is it time to revisit the canal boat holiday? REVAMPING & re-pitching it to a cooler more credible audience. rediscovering the romance of the British waterways. FASH30001 | Ellyn Grant | N0307752 | Word count: 7532 1
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1| Introduction 2| Methodology | Research questions | Research objectives | Primary Research | Secondary Research 3| British Waterways the context | Regeneration of the Waterways 4| Slow paced living | Sustainability 5| The rise of the staycation | Festivals | Glamping | Aesthetic clichĂŠs 6| Current marketing of canal boat holidays 7| New era in Britainâ€™s canal culture 8| Current perceptions 9| Conclusion 10| Future recommendations | What do we want from the British holiday? | Are the younger generation interested? | What has my research shown? | What will set it apart? | What does it need to have as a brand? | Target consumer 11| List of illustrations 12| List of references 13| Bibliography 14| Appendix
Fig 1: Llangollen canal
introduction owners, retailers and holidaymakers demand and desire to discover the beauty of the British canal system is increasing.
Fig 2: Barge roof garden
Once standing for the status of material power and the new urbanism, canals were created for speed. Today, ironically, they offer a space in which to slow down and seek escapism from the very urban success they helped build thanks to mass tourism being “too busy hurtling elsewhere on the motorways to notice the parallel world of canals where nothing moves faster than 4mph.” (Greenwood, P. 2009;14)
therefore as consumers we are currently more susceptible than ever to changing our travelling habits. A wave of original, innovative holidaying options are sweeping the nation and “as recession bites across the country old vehicles are being transformed into the most amazing spaces” (Clark.G :2012; Channel 4) proving that a little bit of imagination goes a long way.
The demand for tourism has grown steadily over the past two decades and few places in the world exist today that have not been affected by it one way or another. We are living in an age where to a certain extent; nothing is out of the question and in terms of travelling nowhere is off limits. However due to the recession Britain, as a nation, has been experiencing low consumer confidence and tough economic circumstances recently which has led to the rise in popularity of the ‘staycation’ trend. As the ‘staycation’ continues to flourish it seems that we have fallen out of ‘love’ with the association of going abroad due to the tired influx of cheap flights and
“Of course this would happen. It was inevitable. It happened to camping, and to caravanning, holiday camps, real ale and beach huts…Canal boating, the holiday preference of bearded retirees, eventually had to succumb to the cool treatment and, yes, it seems the first signs are there.” (Bowes, G. 2011: Online) Bowes’s quote describes what will be explored in the following pages: the growth of Britain’s canal culture, rediscovering the romance of the British waterways and re-pitching the canal boat holiday to a cooler, more credible audience. With Britain’s canals fast becoming the leisure playground of boat
Everyone needs an antidote to the mayhem of modern living, so why not try something different? Eat a picnic on deck, listen to your voice echo as you pass through a tunnel and enjoy the fact that all that stands between you and reality is the 10ft wooden boat that surrounds you. The minute you enter, you can sense that the canals are different to any other place you have experienced before. Yes there’s water, yes there are boats, yes nothing moves faster than 4mph; but that is the beauty of it. “No frills, no fuss, this is seriously slow Britain.” (Greenwood, P. 9 ; 2009) Canals don’t jump on image-conscious bandwagons or make trendy overstate
ments, whether you are young, old, rich, poor, sipping cosmopolitan cocktails or simply wanting to ride your bike along the towpath- so long as you smile as you pass by, you can. Since the intrinsic appeal of holidays on canals and rivers has strengthened thanks to the hard work of the British Waterways, it seems that they are somewhat becoming fashionable in their own right. “Free from the clutter of materialism and the stress of the rush hour, people become nonchalant to differences that might mean more in the outside world.” Greenwood, P. 9: 2009) Claiming to be the ‘fastest way to slow down’ the Inland waterways have become the nations new favourite leisure destination appealing to all who seek a holiday full of new experiences and enjoy the natural beauty of the British countryside.
