Blackwater Natural Resource Tourism Project<br />
Overview<br />Project Background<br />Aims of the BlackWater Natural Tourism Project<br />Evaluation Objectives<br />Progr...
Evaluation Objectives<br />Document history of project<br />Consult with key stakeholders – evaluate impact on end benefic...
Interreg 111A Priority 1 Measure 1 Objectives<br />To strengthen the SME sector to make it nationally and internationally ...
Original Objectives of the project<br />To implement an access to the countryside scheme;<br />The Famine Walls programme;...
1 History of the Project<br />In June 2004 BRP was offered grant aid of £822,187.00 for the delivery of a three year Natur...
2Consultation with Stakeholders & Others<br />eSurvey & No.of Tel Consultations<br /><ul><li>Stimulated cross-border & com...
3 Programme Structures, Mgt, Admin & Evaluation Systems<br /><ul><li>Project well administered and managed following initi...
Events well promoted in limited timescale
Need more robust system for gauging feedback on capital projects and for evaluating events</li></ul>Excellent results achi...
4. Measure extent to which aims & objs have been met<br />All revised objectives from 2006 met – refer to slide 5<br />Rea...
1st BlackWater 10K<br /><ul><li>1200 attended day’s event
Excellent brand exposure
Real cross-border co-op in organisation
BRP staff made it happen</li></li></ul><li>Bike the Blackwater<br /><ul><li>Another new event - well organised 98 particip...
Good brand exposure www.biketheblackwater.org – v professional site</li></ul>  - good use of google maps - exemplar<br /><...
Next year already planned – need accommodation linkage</li></li></ul><li>Paddle the Blackwater<br />The Sunday Times Trave...
Raise profile of new Blackwater Canoe Trail
BRP instrumental in organisation</li></li></ul><li>Other selected events<br />14 & 15 June Launch of Knockatallon Looped W...
5 Examine how project meets ICBAN & Interreg 111A & Priority 1 Measure 1<br />SME sector early stages of development - mor...
6Highlight Good Practice<br />Professional & Dedicated staff <br />	Proactive organisation & delivery of events in a short...
7 Key learning for BRP to assist roll out of future programmes<br /><ul><li>Rich diversity of rural product offer now in p...
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Bwrp Evaluation Summary&amp;Way Forward

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Overview of evaluation outcomes - Excellent achievements with limited resources

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Bwrp Evaluation Summary&amp;Way Forward

  1. 1. Blackwater Natural Resource Tourism Project<br />
  2. 2. Overview<br />Project Background<br />Aims of the BlackWater Natural Tourism Project<br />Evaluation Objectives<br />Progress and status of project activities<br />Outputs <br />Way Forward<br />Conclusions<br />
  3. 3. Evaluation Objectives<br />Document history of project<br />Consult with key stakeholders – evaluate impact on end beneficiaries<br />Assess programme structures, mgt, admin and monitoring<br />Measure extent to which aims & objs have been met<br />Examine how project meets ICBAN & Interreg 111A & Priority 1 Measure 1<br />Highlight good practice<br />Key learning for BRP to assist roll out of future programmes<br />
  4. 4. Interreg 111A Priority 1 Measure 1 Objectives<br />To strengthen the SME sector to make it nationally and internationally competitive;<br />To explore and develop new market opportunities for the business and tourism sectors;<br />To promote effective cross border linkages in work areas of mutual benefit;<br />To enable joint development and marketing of goods and services;<br />To develop environmentally and economically sustainable initiatives that exploit the natural amenities and safeguard the natural endowments of the eligible area.<br />
