Having a bloomin’ good time at Dorothy Clive Garden

A blog by Dee Rahmat on her final year project for her BA Tourism Management award.  You can follow Dee on twitter @deerahmat

Globally, garden visiting is a popular activity. As there is a huge culture of garden visiting in the UK, I decided to do my final year Tourism project on Dorothy Clive Garden. Dorothy Clive Garden is an independent charitable garden located in Willoughbridge, Shropshire (near Market Drayton). It is ranked #1 in TripAdvisor for things to do in Market Drayton. Dorothy Clive Garden regularly organise events, workshops, and exhibitions. One such example is the 5th Annual Chilli Festival where they had over 1,200 guests over the weekendDorothy Clive GardensThe aim of my study is to increase footfall and enhance visitor experience while ensuring sustainability practices are still applied at Dorothy Clive Garden.  Data were collected through questionnaires from a sample size of over 150 visitors. Through the collated data, I will examine the interests and motivational factors of visitors in Dorothy Clive Garden in order to determine their visitors’ needs and expectation. The analysis will hopefully assist Dorothy Clive Garden to establish future development plans to enhance visitor experience.

Getting to work closely with Marcus who is curator of the garden, and Julia who is the marketing officer, from Dorothy Clive Garden have been a rewarding experience. They shared many useful statistics and research materials which helped me to develop the right survey questions. I enjoyed getting insights from professionals in the industry which helped my understanding of current trends and issues in garden tourism.

Dorothy Clive Gardens

To improve Dorothy Clive Garden, it is important to know who the visitors are, why they come and what they value. While conducting the questionnaires, I see a clear correlation between visitors’ satisfaction and the likelihood of repeat visits and word of mouth referrals. This experience has certainly developed my communication skills, as well as, my research and analytic skills. I hope to further develop and utilise the knowledge and skills obtained, as well as my prior work experience, in my future career with a role in tourist attraction development or destination marketing.

Dorothy Clive Gardens

Dee interviewing customers

Julia Roberts at Dorothy Clive said  ‘We were delighted to welcome Dee to the Dorothy Clive Garden as part of her final year tourism project. The study has enabled us to gain better understanding of the motivational factors as to why visitors come to the garden. We hope to continue to use the survey over the next 12 months to build up a strong visitor profile to determine and inform our future marketing strategy.  Thanks to Dee for all her professionalism and attention to detail, she has been a joy to work with.’

Julia Roberts (left and Dee Rahmat (right)

Julia Roberts (left and Dee Rahmat (right) a very successful collaboration

Prof Jon Fairburn said “All of our final year tourism students have to do an external project and many of them are in the area of market research and customer experience. It provides excellent training in some of the key skills needed in the tourism industry.”

Dorothy Clive Garden links

http://www.dorothyclivegarden.co.uk/  – website

https://www.facebook.com/Dorothyclivegarden facebook

@dorothyclive twitter