Is it time we learned to become as excited about the slow as we currently are about the fast?
methodology | Research questions The research for this report aimed to answer the key question: Is it time to revisit the canal boat holiday? This was asked because initial research at the beginning of this project indicated a rise in the popularity and demand for boating holidays, trends and leisure activities. This opening question then led to several further questions such as, how can we rediscover the romance of the British Waterways? What has happened in the recent past to potentially create an appetite for this holiday option? What are the most important promotional messages? How do we get people to be as excited about the slow as they currently are about the fast? Answers to these questions were revealed through both primary and secondary research.
| Research objectives Research throughout this project intended to explore what at the moment is being guessed and assumed. Strengths of this holidaying option needed to be discovered in order to find some research validation to highlight what are the most important promotional messages that can be used to convince people to consider a boating holiday. Uncovering any current perceptions of canal boats in order to turn any negative associations into positives was also key in order to therefore identify any blocks in the way of choosing this particular holiday option.
Fig 3: Bird watching
| Primary research In order to gain some research confirmation for the proposed ideas, primary research was key. Initially this began by undertaking some ethnographic research in order to get a real feel for the field that would be later explored. This then led to interviews being conducted. Four key figures within the canal boat world were contacted, all of whom have a vast amount of knowledge on the subject. Fig 5 identifies these people, their involvement with the industry and why they were selected. (See appendix 1, P.66) In terms of consumer behaviour, identifying peoples holidaying habits and opinions was another key topic that aimed to be uncovered within this research project. Undercover research was also conducted within a travel agent environment, in order to discover how the booking process currently operates. (See appendix 5, P.78) Bowes quote hints that canal boats are breaking away from the stereotypes they are associated with and are instead starting to become more appealing towards the younger demographic. Therefore another series of interviews were conducted, but this time face to face, all with young adults in order to see if this was in fact the case. Similar questions were also devised in the format of an online survey and were sent out via social networking sites (See appendix 5, P.82) Responses from all of the above research techniques were key in terms of validating ideas for the implementation stage of this project.
| secondary research Secondary research was an essential aspect of this project and a wide range of medias were utilised. One of the main sources that influenced and provided inspiration for this project was the television series George Clarkeâ€™s small spaces. Based on the notion of transforming small spaces into innovative forms of luxury accommodation it proved that anything ordinary can become extraordinary. Transforming and giving new identities to conventional old vehicles made them appealing to a much wider demographic beyond the associated stereotypes. This was therefore very beneficial in terms of gaining ideas for future stages as one of the main objectives of this report was to discover how to eradicate existing perceptions. Reports were also a great aid in terms of research, Mintel provided information for an in-depth study of the current market and canal boat industry. Insights into travel, the way that we travel, needs, desires and trends were also covered within research found on Mintel and further websites. A wide range of books were also utilised during the research stage, covering topics ranging from canal boat history, to graphic inspiration. One book in particular, canal cool provided a large amount of inspiration due to the way in which it showcases and romanticises the British Waterways. A factor that was integral to the success of this project.
