Photo of Exmoor Gallery
By analysing the perceptions of Exmoor, the Park Authority and Exmoor tourism sector will be better equipped to satisfy and even increase visitors.

Awareness and perceptions of Exmoor National Park and impact on the local tourism economy

Partner

Exmoor National Park Authority

Project team

Dr David Harvey
Dr Robert Fish
Prof Michael Winter
Tim Wilkinson (PhD Researcher)

About the project

The research examines the awareness of Exmoor within specific visitor 'catchment areas'; the perceptions of Exmoor amongst visitors and potential visitors, and the factors that encourage and discourage visitation. By analysing the positive and negative associations and meanings ‘Exmoor’ has for people and the practical considerations that affect the decision to visit the area, the Park Authority and Exmoor tourism sector will be better equipped to decide how best to encourage and cater for visitors. 

The first phase of the research will involve a literature review on perceptions of place looking at both tourism and geographical literatures. Secondly, the student will undertake an overview of the key considerations that impact on decisions by potential visitors that affect their choice of vacation destination.  Exmoor will then be compared to other tourism destinations to assess the relative importance of the range of 'attractors' and detractors that are most likely to affect the decision to visit the area. This will be followed by empirical work on awareness and perceptions of Exmoor involving both focus groups and interviews and taking place in two or more contrasting urban or sub-urban locations one in the South West such as Bristol or Plymouth and one outside the South West such as the Midlands. Finally the student will produce recommendations for the national park on the marketing and presentation of Exmoor and the needs and expectations of potential visitors. 

Key words

National landscapes, Tourism, Reproduction of Place

Themes

Environment, Landscape and Space
Innovation, Knowledge Creation and Knowledge Transfer

Outputs

Presentations

'Modes of engagement with a national landscape: Perception and representation of Exmoor National Park and impact on the local tourism economy'

Showcase Event
 08/06/2011 Presentation slides - Wilkinson  Short podcast - Wilkinson