DD2024 London Tourism Strategy – Primary Research Funding Request

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2024
Date signed: 
26 July 2016
Decision by: 
Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment

Executive summary

London and Partners (L&P) have requested £30,000 towards the cost of an external consultant to conduct research around visitor satisfaction (£30,000 is a contribution to the total cost of the research which is £100,000) to help inform interventions in the London Tourism Strategy (which the GLA is funding to £90,000 as approved under cover of DD1364). 

While primary research around why visitors choose to come to London has been undertaken, a gap in research around visitor satisfaction was identified. Such research will evaluate the relative satisfaction of visitors from key markets of different aspects of their visit to London (such as welcome, transportation, accommodation, attractions and food). This additional research is required in order to be able to fully inform the interventions in the London Tourism Strategy that L&P is currently preparing. The publication of the strategy –originally expected December 2015- was delayed by L&P in order to ensure full buy-in from the new Mayoralty. 

The London Tourism Strategy will set out a long-term vision for London’s leisure and business tourism economy, behind which the industry can galvanise.  It will seek to define a vision, aims and objectives, and what London would need to do to remain a global capital for tourism. 
 

Decision

To approve expenditure of up to £30,000 as a contribution to London & Partners’ costs of visitor satisfaction research to inform the interventions in its London’s ten-year Tourism Strategy.

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The Greater London Authority (GLA) has previously approved funding of £90,000 towards the development of a ten-year tourism strategy for the capital (under cover of DD1364). The Tourism Strategy, which is currently under development, will set out a long-term vision for London’s leisure and business tourism economy, behind which the industry can galvanise.  It would seek to define “what good looks like” and what London would need to do to remain the global capital for tourism.

1.2    This funding request relates to a contribution towards an external consultant to conduct research around visitor satisfaction to help inform interventions in the London’s Tourism strategy.

1.3    Work on the strategy is already underway. In recent months, London & Partners (L&P) has held over 130 consultation meetings and a public consultation, and has conducted qualitative and quantitative research on markets and consumer needs. 

1.4    The Economic Development Working Group (EDWG) of the London Enterprise Panel (LEP) has endorsed the proposal for further research to refine the Tourism Strategy, which would evaluate the relative satisfaction of visitors from key markets of different aspects of their visit to London (such as welcome, transportation, accommodation, attractions and food) and inform the relative importance of specific interventions that would have the most impact in attracting new and repeat visitors to the capital.  It is anticipated that successful interventions from the strategy could influence an additional £6bn spend per annum from 2025 and the creation of an additional 150,000 jobs.

 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The overarching objective of this research is to enable London & Partners to have a greater understanding of visitors (by market, type of visitor) whilst they are in London. Specifically:  
•    The drivers to visiting London (including the relative importance of different drivers)
•    How important different factors of the trip are to overall satisfaction
•    How satisfied visitors are with each separate aspect of their trip
•    Differences between first time and repeat visitors

2.2    The research will contribute to the broader objectives and expected outcomes of the Tourism Strategy, which are to:  
•    develop a comprehensive tourism strategy for London behind which government and industry can galvanise;
•    develop a long-term vision for London’s leisure and business tourism economy;
•    identify what London needs to do to remain the global capital for tourism.
 

Equality comments

3.1    The research will help inform potential interventions within the Tourism Strategy in relation to accessibility issues for disabled tourists and issues related to other protected equalities groups (such as age, religion, sexual orientation etc.). 

 

Other considerations

4.1    Links to Mayoral priorities:
The Tourism Strategy is in line with statutory duties to promote economic development and tourism.  

4.2    Impact assessment and consultation:
The research for the Tourism Strategy will be developed in close consultation with senior GLA staff, particularly from GLA Economics, to ensure alignment with Mayoral priorities and plans. 

4.3    Key Risks & Issues:
 

Risk

Mitigation

That the tourism strategy is weak due to insufficient resource being assigned to it.

This funding request relates to a contribution towards an external consultant appointed specifically to help develop the strategy and commission the primary research.

 

L&P have already invested significant staff time and other resources into the development of the strategy – with two staff members working on the strategy full time for the last three months and a similar level of resource allocated until launch in the summer.

That key stakeholders do not buy into the research.

The brief has been reviewed by a number of key stakeholders including GLA economics and Visit Britain.  L&P has an experienced research and insights team to manage the research which used to commissioning research of this nature. The steering group for the strategy will review the findings of the research and the recommendations on how it informs the final tourism strategy.

L&P require additional funding for the tourism strategy.

The cost of the research will be in the region of £100k plus VAT.  L&P can fund 70% of the research from their own research budget but are seeking funds for the other 30%.

 

It is intended that the research would be repeated annually to help monitor the impact of the interventions identified in the strategy and refine L&P marketing activity. L&P believe that in future years it would fund the research with a proportion of the funding secured from their tourism partners. 

The research does not align with

any further iterations of the Economic Development Strategy for London

GLA economists support the need for the research which will also be helpful to support the evidence base for the Economic Development Strategy and Cultural Strategy.

 

 

Financial comments

The grant funding of up to £30,000 in 2015/16 to London and Partners to support further research to develop a London Tourism Strategy will be met from the London Enterprise Panel Strategy Funding Grant, as agreed by the Mayor through the LEP ‘urgent decision’ process in April 2016. 

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

7.1    The research brief has been prepared (attached) and interviews with consultants will be held imminently. It is intended that the first survey results are produced as early as late May. L&P would like the new Mayor to consider the strategy with a possible publication date in October 2016. 

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract (by L&P)

July 2016

Delivery Start Date

July 2016

First results from Research

August 2016

Project Closure (final results)

September 2016

Publication of Tourism Strategy

October 2016