Fig 4: Castle Marina Nottingham
Fig 5 |
Who: Laura Harford Job role: Project manager of the Floating Cinema Why: Knowledge of canal boat retail advantages and disadvantages. Insights relating to the future trends and innovations. Method: Email interview Transcription: Appendix, page 62 Who: Geraldine Prescott Job role: Owner of the floating cheese shop Why: Knowledge of canal boat retail advantages and disadvantages and the role that food has played within canal culture. Method: Email interview Transcription: Appendix, page 65 Who: Mark Bratt Job role: Founder of the ‘Wandering Duck’ floating hostel Why: Knowledge of canal boat holiday hiring history and the importance of re-marketing the canal boat holiday to the younger demographic.` Method: Email interview Transcription: Appendix, page 63 Who: Nicola Dawkins Job role: Owner of the floating salon Why: Knowledge of canal boat retail advantages and disadvantages as well as further insights into consumers. Method: Email interview Transcription: Appendix, page 66
Fig 6 |
Analysis of research methods
Interviews were conducted to allow for a more detailed explanation of the topics covered within this report. Emails were sent to 13 people outlining the project details and asking to discuss it with them; it wasn’t expected that everyone would be willing to help or reply. Those receiving emails were chosen based on their expertise on the subject as well as initial research. Out of the 13 people contacted, 5 replied offering to help, with one later backing out, totalling 4. Without having any personal connections with the respondents, the participation levels were rather successful as it meant that people genuinely wanted to help and believed that the work within this project would be of particular interest to them. Upon reflection however it would have even better to have been able to contact more people in order to gain a larger body of research. The respondents were given several options when initially contacted as to how they would prefer their interview to be conducted; via email, phone call or in person. All four participants opted for email interviews citing convenience for their reasoning, as they were unable to meet in person. Prior to each interview a list of different questions were drafted, written objectively to encourage the respondent to answer honestly. One of the disadvantages of an email interview however was that the questions were set in stone before hand and further questions couldn’t be added or asked depending on the direction that the conversation took. Consequently this eliminated the possibilities for new, advancing topics of conversation to arise. However an advantage of conducting these interviews via written emails is that the participants had time to think about and draft their answers before replying therefore allowing more consideration and thought to go into their responses. By interviewing online it also allowed people to choose the location of the interview before hand therefore suggesting that they were in surroundings where they felt comfortable and relaxed providing a good ground for answering the questions honestly and comprehensively. Consent forms and information sheets regarding the project were also sent to each respondent to ensure that everything was clear and also allowing for their answers to be shared within an academic context and can be viewed in the Appendix. The responses from the participants helped to direct and generate ideas in order to progress with this project.
Method: Ethnographic research (Appendix 6, page 76) Took a trip to Nottingham Castle Marina on the 3rd December 2012 from 2.30pm until 4pm. Analysis of research method: Attending the marina allowed for the opportunity to observe those who come into contact with canals during their daily routines. This particular research method was carried out in order to discover what age ranges would be observed and generally what people were doing along the canal whether it be living, exercising or otherwise. It was hoped that this research method would present the opportunity to speak directly with some of these people and possibly present the chance of maybe arranging to interview them at a later date. However as it was winter, and consequently weather conditions were very cold, those who lived aboard the barges were all inside and there was barely anyone else of interest seen along the towpath. On reflection this research method did not inform any further research in terms of moving forward with this project.
Method: Undercover travel agent booking. ( Appendix 5, page 74) Friday 18th January, 16:00. Thompson Nottingham. Analysis of research method: An undercover visit to the travel agents was conducted in order to see, from a consumer’s point of view, what the canal boat holiday booking process is like today. Thompson was selected as the travel agent of choice because initial research into where hosts canal boat holidays showed that they offer Hoseasons breaks. Enquiries towards a canal boat holiday were made and the travel agents’ responses were recorded in secret. This method did prove very useful to further research due to the fact that the travel agents seemed to be not only surprised by the enquiry, but they also knew little about the boating holidays that they did offer. With no brochures to take away and barely any information to offer the experience was generally un-encouraging. A simple enquiry only requesting to know rough prices and suggested locations couldn’t be answered upon the first visit and therefore a second visit had to be made the next day.
Method: Figure face to face interviews (Appendix 4, page 70) Analysis of research method: In order to discover how canal boat holidays could be pitched to an arguably cooler and more credible audience, this audience needed to be contacted. Therefore a series of interviews amongst young adults were conducted to uncover their current perceptions and opinions on the subject.
By recording this enquiry in secret it meant that the travel agents were completely unaware and therefore weren’t feeling particularly pressured whilst answering any questions. This method highlighted the fact that canal boat holidays, in this particular shop, are an unusual holiday preference. The uncertainty, lack of general knowledge and enthusiasm generally made the experience uncomfortable and uninspiring, which is the complete opposite of what is expected of such a service.
