Research Tender – Lancashire Visitor Survey and Segmentation Study

3 May 2016


Marketing Lancashire is the destination management organisation for Lancashire; our activities in marketing and communications, commercial membership and place marketing are all designed to grow the volume and value of the county’s visitor economy and develop the profile of Lancashire as the first choice destination to visit, live, study, work and invest in.  It is Marketing Lancashire’s ambition to make the world sit up and take notice of Lancashire, leading Lancashire to tell its story brilliantly, to create positive images and change perception of the county.  Marketing Lancashire works with a wide range of visitor economy, public and private sector partners and national and international organisations to raise the profile of Lancashire’s quality visitor offer.

The visitor economy is one of 7 key business sectors that has identified by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as a provider of jobs and wealth in the future. The sector currently represents 7% of the county’s GVA and employs 1 in 10 of the working population who service 63 million visitors a year.  The economic impact of these visitors is, on average, £9.3m a day or £3.7bn a year. Its value has grown by 10% since 2009.

Marketing Lancashire has led the development of the Lancashire Visitor Economy Strategy 2015-2020 which sets out how the county intends to support future growth over the next four years to 2020. It is accompanied by a destination management plan (DMP) that establishes a set of priorities and actions for all the stakeholders in the county.

The vision for Lancashire as a visitor destination, by 2020, is:

  • To be recognised as one of the top 5 English counties for a refreshing and relaxing short break and an active family holiday.
  • To be known nationally as a culinary ‘must visit destination’ because of the authenticity and quality of its food and drink, from field to table, locally sourced from the county’s stunning valleys, plains, woodlands and coasts.
  • For the county’s cultural, countryside and heritage offer to be main reasons that visitors choose to visit Lancashire.
  • To be a preferred location for corporate events and association conferences because of the choice and value for money of its venues and the breadth and depth of the business tourism infrastructure.
  • To be recognised for its stunning 137-mile coastline that effortlessly combines seaside heritage and contemporary leisure experiences.
  • A destination that offers outstanding customer service on a par with the best worldwide and is an example of best practice in offering accessible holidays.

In economic terms, the county’s objectives set out, by 2020 to:

  • Attract an additional 6.3m visitors
  • Achieve a ratio of 80:20 between new day and staying visits: 1.3m additional staying visitor and 5m additional day visitors
  • Deliver an additional visitor spend of £650m
  • Support an additional 5000 jobs

The Destination Management Plan seeks to bring together the vision set out within the Visitor Economy Strategy and the plans of the local enterprise partnership, local authorities and private sector to determine the key priorities and actions that will support sector growth, with a primary focus on consolidating and strengthening Lancashire’s positioning as a short breaks destination.

The plan recognises that there are gaps in the existing evidence base that could hinder future success. This has been translated that into a priority to develop and maintain a robust evidence base that will inform investment opportunities and decision making.

Requirement and Methodology:

Marketing Lancashire is leading the delivery of a research action plan that will fill research gaps over a four year period. The first action is to conduct a visitor survey in 2016 that will assess the experience of visitors to the county, identify who is visiting, who isn’t visiting and provide profiles of both existing and potential future visitors, segmented into easily understandable groups to guide future development and promotion. We are looking for specialist support to undertake this piece of work and invite tenders from experienced research consultants and agencies who can undertake the necessary steps to deliver this work, from the development of a sampling strategy through to questionnaire design, fieldwork and final reporting.

The research methodology should consider how it will investigate:

Visitor type – e.g. day/overnight.

Visitor profiles – origin, to include nationality and mapping of postal area of origin, group size and composition, age/sex, new/repeat.

Visit characteristics – accommodation, length of stay, transport, areas/attractions visited, activities undertaken.

Motivation – type of visit (e.g. holiday, shopping, VFR, business); reason for visit (e.g. specific event, attraction, natural feature e.g. river); source of information (e.g. previous visit, word of mouth recommendation, TIC, website, media, Guide).

Visitor Satisfaction – accommodation, transport/parking, places to eat and drink, attractions, shopping, cleanliness and maintenance, information provision, entertainment, likes and dislikes, likelihood of revisiting or recommending.

Expenditure – on key areas such as accommodation, food and drink, shopping, entertainment, other.

The methodology will need to cover a county wide geography including coastal, rural and city locations as well as capturing the broad range of visitors to Lancashire. It should also be representative of year round staying visitors, at a minimum capturing the main and shoulder seasons. The proposal may therefore consider a mixture of methodologies to address these considerations. 

Whilst the geographical focus is not aligned to administrative boundaries within the county, the option to supplement the core sample through additional resource and partnership working with district authorities should be taken into account. 

The estimated target sample size is c. 1,500 – 2000 although the successful researcher will be required to develop a sampling strategy and advice on sampling would be welcomed within the proposal.

The tender response should also give consideration to questionnaire design, fieldwork, visitor communications, data processing and validation, analysis and reporting.  The 2016 survey will also form a baseline for future visitor research by which we can identify changes and emerging trends to inform future marketing strategies and make recommendations for product development; therefore the survey methodology will need to be repeatable.

Expected costs for the survey, including project co-ordination, fieldwork, data analysis and reporting are estimated to total no more than £40,000.

Tenders should include a full budget profile and be fully inclusive of any travel, expenses, etc.
It should be noted that the direct, indirect and labour costs associated with the preparation of proposals in connection with this ITT are to be borne by those who are tendering for the contract.  Neither Marketing Lancashire nor any of its agents or partners shall be liable for any costs incurred by agencies in responding to this ITT.

Responses Required and Terms of Contract:

Proposals should include:

  • The relevant experience and competency possessed by the tendering organisation and the capacity / resources to deliver. Supporting CV’s will be required for those members of the team involved in project delivery;
  • An outline of similar visitor survey work and experience of a comparable nature, and, if possible a hard or electronic copy of a previous report which you are able to share;
  • The proposed approaches, techniques and methodology to be employed in the survey;
  • Analysis techniques and standards of quality control applied to the evaluation;
  • Details of professional indemnity insurance;
  • A budget profile
  • Contact details of two referees who can confirm your suitability to undertake the work

Tenders will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Suggested approach and methodology (30%)
  • Knowledge and experience (20%)
  • Capacity and resources (20%)
  • Value for money (30%)

Services will be subject to written contract with staged payments.

Client team and client liaison

Day to day, this contract will be managed by Justina Ma, Business Manager with Marketing Lancashire. It will be overseen by Associate Director Melanie Sensicle.

The successful tenderer will be expected to attend meetings with the client team at Marketing Lancashire’s offices to a timetable to be agreed at an inception meeting. We will also require regular written progress reports. They will also be a requirement to conduct presentations to groups of stakeholders and potentially the Marketing Lancashire board on the project and produce, in consultation with the client team, a final presentation of the results that the client team can use.

Submission of Tenders:

Deadline for submission of applications is close of business on Monday 16th May 2016. Submissions made in writing should clearly state ‘Lancashire Visitor Survey’ and be sent to:

Justina Ma, Marketing Lancashire, Farington House, Lancashire Enterprise Business Park, Centurion Way, Leyland, PR26 6TW or via email

The proposed timeline for the selection and appointment of the individual or organisation to deliver the contract is as follows:

  • Submissions to be received by close of business on Monday 16th May 2016
  • Shortlisting from Tuesday 17th May 2016
  • Interviews week commencing 23rd May 2016
  • Inception meeting week commencing 6th June 2016
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