Encouraging visitors back to UK towns and attractions with street furniture
The UK’s leisure and tourism businesses and destinations face an uncertain time as the Covid-19 situation continues. So, what can be done to help ensure visitors return in the future?
Methods for social distancing, such as street furniture, are increasingly important as a solution to encourage people back to town centres, leisure facilities and areas of tourism.
The UK has already seen a 76 per cent decline in visitors to the country in 2020, according to VisitBritain. Staycations have also dropped significantly as a result of Covid-19 restrictions and national lockdowns. That has amounted to around £22billion in lost tourism revenues.
Implementing a safe environment for visitors
Robert Hawgood, Managing Director of Landmark Street Furniture, said areas relying on tourism and leisure, and attractions themselves, need to plan ahead for how they can introduce social distancing measures to encourage people back when they are able to.
“There is no simple answer to the economic impact of Covid-19 on cities, towns and local economies. But there are ways we can plan ahead and implement solutions capable of making it safe for people to visit.
“We know that despite the vaccine we are going to see a big difference in the way we visit or stay at places. The more destinations can do to prepare for that the better.
“It is important to have methods, such as demarcation, access control, seating and covered areas in place that people feel confident and safe to use.
Landmark Street Furniture, one of the UK’s leading designers, suppliers and installers of street furniture, has already received orders from tourism parks in Scotland for more litter bins to cater for increased visitors between the lockdowns.
They work closely with architects, local councils, property developers and private businesses to provide solutions for public and private commercial, residential and recreational areas.
Safeguarding public realms
Enquiries and orders have also been made from as far afield as Scotland and London by property developers and local authorities keen to “safeguard” public realms” for visitors to return to.
So, what can businesses and destinations do?
Street furniture such as planters, seating, bollards, canopies and walkways, and landscape structure are just some of the systems that can help.
“The key is to provide a safe environment. This could include planters to help guide the flow of people, incorporated with road and architectural studs; seating that allows people to relax safely and with relevant social distancing; and covered walkways. These provide all-weather cover while allowing free-flowing air and space as people move between outdoor areas or venues,” said Mr Hawgood.
Providing safe and secure cycle storage
Secure bicycle storage is another must. With more and more people taking up cycling during the coronavirus situation for recreation and commuting there is a demand for places to securely lock bikes.
“You’ll attract more people to a destination if they know they can secure their bike from theft, damage or even from the outdoor elements,” added Mr Hawgood.
Products are available in a range of materials that suit the local environment. These include timber, stone and metal.
Some key equipment for tourism destinations include:
- Access Control
- Door guards, flow plates, barriers, and speed reduction ramps can all help control the movement of people, cyclists and vehicles.
- Canopies and walkways
- Where all-weather movement is needed, these can be implemented in areas to help guide movement. Used in conjunction with floor studs, the direction and distancing of pedestrians can be easily demonstrated.
- Aesthetically pleasing, available in stone, wood and metal, planters can be positioned to introduce routes through an area by creating barriers. Used in conjunction with seating and screens, they are physical interventions that can guide pedestrians and vehicles.
- Seating will always be required in high streets and public places. The size and positioning can help create a rest point for people as well as acting as a physical intervention within an open area.
Landmark Street Furniture, which is based at Caersws in Powys, Mid Wales, has worked with architects, property developers, private landlords, local authorities, rail and transport companies, university and educational establishments and others in providing such solutions.
More details about Landmark Street Furniture’s bespoke design and installation services can be found at www.landmarkstreetfurniture.com.
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