Taking place on the streets of Nottingham city centre, these interviews used a snowball sampling technique. Standing near to the university building helped enable the target demographic of youngs to be identified. Ten people were approached and without exception, they all consented to a short interview. Prior to these interviews three questions were devised. Three was the chosen number in order to not take up too much of the respondents time as people lead busy lives and have appointments to keep and therefore do not want to be hassled. The interviews were recorded and later transcribed. As the participants were being randomly selected and had no advance warning that they would be approached, they had no time to think about their responses. Putting them on the spot meant that some may have been nervous and reserved about giving answers, particularly as the interviews were being recorded. Consent forms were also filled out also in order to demonstrate the participants’ willingness to engage in the process and for their permission to be used within the future stages of my report.
Method: Online questionnaire ( Appendix 8, page 77) Email questionnaire ( Appendix 9, page 80) An online questionnaire was piloted via social media sites in order to find out some general opinions, perceptions and statistics to aid future advances within this project. The survey consisted of four, quick, simple, multiple-choice questions. Although surveys are a good way of allowing people to contribute anonyms answers and therefore be completely honest, it is however challenging to collect credible a quantity of responses. Only 15 people responded to the online questionnaire and therefore it doesn’t represent a large enough segment of the market to be viable. An email questionnaire was also sent out to 15 people, this time asking open-ended response style questions. This was done to gain a better depth of understanding regarding existing opinions. The answers collected provided honest, useful insights to consider within the next stages of the project.
3 | British Waterways: The context Rich in both heritage and history the British canal system is renowned for once making up the motorways of Britain. A period of ‘canal mania’ swept the country between 1760 and 1820 during which over 100 canals were built. The waterways allowed for an innovative trading system ensuring the transportation of heavy objects large distances cheaply and efficiently during the Industrial Revolution. This growing inland waterway network helped make Britain the first industrialised nation in the world. (NWM: 2012: online) Competition however came with the birth of the ‘steam age’ in the late 1800s. Initially the two co-existed with railways concentrating on carrying passengers and lighter materials and canals transporting bulk goods. However over time the convenience and speed of the railways soon took over sending many canal passages into decline through lack of use and neglect.
| Regeneration of the waterways The long campaign to save Britain’s canals began however thanks to the formation of the Inland Waterways association. It was created to promote their rescue due to increased interest into the leisure use of canals in the 1960s. In terms of weekly hire, pioneering boats appeared on the Norfolk Broads and the River Thames in and the early 20th century, with canal boats lagging behind. Early hire barges came in all shapes and sizes and were, by today’s standard, extremely basic. However advances in boat technology design equipped holidaymakers with a ‘real home from home’. “The 1970s and ‘80s were arguably the heyday of hire boat holidays on the canals, you didn’t see many private boats back then. Today it is different- private boats rule the roost.” (Holiday Hiring; 9. 2012) However present day boat owners were, in many cases, yesterday’s hirers, with short holidays on the waterways leading to a common entry route into boating- and the drafting of future Inland Waterways association members.
Fig 7: Llangollen canal
4 | slow paced living
Fig 8: Canals 1987 Fig 9: Horse drawn barge Fig 10: Canals 1987 This past year has been momentous for the inland waterways with the transfer of the British Waterways regime into the Canal and River Trust exactly 50 years after the British Waterways Board was formed. The fundamental appeal of holidays on canals and rivers has been strengthened greatly in the recent past thanks to the British Waterways investing generously into programmes of improvement and maintenance. From the Tiverton Basin on the Grand Western Canal to the beauly Firth at the end of the Caledonian Canal, Britain has a truly unique canal network. Today our British waterways are a long way from the functional working canals of former centuries. They provide attractive, and interesting places to work, live and relax. “Canals stood for the status of material power and then new urbanism. Created for speed, canals now ironically offer space in which to slow down and escape from the very urban success they helped build.” (Greenwood, P. 14. 2009) Canal boat holidays offer the opportunity to slow down and experience the romance and beauty of Britain’s waterways and to immerse yourself in the rich heritage and atmosphere. “Taking to a canal or river by boat is a unique experience not to be forgotten. As you leave the pressures of the modern world behind, the pace of life slows down considerably” (C+RT: 2012: Online) providing a local haven in an increasingly fast paced and crowded world.
