Car rental company Hertz has announced a long-term partnership with the National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) to support its remit to drive tourism growth around the coastline.
Initial joint activity has examined perceptions of non-visitors to the coast. The research provides insight into how coastal resorts and businesses can attract new visitors and, crucially, demonstrates that many of the barriers can be overcome – particularly for off-season tourism.
NCTA director Samantha Richardson said: “One of our key recommendations is for coastal destinations to work collaboratively with the private sector. Hertz will play a key role in helping to shape the vision for the coastal visitor economy by joining a new coastal tourism leadership working group.
“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 9% 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% of those considering this type of holiday would prefer 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.”
General Manager of Hertz UK Richard Davies said: “The coast is a fantastic natural asset for the UK, no matter what the season.
We are 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.”
The findings from the new Perceptions research reflect previous research by the NCTA which has seen the tide starting to turn for coastal destinations.
The Academy has identified key areas for year-round coastal growth particularly from activity breaks, health and wellness holidays and attracting the under 35 age group.