Highlighting good visitor management before we publish CJS Focus on Visitor Management on 24 June

Navigate: boosting visitor numbers - BIAZA

BIAZA's new marketing partner Navigate will be providing regular insights into the trends and factors at play across the zoo and aquarium sector. Olly Reed, from Navigate writes about ways zoos and aquariums can increase their visitor numbers and impact.

My name is Olly; I’m the Marketing Director at Navigate. Before Navigate, I spent fourteen years at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. I headed up the marketing department, helped secure the BBC television series and developed the Ocean Conservation Trust brand. Whilst at the NMA, I was happy to sit on the BIAZA Communications Working Group, and that’s why I’m delighted Navigate are supporting the BIAZA Executive Office in communicating the accreditation scheme and beyond.

What can zoos and aquariums do to make a difference to visitor numbers this summer?

The last four years haven’t been the smoothest (to say the least). With wet summers, the cost of living crisis and a pandemic, to name a few issues, the classic “school holiday rush” hasn’t been what it once was for some. And the truth is, it’s not likely to go back to “the way it was” anytime soon.

People are different now; society has changed, and how consumers make decisions has evolved. In this article, we will explore the various marketing and communications tactics you can use to ensure this summer is positive for your zoo or aquarium. We work with several BIAZA organisations, and these tactics have grown visitor numbers yearly.

Why focus on summer? That’s when people are most likely to want to get out and visit. Whether that’s locals, tourists or international visitors, people are in holiday mode and want to have experiences. And what better experience than to visit a BIAZA member with the family? This summer is going to be challenging. With unreliability in the sun shining, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) announced that after a particularly damp Easter, they saw a record number of bookings in short-haul flights for the summer to European destinations. That doesn’t mean there won’t be domestic holidays in the UK this summer, but it means you might have to work harder to encourage a visit.

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Posted On: 10/06/2024

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