Consultation with and feedback from a wide range of user groups in a destination is an integral part of the Best Value process. With this in mind, a number of Local Authorities have expressed interest in benchmarking the opinions of non-visitor markets, particularly residents and shoppers, either alongside visitor benchmarking, or as an independent exercise.
In a project funded by the English Tourism Council (ETC) and undertaken by South West Tourism, two towns in the West Country region (Taunton and Yeovil) have acted as pilot destinations to look at extending the destination benchmarking methodology to include resident and shopper user groups. Adaptations to the methodology have been completed and the initial research has been conducted, both in the period up to Christmas 2000 and the early part of 2001.
If the pilot is successful, YTB should be in a position to offer resident and shopper satisfaction benchmarking in the near future.