  5. 5. Original Objectives of the project<br />To implement an access to the countryside scheme;<br />The Famine Walls programme;<br />The Slieve Beagh programme;<br />Aughnacloy, Mullan & Emyvale Access Programme;<br />Sustrans cross border cycleway;<br />Benburb Eco Trail.<br />To develop one lake in North Monaghan to complement and assist the Aughnacloy Classic<br />To employ a designated marketing company to deliver: a comprehensive marketing plan for the catchment area; a package of promotional literature; branding of the product; web/TV based strategy to include dispersed accommodation booking system and niche marketing.<br />To employ a firm of consultants to carry out a comprehensive socio-economic study of the Ulster Canal.<br />To facilitate the agricultural sector to maximise their diversification potential via new opportunities in the region.<br />To develop a good practice policy in relation to Natural Environment of the catchment.<br />To develop an educational programme surrounding the projects and raise the level of interest in schools in indigenous heritage & culture.<br />Facilitate community linkages via the common theme of this border to ensure and reinforce community participation and ownership.<br />To employ two officers to ensure that the above aims and objectives are met<br />
  6. 6. 1 History of the Project<br />In June 2004 BRP was offered grant aid of £822,187.00 for the delivery of a three year Natural Resource Tourism Project for parts of Armagh City & District Council; Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council and Monaghan County Council<br />At interim report we concluded that<br />“The Blackwater Natural Resource Tourism Programme was dogged by personnel illness and turnover and also by a change of management when the original Partnership Manager moved on to another post. As the project depended on two specific staff to deliver the varied and challenging aims of the partnership in natural tourism the lack of staff for most of the first year was an enormous handicap from which only now is the project emerging”<br />June 2006 approval given for a number of changes to the programme<br />Changes made at appropriate time - corrective action taken<br />
  7. 7. 2Consultation with Stakeholders & Others<br />eSurvey & No.of Tel Consultations<br /><ul><li>Stimulated cross-border & community linkages</li></ul>- Showcased environmental, cultural heritage of the region<br /><ul><li>Developed the region’s capacity for activity tourism/events</li></ul> “There is always a tendency for communities to withdraw back into their own familiar territory when funding comes to an end, and so for the gains of a particular project such as this one to be lost. One also cannot underestimate the value of having high-quality project officers, and again much experience gained can easily be lost”<br />Stakeholders recognise progress - concern with sustainability<br />
  8. 8. 3 Programme Structures, Mgt, Admin & Evaluation Systems<br /><ul><li>Project well administered and managed following initial difficulties
  9. 9. Events well promoted in limited timescale
  10. 10. Need more robust system for gauging feedback on capital projects and for evaluating events</li></ul>Excellent results achieved with limited resources<br />
  11. 11. 4. Measure extent to which aims & objs have been met<br />All revised objectives from 2006 met – refer to slide 5<br />Real Added value with events and Border Heritage<br />Excellent high quality suite of marketing literature<br />Capital projects will enable the further development of niche activity tourism - ecotrails, canoe trail, walking trails, heritage trail<br />Attractive regional destination website<br />www.visitblackwaterregion.com<br />Product Development complete - Shift to events brought new ‘dynamic’<br />
  12. 12. 1st BlackWater 10K<br /><ul><li>1200 attended day’s event
  13. 13. Excellent brand exposure
  14. 14. Real cross-border co-op in organisation
  15. 15. BRP staff made it happen</li></li></ul><li>Bike the Blackwater<br /><ul><li>Another new event - well organised 98 participated Castle Hill Cycling Club
  16. 16. Good brand exposure www.biketheblackwater.org – v professional site</li></ul> - good use of google maps - exemplar<br /><ul><li>Promotion of Ulster Canal Cycle Trail
  17. 17. Next year already planned – need accommodation linkage</li></li></ul><li>Paddle the Blackwater<br />The Sunday Times Travel Section Best Days Out in the UK May 08 article included: LAZY PADDLE, Armagh and Tyrone Canoe touring is as hard as you want to make it - and idlers have just had their life made even easier in Northern Ireland, where five new canoe trails have recently opened. Our pick is the River Blackwater: 12 miles with the current to Lough Neagh, through the velvety green folds of Armagh and Tyrone, with pubs, cafes, camping and wildlife all mapped out for you.<br /><ul><li>Another new event
