# The market non-visitors
32% of non-visitors were not aware of the National Park prior to the interview.
# What do non-visitors know about the National Park?
Awareness of national parks and the Peak District National Park is lower among non-visitors than the general population.
In 2012, a survey of visitors and non-visitors across the UK showed that 90%  of respondents were aware of national parks. However, in the PDNPA’s 2015 non-visitor survey, only two thirds of non-visitors were aware of the Peak District National Park.
Location affects awareness of the Peak District National Park and there is a significant difference between awareness among non-visitors in Manchester and Sheffield. In Manchester, 45% of non-visitors were not aware of the Peak District National Park. This figure falls to 19% in Sheffield, showing that non-visitors in Sheffield are much more likely to be aware of the Peak District National Park than those in Manchester.
Knowledge about the Peak District, non-visitor survey 2015
Two thirds of the non-visitors were not aware of the Peak District National Park Authority. Again, awareness was greater amongst the Sheffield residents (40%) compared with those in Greater Manchester (27%).
# Non-visitor perceptions of the National Park
Open-ended questions were asked of non-visitors and their impressions of the National Park were centred around its vast, rural countryside setting and the associated outdoor recreational activities such as climbing, walking and camping. This was the same for respondents in both Sheffield and Greater Manchester. One third of respondents stated it’s a good park with a nice countryside landscape that is hilly. Only 3% of respondents stated it was boring, indicating that other factors are barriers to their visiting.
# What is appealing about the National Park?
When prompted, non-visitors believe that the National Park has many factors that would potentially appeal to them – the scenery, tranquillity, the outdoors and the wildlife. This was the same for both Greater Manchester and Sheffield.
# What do non-visitors do for leisure?
Non-visitors enjoy spending time with family, socialising, shopping, and walking (all cited by at least a third) – all of which the Peak District National Park can offer.
# What stops non-visitors visiting the Peak District?
Transportation and distance travelling to the National Park are barriers to visiting for non-visitors from Sheffield and Greater Manchester.
Difficulty in getting to the National Park was also most significant in the 65+ years old group.
A lack of knowledge of what is available in the National Park means that many people don’t have any real reason to visit.
Just over a third of all non-visitors state they are unlikely to visit the Peak District National Park in the future.
Likelihood to visit the PDNP in the future, non-visitor survey 2015
# What would encourage non-visitors to visit?
Non-visitors say that publicity is the key to encouraging them to visit the National Park, alongside provision (and publicity) of affordable public transport links. A third of respondents stated that more publicity, including social media, would encourage them to think about visiting.
One quarter of respondents said they were not interested in visiting. Further research on the age, ethnicity and social backgrounds of these respondents would be useful.
What are the gaps in our research & data?
- The Peak District National Park Authority aims to increase the diversity of its audience. Greater understanding of non-visitors is required to understand motivations and barriers for not visiting the Peak District.
- Research into non-visitors thus far has focused on areas of increased deprivation in surrounding communities, but there are also economic non-visitors. There is the potential to grow visits from places further away who will spend more and stay longer in the Peak District, this includes international visitors.
# Visitor segmentation – who are our visitors and non-visitors?
The Peak District attracts visitors from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. However, the majority of visitors are primarily from ‘comfortable communities’ or from more affluent sectors of the country.
ACORN (opens new window) is a powerful consumer classification model that segments the UK population. By analysing demographic data, social factors, population and consumer behaviour, it provides precise information and an understanding of different types of people. ACORN provides five main categories of ‘consumer’ which break down into 17 sub-groups and then a further 62 types. ACORN is used to understand consumers' lifestyle, behaviour and attitudes, together with the needs of communities. The five main categories can be seen in the table below with reference to the Great Britain average and Greater Manchester average for comparison with both the visitor and non-visitor surveys.
ACORN Results: Proportion of postcodes per ACORN Category | Visitor & non-visitor survey | Visitor survey (Base 466) | Manchester non-visitor survey (Base 375) |Sheffield non-visitor survey (Base 603)
|Acorn||Greater Manchester||Non-Visitor: Manchester||Non-Visitor: Sheffield||Non-Visitors||Visitors||GB|
|Category 1 Affluent Achievers||20%||4%||5%||5%||33%||23%|
|Category 2 Rising Prosperity||5%||3%||1%||2%||5%||9%|
|Category 3 Comfortable Communities||22%||10%||19%||15%||33%||27%|
|Category 4 Financially Stretched||25%||33%||35%||34%||18%||23%|
|Category 5 Urban Adversity||27%||48%||38%||42%||10%||18%|
|Category 6 Not Private Households||1%||3%||3%||3%||1%||1%|
# Visitor segmentation
Two thirds of visitors are from the ‘affluent achievers’ or ‘comfortable communities’ categories. This shows that a large proportion of visitors to the Peak District National Park are from the more affluent, healthy sectors of society. These groups are over-represented compared to society as a whole, whereas visitors that are ‘financially stretched’ or classed as within ‘urban adversity’ are underrepresented when compared to the national average. Looking at the two categories in further detail shows that visitors to the Peak District National Park, although above the national average for income and financial stability, are not the most well off sectors of society and do not lead ‘lavish lifestyles’.
# Non-visitor segmentation
76% of non-visitors come from the ‘urban adversity’ or ‘financially stretched’ categories. These tend to be ‘singles and young families’, ‘young people in small, low cost terraces’ and at the other extreme of this category ‘poorer pensioners’. There is a significantly larger proportion of non-visitors in the ‘urban adversity’ category compared to that of the national average. Conversely, the more affluent ACORN categories such as ‘Affluent Achievers’ are under-represented in non-visitors to the Peak District when compared to the national average.
K. Cook, “National Parks Survey,” mgCLARITY, 2012. ↩︎