Market Intelligence

The Visitor

2019 Visitor Survey Results

Visit County Durham has been tracking the visitor profile for the county since 2007. 1160 face to face interviews were conducted at numerous locations throughout the County for the 2019 study. The research examines all aspects of the visitor journey to understand what motivates, satisfies and disappoints our visitors. Previous visitor surveys were conducted in 2007, 2010, 2013  and 2016 which allows historical data to be collated and compared across a wide range of visitor related issues.

Key findings from the 2019 study include:

  • The majority of visitors to Durham come with other members of their family (37%) or their just their partner (34%). 
  • 16% of visitors are visiting Durham for the first time, compared to 21% in 2016, suggesting a growth in repeat visitors.
  • Some of the most popular reasons for visiting Durham include general sightseeing, eating out, shopping, and walking. The main reason for visiting was to go sightseeing (39%).
  • When asked what would have made their visit more enjoyable, transport infrastructure was a common theme.  Answers ranged from more parking spaces, cheaper parking, better signposting to parking, improved train services, more frequent buses, and better connectivity between attractions. 
  • Word of mouth and previous trips have a heavy influence on people’s decision to visit Durham.
  • Satisfaction is high particularly in quality of attractions (73% rating them as good or very good).
  • 99% of visitors would recommend Durham to a friend for a visit or a day trip. 
  • Visitors overall experience of Durham has improved since 2016.

Segmentation – visitor target groups 

3 key markets for Durham
1. Country-loving Traditionalists – “Empty-nesters seeking a traditional rural break. Love unspoilt countryside, walking and visiting heritage attractions – and sampling local food and produce”. Moderate spenders but current high volume.

2. Fun In The Sun – “Beach-loving families with kids in tow. Travel in-season and prefer outdoor activities”. Low spenders but moderate current volume.

3. Aspirational Family Fun – “High-income and often London-based families who can afford to try a wide range of activities – and take more holidays than the other segments”. High spenders and moderate current volume. 

Durham segmentation graphic