The English National Park Experience Collection

Covers of three English National Park Experience Development Frameworks

We have just delivered the Experience Development Frameworks for the English National Park Experience Collection, a new international tourism proposition for England’s National Parks. These fine looking documents (designed once again by our good friends at The Way) set the direction for the Experience Collection which will be launched internationally later this year.

There are nine individual National Park Frameworks, one for each Park. They are based on intensive workshops that we ran in each National Park and will be used to win support for the Collection with tourism businesses in the National Parks. Each Framework identifies:

  • the iconic features of the Park that are most likely to attract international visitors (particularly from Australia and Germany, the targets for this initiative)
  • the Quintessential Experience – an inspirational, and often aspirational, experience that distills the essence of the National Park
  • the Trailblazer Experience – the first experience to be ready for the international market

The National Framework document will be for internal use. It sets out the underpinning rationale, focusing on how the emerging brand will be translated into on-the-ground visitor experiences. Working closely with the brand development agency (lo! our friends in The Way again!) we developed a set of ‘Inspirers’ and ‘Criteria’ for the National Park Experiences. These, like the brand, were based on detailed market insights. They were the lynchpins of identifying the Quintessential Experiences and will remain an essential mechanism during the detailed planning and Delivery of the National Park Experiences.

There was intense time pressure on this work. We were able to respond thanks to our great team.  Mandy Sims steered the facilitation work and, with Peter Phillipson, ran most of the workshops: Jane James, Emeritis Professor of Tourism, Flinders University Australia and Ethna Murphy provided invaluable experience and insights into the international markets, Susan Cross managed the project and with Gemma Ball wrote and edited the final documents.

It was great project that enabled us to articulate and demonstrate the tight relationship we see between brand development and interpretive planning and experiential tourism.