Recent research pertaining to the UK and Scottish visitor attraction sector has suggested that more sophisticated approaches to issues of pricing, revenue and yield per visitor may be forthcoming. This paper suggests that such optimism related to attraction management is erroneous and far from the reality of current practice. Furthermore, the sector has seen significant growth at a time when demand has been at best static and has faced increasing competition from the wider leisure, retail and fastmoving consumer goods sectors. In many cases, UK attractions operate a reactive management model which fails to anticipate market movements and flounders in the face of competitors. Quantitative analysis is limited in this sector, making data-driven management techniques difficult to utilise. Accordingly, many new attraction developments have been predicated on little more than ‘forecast optimism’ and unrealistic business plans based on limited quantitative data. This paper will examine the recent growth of one sector of the UK visitor attraction market, ‘science and environment centres’, in order to demonstrate that limited management information systems, naïve forecasting and poor business planning have provided the foundation for ill-conceived growth.
- visitor attractions
- science and environment centres
- revenue management
- new attraction development