Family friendly tourism – how to get families to visit a destination
The Family Friendly campaign developed a tourism element to enable Greater Manchester to develop and strengthen its brand across cultural and leisure sectors within a 2 hour drive time of Manchester. The aim was to attract new UK visiting families, especially short-break takers and day visitors. Seasonal, targeted campaigns worked with transport providers, the tourist board, city centre management, accommodation providers and key venues through joint promotions, even with its own family friendly visit hotline. Initial evaluation provided a detailed set of recommendations.
A SWOT study was carried out to identify the current strengths of the campaign and what potential opportunities were available. One of the key areas for development was in the identification of potential partners. For Family Friendly to attract a tourism market, it needed to link with existing tourism providers, such as transport and accommodation operators, tourism focused organisations (e.g. North West Tourist Board) and existing partnerships (e.g. Manchester City Centre Marketing Group). Only a small number of Arts About Manchester members actually attract large numbers of tourists, predominantly day visitors. The links with arts and tourism needed to be developed by promoting Family Friendly as a generic product and utilising existing mechanisms, including the Greater Manchester District Tourism Forum.