From extremes to coracles

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
coracles at Cilgerran

coracle racing – just as competitive as Extreme Sailing

The bank holiday weekend provided hundreds of opportunities for different visitor attractions to be enjoyed. As readers know, on Friday I was watching some of the Extreme Sailing series on Cardiff Bay. On Saturday I was watching coracle racing and had just as much fun.

The size of the catamarans used in Extreme sailing dwarfs the size of coracles but in many ways they were similar. Both were over short courses so the excitement was high. Both could be clearly seen by spectators. Both had stalls and other attractions to interest visitors. Both were free to watch and had more than one vantage point. Both had a number of races – the Extreme Series had eight and the coracle races, twelve plus a DIY raft race –  and both occupied just an afternoon’s entertainment so that interest was maintained throughout.

Both then were planned with the visitor in mind and followed some plan that a half day event is what appeals. T20 cricket is based on the much the same length and has been successful over here as well as around the world as has formula one racing. Day long or multiple day events are too long for spectators it seems unless they can be carved into bite size chunks so people can pick and choose what they go to. Spending a whole day “doing” one attraction is too much for most people unless there is lots of variety in the offering. This might explain why the large theme parks can still get packed out as they have been over the weekend.

ben Ainslie's J P Morgan

…just as competitive but extreme boats are larger

The tourism industry has learnt the message of what people want and how long they will spend at one event. Now it is for attractions to make the most of this. The price of some attractions is getting beyond regular visits. That’s when annual tickets became a popular marketing idea so that you paid once and could enter as many times – free – over the next 364 days.   It seemed like good value with marketing people knowing full well that most people might return only once again or not at all. Tickets bought within two hours of closing were introduced at reduced prices and also helped with visitor numbers at some attractions.

So how about timed tickets at reduced prices? Instead of a £15 ticket, how about a £7 ticket for a three hour visit?  The “ticket” could be a coloured wristband so that traction staff would know then the time was ending. It would encourage more visitors because of the price. It is about the time many people would stay anyway before moving on but above all it will make some attractions affordable again.

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