Fig 11: Llangollen canal Fig 12: Flying the flag Fig 13: Narrow boat flower pot “Not so very long ago, humans -- like the rest of the animals and plants on earth -- moved through our natural cycles at nature’s pace. Time was marked by the passing of the seasons, the life cycles of human, animal and plant life” (Buzzell, L. 2009). However since then the human relationship with time has radically changed. From the Industrial Revolution to the creation of the Internet and everything cyber, many modern people can feel out of sync with themselves and their emotions. Fast paced living, long working hours and a drive for consumption have led us all to become increasingly creatures of the urban. “Delinked from the natural rhythms of our bodies and the rest of the planet, we struggle with diminishing success to adapt to the strange mechanical and disembodied world we have created.” (Buzzell, L. 2009) In a time poor, fast moving, ever complex society leisure time is constantly decreasing. “People go away because they no longer feel happy where they are- where they work, where they live. In order to be able to carry on, they urgently need a temporary refuge from the burdens imposed by the everyday work, home and leisure scene” (Krippendorf, J. 1987: 6). This view suggests that in order to restore the imbalance, to find out what we miss or have lost in everyday life: we must go away. We therefore travel to recharge our batteries and to slow down temporarily escaping our otherwise fast paced routines. No matter how fast we go it seems that there is never enough time to get everything done, “people want to slow down because they feel that their lives are spinning out of control, which is ironic because speed has always been promoted as a way to help us achieve mastery over the world” (Walljasper, J. 2009). No matter how overloaded modern life has become, speed is still viewed as generally positive and something that will help us all to enrich our lives, however many are still seeking change. “We are already seeing a slower pace of life being sought out by lots of people, as demonstrated by the increase in people having allotments and trying to be more sustainable.” (Harford, L. 2012, Appendix 1.1 P.66) It is with the current high profiling of the environmental, social and economic impacts of tourism that the importance of responsible tourism and activities such as carbon offsetting have seen an increase in demand for slow travel.This trend has become an important talking within the tourism industry. Despite being identified as a new niche within the tourism sector, slow travel has however been practiced since the birth of tourism itself. “Slow travel is not defined by the mode of travel or the destination, but instead, the way the tourist approaches that travel. It is about physically slowing down to enjoy what is on offer, engaging with the local environment and fitting into local life”. (Mintel K, 2011: online) Slow tourism allows for a greater interaction with people, places, culture, food, heritage and the environment around them. It is hard to say how quickly or efficiently slow travel will grow and expand over the next ten years or so but it’s quite possible that slow travel in the near future might emerge from being a niche market and transform into a more mainstream one. Wellbeing and environmental impact are two current, well regognized shifts within consumer behaviour that are expected to encourage growth within the slow travel sector.With strong trends towards the pursuit of wellbeing forming an integral part of a holiday, tourists are seeking authentic experiences when travelling and changing their behaviours to ensure less damaging forms of consumption and lifestyle.
