MORE than half of visitors to Northumberland National Park were encouraged to make the trip because of the area’s designation, a survey has revealed.
The survey, commissioned by the national park, showed that it attracts a large proportion of day visitors (62%) compared to overnight visitors staying in the North East (33%), indicating that many people in the region visit the location for leisure.
The average number of visits undertaken by those who had visited at least once in the previous year – excluding local residents – was 17 times, suggesting that the park attracts a core group of very frequent and regular visitors.
A total of 87% of visitors were aware of Northumberland National Park’s status and 75% stated they would recommend a visit to a friend.
The only reason cited why they would not make a recommendation reflected a desire to keep the national park quiet and unspoilt. Visitors cited “general friendliness” and “quality of accommodation” as the main areas where experience far exceeded expectation.
The only areas where experience was lower than expectation were the disappointing lack of public toilets and wifi/mobile coverage in the park.
Duncan Wise, national park visitor development officer, said: “It is good to have such positive response and high level of overall satisfaction confirmed among our visitors.”
Tony Gates, park chief executive, said: “The national park brand is a major asset for Northumberland and the North East, so it’s important that we encourage all aspects of visitor service to provide that excellent experience. “
Surveys were completed at eight locations across the National Park, between Hadrian’s Wall and the Cheviot Hills.
The new Northumberland National Park Visitor Guide 2012 is available to download from the website www.north umberlandnationalpark.org.uk/visiting/ visitorguide