Four rural tourism success stories which offer key industry insights

Food, wine, a magnificent castle – and the chance to learn more about tourism in the countryside.

That’s the excellent combination on offer at the Rural Tourism Conference which takes place from 5.30pm on Wednesday, 16 October 2019.

Qa Research managing director Richard Bryan will be giving a presentation at the event, run by the Tourism Society at the magnificent Ripley Castle near Harrogate.

Richard said: “I am going to be sharing some of our insights from conducting research with tourism businesses in the North York Moors National Park relating to outcomes from a Coastal Communities Fund project.

“Some of the challenges and opportunities for rural tourism businesses are quite distinct from those faced by their urban counterpoints – a theme which will, I’m sure, be reflected by the other expert speakers at the event.”

This is the full line-up of presentations:

The evening will end with a buffet supper and wine plus the opportunity to view Ripley Castle.

Ahead of our presentation we’ve been researching some great examples of rural tourism success. Here are four initiatives which showcase what can be achieved.

Four great examples

1. Build on a brand

The Yorkshire Dales is known for its beautiful landscape, farming and fresh produce. So why not combine all three in a fun family day out? This cheese fest is back for its third year at the Wensleydale Creamery, and over the nine days will promote the ‘special qualities of the Yorkshire Dales’.

2. Turn isolation into an asset

Any urbanite knows the extraordinary impact of seeing the country night sky littered with stars, which aren’t visible in our light-polluted cities. Northumberland National Park has been at the forefront of the Dark Skies celebration – and it has proved so successful that it plans to turn Walltown Country Park into a year-round visitor facility.

3. Work with partners

Partnership working is a key way to boost rural tourism – and this is a superb example. Norfolk has joined a pan-European initiative to encourage ‘green pilgrimages’ – which maximise the history of the area, and encourage visitors to make the most of the county’s 1,200 miles of trails for cycling and walking.

4. Diversify

It began with a couple of beehives. But this year Quince Honey Farm in Norfolk developed into a fully-fledged family visitor attraction, with plans to add a beekeeping museum next. Still a working farm, this is a great example of how to create a tourism draw from an existing business.

More on this topic

What we do

Qa Research undertakes a wide range of research, insight and evaluation studies for tourism organisations including visitor attractions, destination marketing / management organisations , trade bodies and associations as well as national parks, AONB’s and conservation charities.

Core topic areas include visitor satisfaction studies, new concept / product demand testing, pre and post advertising research and evaluation, membership insight, business barometer surveys, potential visitor perceptions, new brand development and brand refinement research and much more.

Find out more about the work we’ve done within the tourism sector by contacting Kathrin Tennstedt on