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Wiltshire is the Most Popular Tourist Destination in the UK According Social Media

Swindon Calling


Pray silence, for I am preparing to describe Wiltshire. Alright, here we go: it’s got Stonehenge in it. That’s it, that’s all. Alright fine, Devizes is quite nice too and I imagine you can have all sorts of cracking fun at Longleat Safari Park, but is it the best tourist destination in England? If you ask me, well I feel like I’ve already made my answer pretty clear. But according to UMPF’s social media index tool, the answer is yes.

As a part of the launch of English Tourism Week (don’t ask me why, I have no answers for you) the analytics tool created by the agency has created an index for tourism bodies, with VisitWiltshire coming out on top. Visit Cornwall placed second and VisitLondon placed third. Those I understand, but the top podium spot is making my brain itch. In fact, all but one of the top 10 positions are occupied by bodies representing the south of England, with the Peak District & Derbyshire being the only exception. I can vaguely understand that, but how Milton Keynes managed to claw its way to number 7 and Cumbria isn’t even on the list, that’s just… What.

1. VisitWiltshire
2. Visit Cornwall
3. VisitLondon
4. Dartmoor Partnership
5. Visit Thanet
6. Visit Norfolk
7. Destination Milton Keynes
8. Visit Peak District & Derbyshire
9. Visit Forest of Dean & Wye Valley
10. Visit Greenwich

Source: www.englishtourism.socialmediaindex.co.uk

What it actually comes down to is just how good each body’s social media strategizing is, rather than how nice the actual place is to visit. When you take that into account it starts to add up a bit more. Wiltshire is easy enough to publicise, the towns are all very pretty and Stonehenge looks pretty much stunning no matter what time of day it is, but particularly at sunrise and sunset. You just have to try and keep all the crazy druids out of frame.

In this sense, it doesn’t seem like so much of an injustice that Cumbria, Herefordshire, Dorset and all those other amazing destinations didn’t place, they don’t really need social media publicity, everyone knows how beautiful they are.

In the right hands, social media can and should be implemented as a really effective tourism tool, highlighting parts of the world you would have otherwise had absolutely no idea about. There are entire web communities dedicated to uncovering well kept secrets in destinations the world over, from hidden valleys to lesser known urban events to just about anything else your mind can conjure. There are even sites dedicated to exploring and documenting abandoned buildings, if you’re a bit more of thrill-seeker, or just have a taste for the post-apocalyptic, sad is happy for deep people, after all.  

Sorry, that was a bit of a digression, the garbled point I’m trying to make is that this list shows how the tourism game is changing thanks to social media and the ways it can be used for marketing and the travel-minded would be well advised to take advantage of that. Remember this guy?

That’s what you want to aim for.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Wiltshire is the Most Popular Tourist Destination in the UK According Social Media Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, March 27, 2015 Rating: 5
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