| Sustainability and
In today’s consumer climate of job uncertainty, hassles of home ownership and strict lending criteria, many are being put off the notion of bricks and mortar and are instead buying houseboats providing a greener, cheaper living alternative. For all those seeking a slower paced lifestyle then buying a houseboat could be the ideal solution. With the rejuvenation of the British canal system, this housing option is growing rapidly in popularity with the British Waterways Association estimating 6,000 permanent residences. Fig 14: Retts wood canal boat home
Houseboat living isn’t however restricted to just within the UK. Further afield cities such as Amsterdam and Venice are famously home to picturesque canals. Amsterdam, known for its reputation of being the ‘Venice of the North’, has a rich history in terms of water transportation playing a major role in Dutch commerce. After the Second World War with a shortage of homes in Amsterdam barges provided a creative solution for a fortunate few. Popularity continued to grow and now about 2400 families have made their homes out of houseboats sending demand soaring. This increase has left the city council with no choice but to reduce its moorings. Owning a boat is also incredibly unrestricted–you can travel across the country making the most of all the beautiful waterways the UK has to offer. A moving home presents the chance of living wherever you want, but like all other forms of property, “the wellworn mantra ‘location, location, location’ applies.” (Villalobos, R. 2012) However “owning a narrow boat can allow you to live in a prime central location for a fraction of the cost of owning a traditional property in the same postcode.” (Villalobos, R. 2012) “Clearly, living on Britain’s inland waterways is not going to solve the worlds environmental woes. But, surprisingly, the humble narrow boat might just hold the key to greening the world’s shipping industry, which is rivaling airlines in terms of its carbon footprint.” (Shreeve, L, J. 2008) With tourism being a significant emitter of the gases that are contributing and causing climate change it is important for the industry to tackle this issue. No matter how it is labelled, be it ‘sustainable’, ‘responsible’ or ‘green’, the actions that are attributed to this model of tourism management only have a short identifiable history going back to no more than the early 1980s. “From its humble beginnings when it was simply known as ‘ecotourism’ and was little more than a niche product, the concept has rapidly broadened into the global tourism industry’s only acceptable management paradigm and has been taken up on such a massive scale that its reach is now well and truly global.” (Mintel F, 2011: online) With boating holidays acclaimed as being around 20 times better for the planet than spending two hours flying to a holiday destination overseas, coupled with the growing concern for greener footprints, surely the future looks bright for canal boats.
The rise of the ‘staycation’ trend.
The year 2012 was set to be a banner year for domestic tourism with events such as the London Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee dominating the British calendar. Despite the fact this summer proved to be the wettest summer for 100 years, the number of Britons opting to holiday at home flourished due to low consumer confidence and tough economic circumstances resulting in a newfound appreciation for our homeland. “With 1/3rd of holiday makers spending this year’s main holiday on home soil“ (Guardian: 2012: Online) it seems that although approaching its fourth year, the staycation trend really is set to stay. Holidays have evolved over the past decade into another form of expression, offering not only endless opportunities, but also a chance for consumers to show their individuality and to explore who they are through their holidaymaking decisions. “There are several growth factors that have affected the evolution of tourism, motivation is one of them. In the consumer society era the positive impact of visual communication aided the holiday industry to grow within the consumer driven society, along with the promise of escapism from work routine and everyday life.” (Murphy, Tourism a Community Approach, 1985: 21) Our society is rich with symbols of cultural and national identity and many believe that as a nation it can sell itself. Consumers are looking for more than just time off whilst they are on holiday; they are looking for an ‘escape’ and an experience that completely separates them and their fast paced lives. Ask yourself this question, can you get a holiday much slower than a canal boat holiday? With the staycation trend rising in popularity and becoming somewhat of a phenomenon, Britain has recently seen a wave of original and innovative holidaying options sweep the nation. As recession bites across the country old vehicles are being transformed into the most amazing spaces.” (Clarke, G: 2012: Channel 4) Recent innovations in terms of transport have seen conventional old vehicles such as caravans, buses, camper vans, trucks etc being transformed into luxury accommodation. These modes of transport are now available at various sites all over the UK including festivals, offering the younger, design savvy generation a cheaper alternative to going abroad whilst being just as luxurious and stylish.
