First impressions are important. They are neither textured nor comprehensive. But they do give an idea of how people see a destination. They can provide valuable insights into a destination's competitive strengths and weaknesses. This can be a useful starting point from which to guide further enquiry. We maintain a panel of experienced travellers in the UK and Europe, whom we consult on behalf of destination clients to provide an initial snapshot of people's perceptions of any destination in the world.
UK: Yellow Railroad’s “First Impressions Panel” comprises a small group of experienced travellers living in London, the South East and North of England, and Scotland. They are seasoned and frequent travellers, who travel for both leisure and business. They take a mix of short-haul, long-haul and domestic break holidays. They take at least one main holiday of 1-2 weeks every year and several short breaks in the UK and Europe, including city breaks. They are interested in culture, nature and activities - ranging from pastimes such as painting or yoga, through “soft” adventure to more energetic outdoor activities. In terms of life stage, they range from young single professionals through families with teenage children to “empty-nesters”.
Europe: We have panel members in major European countries, whose travel patterns are similarly appropriate for establishing initial perceptions of destinations worldwide.
We aim to ensure that there is an appropriate balance amongst those whom we interview - both of people who have visited, and who have never visited, the client’s destination. In other words, they broadly fit the demographic profile of potential visitors to that destination: they have the financial wherewithal to visit; and, in motivational terms, they are interested in the sort of experience that the destination offers.