4 in 5 UK consumers demand attractions do more to get them back through gates

COVID-19 safety measures, smart tech, personalisation, and loyalty apps tops list

New research reveals that despite COVID-19 rules easing, only 50% of Brits have visited an attraction since the start of the pandemic, with nearly half admitting they are still hesitant to visit due to safety concerns.

According to the latest research from Omnico Group, conducted with 2,005 UK respondents, nearly 4 in 5 (77%) believe there’s more attractions can, and should, be doing to get them back through the gates.

Just under 6 in 10 (59%) want to see attractions integrate more technology into their overall experience to create a better, safer, and more convenient journey. If these technologies aren’t in place, and their expectations are not met, 30% of Britons would not return to an attraction, and a third (34%) would discourage others from visiting.

The research – presented in Omnico’s 4 Post-Covid Guest Expectations in 2022 report – explores the impact of COVID-19 on consumer expectations and how attractions can meet these expectations, improve the customer experience, and recover lost revenue in 2022.

Keith Dunphy, Chief Revenue Officer at Omnico says: “The pandemic has changed consumer’s expectations of attractions and what’s clear is that UK consumers do not want things to get back to how they used to be. Visitors expect technology to be seamlessly integrated into every stage of their visit – whether that’s ordering food ahead, contactless payment options, or online shopping – and what’s more they’re willing to pay more for it. Now, the onus is on attractions to meet these demands by creating an experience that guests love.”

Safety is still #1 priority

Just over a third of consumers visited attractions this summer, citing COVID-19 safety concerns as a reason. During their visits to attractions, respondents report minimal efforts in safety measures: a little over half (53%) reported sanitiser stations and social distancing markers (48%) were in place, while only a third (33%) experienced staggered time slot entry. As a result, less than half of visitors rate their experiences as either ‘excellent’ (44%) or ‘good’ (46%) – showing that attractions need to step up their safety protocols significantly to meet consumer expectations.

Deploy the right tech
Consumers prefer the attraction experience post-pandemic, with about 1 in 3 (32%) believing safety measures create an improved and safer visit. Furthermore, over a quarter (28%) are willing to pay more for their ticket if attractions weave in the right technology into the customer experience. By deploying contactless and smart tech – such as digital maps, electronic tickets, and RFID wearables – into low-value tasks you can help visitors feel safe and encourage higher spend per head.

Personalisation drives spending
Although intended as a stopgap to the pandemic, technology has created a new era of personalisation that visitors now expect at every touchpoint. 17% of respondents say they would spend more if they receive personalised offers while at an attraction, and 32% say they’re more likely to return if offered bespoke discounts following their visit. To enable this level of personalisation, attractions need to connect all customer-facing touch points so they can create a 360-degree, holistic profile of what their guests actually want.

Reward your most loyal customers
Attraction visits have dropped by 72% since the start of the pandemic, and experts predict it will be a while before numbers return to pre-COVID levels. So, when nearly 3 in 10 (28%) agree that a loyalty programme is a must-have, and just over a quarter (25%) say they’re willing to spend more during their visit if they can collect and spend loyalty points, it’s all that more vital for attractions to reward engagement/spending and encourage loyalty.

Keith Dunphy continues: ”Post pandemic, meeting consumer’s expectations at attractions is only possible by connecting and digitizing the end-to-end experience. By following customers throughout their entire journey and providing them with personalised rewards and incentives that really stand out, you’ll add value to your guests’ visits and get them back through gates again and again.”

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