Fig 15: British holiday makers
Festivals and camping have arguably seen the most ground-breaking transformation over the past 10 years. They have progressed from being perceived as a rather dirty, basic fringe holiday option to fast becoming the coolest, most desired holiday option amongst the student demographic. This type of holiday break has proved to be remarkably resilient throughout the recession thanks to a group of consumers who prioritise going out and enjoying themselves regardless of the economy because music forms a pivotal part of their lives. “Younger 18-24 year olds are the most likely to say that they are spending more, reflecting the fact that leisure is a key part of their daily lives which they are loath to cut back on. (Mintel G: 2011: Online) It seems as if young people aren’t fazed by Britain’s economic slump and in fact it appears they are spending more on leisure as a proportional share of their disposable income than in the past. By definition festivals used to be ‘summer’ festivals but now with the season stretching from March to December, there are barely any festival-free weekends throughout the annual calendar. It has begun to reach saturation point. “The economic downturn, the hike In petrol prices, plus all the additional costs of a festival weekend on top of the already hefty ticket prices mean the great British festival boom, a gold-rush for would-be promoters in recent years, is on a downwards spiral.”(Davis, J. 2011) Fig 16: Bestival
“ Even the biggest names in
festivals have recently failed to sell out “so what hope does Firely in Shropshire have? (Davis, J. 2011)
| glamping Fig 17: The Glam Camping Company
In terms of camping, the days of die hard campers, leaking tents and lanterns are declining and there is a trend to go glamping instead. Outdoor enthusiasts who wish to get the fresh air without the inconvenience of traditional campsites are latching on to this new form of camping. For all those who love the outdoors but still desire the luxuries of home, glamping is essentially camping just with a few more amenities. Whether you’re sleeping in a tent, yurt, airstream or a treehouse, it is the perfect way to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury. Remarketing the camping experience as having ‘glamorous’ connotations and coining the phrase ‘glamping’ attracted a whole new demographic that in all likelihood wouldn’t have previously been interested.
| Aesthetic clichés. With the sting of the recession still lingering and people continuing to cut back in their everyday lives, they are less willing than ever to compromise on the quality of their one real treat: their holiday. Therefore for a sizable amount of tourists, accommodation is becoming an increasingly important denominator when it comes to their holiday making decisions. With a market currently flooded by choice when it comes to accommodation, many are however at risk of becoming aesthetic clichés. “It’s easy to mock glamping. Originally favoured by a hippy minority, it soon became a hit among the yummy mummy set with the launch of Feather Down Farms’ faux-vintage tented cottages in 2006. With the latest trend for glampsites in the grounds of five-star hotels, complete with hot tubs, bathrobes, flat screen TV, Wi-Fi and freestanding baths, it’s lost all vestiges of being alternative” (Choat, I. 2011) Glamping has become as clichéd as holidaying in a Tuscan villa. The canal boat industry, as camping did, needs to re-pitch itself to the younger demographic so that current perceptions of canal boat holidays being only for free-spirited retirees can be erased. However with glamping and even festivals now becoming aesthetic clichés, how can this be avoided?
This is evidenced by the fact that now 7 in 10 25-34 year olds have taken a camping holiday in the last 3 years (Mintel D: 2012: Online) forming the highest proportion across all age groups . Glamping has emerged within the UK but also internationally. Both independent properties and global hospitality brands have capitalized on the demand for travellers who want to experience the positive aspects of camping without the ‘uncomfortable’ negatives. Focused around a high level of service ensuring complete comfort for all guests, the facilities found at glamping destinations far exceed anything recreational campers are used to.
