not public, here is an example that was published online. In this study aimed at developing a strategic vision for the development of Mont-Sainte-Anne near Quebec City, residents’ responses to specific questions were evaluated separately.

How best to use the results? 

Market research isgenerally used to fine-tune our knowledge of client segments so commercialstrategies can be tailored to them. Depending on the role of the organization,it may be necessary to:

- Market or support the development of certain activities over others

- Cater communication efforts to the local clientele: dedicate a section on the website to them, for example.

2- Evaluating resident perceptions and ensuring social acceptability

With this approach, residents are aptly considered as stakeholders of the organization. In other words, it recognizes that its activities have an impact on this group – positive or negative – which needs to be considered. This is one of the pillars of the social component of sustainable tourism.

In doing so, an organization that is aware of the opinions of residents on various subjects can understand the minimal conditions that need to be put in place so that its activities are harmoniously integrated into the natural and human environment.

What questions to ask?  

Depending on the context, you may want to find out how residents feel about tourism in general, or about a specific project and its potential impact on their quality of life.Here are some sample questions:

In your opinion, does tourism in (location) have a more positive or negative effect on…
In your opinion, will (project) have a positive or negative effect on…
-   local economic development,
-   quality of life,
-   infrastructure,
-   local culture, 
-   leisure and entertainment possibilities, 
-   preservation of the environment,
-   travel and transportation,
-   real estate development and home ownership
-   etc.

How much do you agree with the following statements?
- I am proud to see visitors coming to visit (location).
- Tourism development of (location) takes my well-being into account.
- (Location) should pursue its efforts to attract more visitors.
- etc.

Here are two international examples for inspiration:.

10XCopenhaguen, Danemark
Tourisme Bordeaux
, France

Graph from 10X Copenhagen resident survey
10XCopenhagen : Does tourism cause problems for you in Copenhagen ?

Destination Canada regularly publishes the Tourism Sentiment Index, in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the latest report, data by province is available on residents' sense of safety and their willingness to welcome back visitors in their midst.

Destination Canada Resident sentiment summary - Sept 2022
Destination Canada - Canadian Resident Sentiment - September 2022

How best to use the results? 

The results allow you to deepen your understanding of certain issues related to the sustainable development of tourism and thus to fuel strategic thinking.

The data collected could lead a business or organization to…

- Identify actions to prioritize to move towards a more sustainable tourism.
- Collaborate with other stakeholders to mitigate irritants so that tourism can be integrated more harmoniously.
- Adapt promotional efforts and awareness activities to various target audiences.
- Take on a leadership role with stakeholders and funding agencies to demonstrate the relevance of tourism development.

If data collection is repeated, the compiled results can become indicators for measuring social performance in sustainable tourism.

If you are considering consulting the residents involved with your organization and would like to discuss the possibilities of our team’s support, do not hesitate to contact us.

Want to dig a little deeper? Check-out our article The ABC of a seduction operation with residents - 8 tips

Sources:

Les Amis du Mont-Sainte-Anne, Québec, Résultats et analyse du sondage
Tourisme Bordeaux, France, Aux yeux des habitants
10XCopenhaguen, Danemark, How Copenhageners Experience Tourism
Destination Canada, COVID-19 Research -Tourism Sentiment Index
Karine Tremblay, (2020), L’acceptabilité sociale des projets touristiques par les résidents  

1st image from Yan Krukov from Pexels.com
2nd image: Pixabay

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1
09/2022
AUTEUR
Caroline Asselin
ÉCLAIREZ VOS IDÉES

Consulting the locals: a must

Read IN ENGLISH

TouriScope is increasingly conducting surveys of local residents for its clients.

In recent years, destinations have turned to their residents to play the role of host and ambassador. Over time, this search for authenticity has had an influence on hospitality strategies, marketing efforts and tourism development. But for the past two years, in the absence of visitors from further afield, these same residents have been courted by all the players in the ecosystem. What if we asked them what they think of all of this? A novel idea? Not so much…

TouriScope is increasingly consulting local residents for its clients. Most often, this is done in the form of surveys, but other methods, such as focus groups and interviews, are also effective.

The trend is particularly noticeable among destinations, but the approach has proven to be relevant for other stakeholders as well, including tourism project promoters or leaders of existing organizations.

