Launched in time for Hay’s biggest event of the year, the Guardian Hay Festival, the visitor survey will then run for twelve months with a prize draw of a short break for two offered as an incentive for visitors to return the survey.
Funded by Collabor8 – a European Regional Development Fund – the new survey has been developed by Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority with invaluable support from the Hay business community. The project will provide valuable feedback to enable businesses to gain an even better understanding of what visitors would like as part of their Hay experience. Hay and District Chamber of Commerce has given its full support to the project with Secretary John Evans commenting: “We look forward to the results of the survey and hope that the ideas and initiatives that come out of it will help the business and tourist community make Hay an even more vibrant place to visit and shop.”
Mayor of Hay, Fiona Howard said: “We hope that this survey will be welcomed by all of the local businesses and residents throughout Hay because it will give us all a chance to accurately assess the opinions of visitors on the quality of services currently offered here. This survey also provides businesses and the local community a chance to work in partnership with the National Park Authority to provide better services for existing, repeat and potential visitors to Hay.”
Cllr Gareth Ratcliffe said: “Hay on Wye is one of the most popular destinations in the National Park and as it hosts one of the biggest visitor events in Wales, it’s perfect timing to launch the survey this week. The information collated from this new Visitor Satisfaction Survey will be a great tool for the local community and our tourism businesses to measure what visitors really want when they come to Hay. We can develop our services, enhance our visitors’ experience, and increase visitor loyalty for those who come back to Hay year after year. I’m hoping that with the data collected from this survey we can build better relationships not only with our visitors but also with the residents of Hay who love and protect this beautiful area.”
Nick Stewart, Sustainable Tourism Officer (Collabor8) for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said: “The objective for this survey is to provide the business community of Hay with accurate information on the characteristics, attitudes and activities of visitors to Hay from the period of May 2009 to May 2010. The funding we have from Collabor8 is enabling us to achieve this. Collabor8 aims to support high quality, sustainable tourism products and services that are locally distinctive. We want to use the survey results to make sure that visitors and potential visitors have all the information and services they need to enjoy their visit to Hay.
“Surveys previously conducted in Talgarth, Crickhowell, Brecon and the Upper Swansea Valley have all yielded excellent results. When we have the results from this year it will mean we can repeat the survey in the future so that communities can see the trends changing in visitor opinions and hopefully quantify the subsequent benefits to their communities.
“The survey information from visitors will be treated confidentially; however, the information compiled may highlight some issues that need addressing and if this is the case then we will be happy to work in partnership with the local businesses and communities to help them achieve their full potential. For example the 2005 Crickhowell survey was used as strong evidence to support and enhance the community’s application for the new Tourist Information Centre and public toilets.”
The survey questionnaire will be available from the Hay Tourist Information Bureau and many local businesses throughout Hay and completed surveys can be sent using the prepaid envelope to Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority or to the Hay Tourist Information Bureau.