  18. 18. Raise profile of new Blackwater Canoe Trail
  19. 19. BRP instrumental in organisation</li></li></ul><li>Other selected events<br />14 & 15 June Launch of Knockatallon Looped Walks<br />
  20. 20. 5 Examine how project meets ICBAN & Interreg 111A & Priority 1 Measure 1<br />SME sector early stages of development - more resources needed here in terms mentoring, training and up-skilling. Work with other agencies to promote international distinctiveness;<br />Product developed – market opps needed to be harnessed;<br />Excellent formative links made<br />Viable cross border business opps through walking, cycling, angling canoeing, activity tourism and events;<br />Heritage Trail (Famine Walls), EcoTrails & Env Education Guide<br />To strengthen the SME sector to make it nationally and internationally competitive;<br />To explore and develop new market opportunities for the business and tourism sectors;<br />To promote effective cross border linkages in work areas of mutual benefit;<br />To enable joint development and marketing of goods and services;<br />To develop environmentally and economically sustainable initiatives that exploit the natural amenities and safeguard the natural endowments of the eligible area<br />
  21. 21. 6Highlight Good Practice<br />Professional & Dedicated staff <br /> Proactive organisation & delivery of events in a short timescale<br />BiketheBlackwater.org , visitblackwaterregion.com ,Blackwater Canoe Trail<br />
  22. 22. 7 Key learning for BRP to assist roll out of future programmes<br /><ul><li>Rich diversity of rural product offer now in place – focus on capital projects and events has worked – now need to build on destination marketing and people-people activity
  23. 23. Customers are now spoilt for choice and asserting their right to new and authentic experiences that can turn a holiday into a lifetime adventure – ‘escape to the country’ evocative brand logo but needs skills & marketing support in the right channels </li></li></ul><li>How to better promote and market the BlackWater Region as a tourist destination?<br />3 simple steps to effectively promote your area<br />Identify your key products<br />Establish your target markets<br />Decide on the best way to reach your target markets - eCommunication priority<br />Focus on Technology, Communication, Networking & Up-skilling<br />
  24. 24. It’s now all about the experience<br />
  25. 25. The world has changed…<br />10<br />years ago… the terms Google, iPod, 3G meant nothing!<br />Today…<br />90% of all phones have multimedia and internet access and the ability to view video footage <br />iPod has become the generic descriptor for the MP3 sector<br />processes estimated 1bn searches per day through all its services<br />
  26. 26. Understand what visitors are looking for<br />“The Profile of our consumers has changed greatly. <br />With greater mobility and the desire to use time more effectively,<br /> they are spoilt for choice and are asserting their right to new and authentic experiences that can turn a holiday into a lifetime adventure” (TI Corporate Plan 2008 – 2010)<br /><ul><li>Quality
  27. 27. Customer service
  28. 28. Information provision – make it easy and accessible
  29. 29. Packaging & presentation
  30. 30. Price</li></li></ul><li>Conclusions<br />Positive project outputs<br />Many unique facets<br />- Ulster Canal Cycle Trail<br />- 4 Eco Trails<br /><ul><li>New Looped Walking Trails
  31. 31. 4 New Tourism Events</li></ul>- New Heritage Trail (Famine Wall) - 3 Estates<br /><ul><li>Early stages of tourism development - other regions using networking and mentoring to good effect.</li></li></ul><li>What’s needed in BlackWater?<br />Investment in Time & relevant resources<br />eMarketing, Networking, work with other local partners - Look at TalkTourism.ie <br />Embrace technology & take heed of changing consumer trends<br />More events build up brand recognition<br />Market Research function -Get feedback from your customers<br />PR /Communication initiative on People of Blackwater – engage tourism providers – no replacement for people-people activities<br /><ul><li>Product Linkage - Accommodation & Events</li>

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