By Joe Collins
Our analysis of café income per visitor showed that for heritage sites which include a country park spend goes up.
The first thought is that all that fresh air is good for the appetite so visitors eat more. This might be the case but we have to be aware there may be a range of other reasons. Visits to heritage sites with parks might attract visitors that have different intentions. They might be visiting specifically to eat and are hungry before they arrive.
For heritage sites it is important to appreciate how their offer attracts different types of visitors, including those elements of the site which are traditionally been as being outside the ‘core’ of objects and exhibits, and affects the behavior of those visitors. Playing to those dispositions is likely to generate more income that trying to attract other types of visitors or inspire other behaviours. In terms of the future sustainability of particular institutions, there may be a need to revisit the concept of core purpose and to express this in new terms.