Business survey to support waterways tourism - Environment Agency

The Project

The Environment Agency (EA) aims to improve its services to its waterways stakeholders in the Anglian Region, where it is the navigation authority.  The EA recognised that tourism consumer facing businesses operating on or near the rivers make an essential contribution to its vision for the waterways.  These ranged from pubs, campsites, marinas and museums, to boat hire outlets, food takeaways and guesthouses.  It therefore, wanted to evaluate the level of service the EA was giving these businesses, how satisfied they were with that service, and how the EA could offer support to help businesses provide excellent customer service and attract more people to the waterways.

Research Methods

Enventure carried out quantitative and qualitative research.  A total of 189 telephone interviews with a range of businesses on the rivers were undertaken and seven, in-depth face-to-face interviews involving businesses near the rivers were also carried out.

Results

Enventure’s research gathered baseline information about consumer-facing businesses operating on or near the rivers and examined their opinion of the waterway and the role they felt it played in terms of their business, as well as the types of visitor they would like to see use the waterway more.  Feedback covered the businesses’ levels of satisfaction with the waterway in terms of maintenance and provision of facilities, as well as any contact they had with the EA and their opinions of the agency and its staff.

Benefits to Client

Enventure provided important information about how the EA might raise awareness of their role in the waterways and highlighted where businesses felt improvements could be made in terms of upkeep, facilities and communication with the agency and its staff.

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