Consulting residents: 2 main objectives

While there can be many reasons for seeking residents’ opinions, the purpose of doing so generally falls under one of these two categories:

1.      To guide tourism development

2.     To evaluate the perceptions of the locals and ensure social acceptability of an activity or project

1- Guiding the development of tourism

In this case,residents are surveyed primarily as current or potential clients. Livingnearby, it pays to attract them as they represent opportunities for repeatbusiness. In addition, since they travel short distances, the carbon footprintof their visit is reduced when compared to visitors from afar. This isconsistent with any sustainable tourism development and climate changemitigation approach.

A separate questionnaire can be designed specifically for residents or can represent a client segment in traditional market research. To do so, we ensure that a sufficient number of local respondents are surveyed by applying a geographic location criterion.

What questions to ask?

Typical market research questions are used, such as:
- What types ofactivities have you enjoyed (in the location studied)? During which seasons?
- Which were yourfavorites?
- What types ofactivities would you like to see more of (at the location)?
- In your opinion, what are the main obstacles to visiting (the location)?
- Etc.

Although the work we have done for our clients is not public, here is an example that was published online. In this study aimed at developing a strategic vision for the development of Mont-Sainte-Anne near Quebec City, residents’ responses to specific questions were evaluated separately.

How best to use the results? 

Market research isgenerally used to fine-tune our knowledge of client segments so commercialstrategies can be tailored to them. Depending on the role of the organization,it may be necessary to:

- Market or support the development of certain activities over others

- Cater communication efforts to the local clientele: dedicate a section on the website to them, for example.

2- Evaluating resident perceptions and ensuring social acceptability

With this approach, residents are aptly considered as stakeholders of the organization. In other words, it recognizes that its activities have an impact on this group – positive or negative – which needs to be considered. This is one of the pillars of the social component of sustainable tourism.

In doing so, an organization that is aware of the opinions of residents on various subjects can understand the minimal conditions that need to be put in place so that its activities are harmoniously integrated into the natural and human environment.

What questions to ask?  

Depending on the context, you may want to find out how residents feel about tourism in general, or about a specific project and its potential impact on their quality of life.Here are some sample questions:

In your opinion, does tourism in (location) have a more positive or negative effect on…
In your opinion, will (project) have a positive or negative effect on…
-   local economic development,
-   quality of life,
-   infrastructure,
-   local culture, 
-   leisure and entertainment possibilities, 
-   preservation of the environment,
-   travel and transportation,
-   real estate development and home ownership
-   etc.

How much do you agree with the following statements?
- I am proud to see visitors coming to visit (location).
- Tourism development of (location) takes my well-being into account.
- (Location) should pursue its efforts to attract more visitors.
- etc.

Here are two international examples for inspiration:.

10XCopenhaguen, Danemark
Tourisme Bordeaux
, France

Graph from 10X Copenhagen resident survey
10XCopenhagen : Does tourism cause problems for you in Copenhagen ?

Destination Canada regularly publishes the Tourism Sentiment Index, in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the latest report, data by province is available on residents' sense of safety and their willingness to welcome back visitors in their midst.

Destination Canada Resident sentiment summary - Sept 2022
Destination Canada - Canadian Resident Sentiment - September 2022

How best to use the results? 

The results allow you to deepen your understanding of certain issues related to the sustainable development of tourism and thus to fuel strategic thinking.

The data collected could lead a business or organization to…

- Identify actions to prioritize to move towards a more sustainable tourism.
- Collaborate with other stakeholders to mitigate irritants so that tourism can be integrated more harmoniously.
- Adapt promotional efforts and awareness activities to various target audiences.
- Take on a leadership role with stakeholders and funding agencies to demonstrate the relevance of tourism development.

If data collection is repeated, the compiled results can become indicators for measuring social performance in sustainable tourism.

If you are considering consulting the residents involved with your organization and would like to discuss the possibilities of our team’s support, do not hesitate to contact us.

Want to dig a little deeper? Check-out our article The ABC of a seduction operation with residents - 8 tips

Sources:

Les Amis du Mont-Sainte-Anne, Québec, Résultats et analyse du sondage
Tourisme Bordeaux, France, Aux yeux des habitants
10XCopenhaguen, Danemark, How Copenhageners Experience Tourism
Destination Canada, COVID-19 Research -Tourism Sentiment Index
Karine Tremblay, (2020), L’acceptabilité sociale des projets touristiques par les résidents  

1st image from Yan Krukov from Pexels.com
2nd image: Pixabay

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