Fig 18: Lets go glamping
6 | Current marketing of canal boat holidays Longevity is a vital ingredient towards the success of any holidaying option. As consumers live longer and have more disposable income, they expect richer experiences and are constantly doing things and visiting places that their parents couldn’t afford or didn’t have the opportunity too. This influx of options Michael Wilmot calls ‘complicated lives’ (Wilmot, M. 2005) in which the choice explosion of holidays and travel means tourists have brought upon themselves complexity and complications resulting in forms of anxiety. Therefore now, more so than ever it is vital that tourist destinations and operators understand their visitors, not engaging in a relationship that is about mass selling but instead focusing on a more emotive approach ensuring tourists get what they want at the right time and place. In Britain half of us live within five miles of a waterway and yet for many the appeal still just isn’t there. However with the current holiday market in Britain being increasingly dominated and defined by the prevailing staycation, as a nation we appear quite content to seek new alternatives within the UK. Therefore now more so than ever, we may be more likely to consider picking up a boating brochure. Currently there are over 100 hire firms across the waterways allowing holidaymakers to rent a boat absolutely anywhere in Britain. Two of the most prominent boating agencies, Hoseasons and Blakes were amongst the first to represent canal based hire companies during the 1970s. “ They advertised minimum standards of comfort facilities, and gave newcomers to the waterways a sense of security with the product they were booking.” (Waterways World; 10. 2012) Both are still in
operation today offering a way to relax and let the world go by, with the option of doing as much or as little as you want. Tourism is fairly unique in terms of marketing in the sense that a product cannot be manipulated or observed through direct experience before purchasing. Instead, customers have to purely rely on an indirect or virtual experience and therefore the way that holidaying options are presented plays a key factor towards their success. Traditional travel agents have over time proved to be successful in their efforts to do this within the boating sector, creating illustrated brochures and catalogues providing potential consumers with adequate information and complementing images. However, in a crowded market it is becoming more and more difficult for travel agents to compete with technological advances and online booking opportunities. “The last decade has seen a massive growth in e-commerce, and the UK now has one of the most developed online retail markets in the world.” (Goad, R. Experian. 2011) The Internet provides much greater potential for visualising travel destinations and over the past few years canal boat holiday agencies have begun to realise this. Despite their effort however, in terms of online marketing the canal boat industry is still very much stuck in the past based upon the increasingly unappealing, aesthetically dated, simple and factual websites that currently exist online. The existing core market for boating holidays are ABC1 consumers aged over 45. However Mintel’s consumer analysis shows that the greatest untapped demand amongst ‘virgin’ boaters lies in those groups who are
not core target markets for main boating operators currently, i.e. consumers in the pre/no family categories. (Mintel B, 2007. Online) Therefore in terms of marketing to it’s current demographic, the canal boat industry is actually on track as the older demographic tend to be less internet savvy and confident online and tend to want no frills, easy information, which is what is currently on offer. However if the canal boat industry wants to attract a broader age range within its consumers the marketing strategy needs to be reconsidered. The younger design savvy generation need something that is visually pleasing but also sells and truly captures the essence of the holiday. Mintel’s exclusive consumer research shows how the use of online social networking in arranging trips has surged in recent years amongst the youth traveller audience. While “13% reported having done so when asked in 2009, 24% said they had when asked in 2010” (Mintel H, 2010. Online). Brands are increasingly attempting to capitalise on this growing online audience by starting campaigns via social networking sites, like New Zealand’s ‘Go all the way campaign which began on the internet site Bebo. (Cass, C. 2009) With eight in ten 18-24 year olds having access to the internet the canal boat industry needs to take on board these changes in consumer behaviour and consider improving their social media channels. As the recent surges hint, it would, in all likelihood be beneficial for them, in terms of demand, to do so.
Fig 19: Time lapse, Grand Union Canal
New era in Britain’s canal culture: retail.
“With the right team, with the right ideas and a lot of creative thinking, you can make the ordinary, extraordinary.” (Clarke, G: 2012. Channel 4) Within the past year innovations inside the canal boat industry have started to take off and to a certain degree, have made boating appeal more desirable. 2012 has seen many firsts, especially in terms of retail. “Food is inseparable from canal culture” (Cool canals; 71.2009) and canal boats are full of surprises when it comes to food. With a year of celebrated British heritage teashops are back in fashion and the gospel of a ‘nice cup of tea’ is back with a Mediterranean twist. Stylish floating restaurants, tearooms and cafes are emerging all over the country adding a modern innovative twist to the inland waterways. “There do seem to be more small business providing services on the water such as the Book Barge, Sandwich Barge, Floating Hair Salon and Herbal Barge – in London alone! I think a lot of individuals and small businesses are beginning to pick up on the canals and waterways on their doorsteps and realising their value and potential. Particularly in the East End of London, with the regeneration of the Olympics and the waterways that surround lots of communities has changed so much in the last 10 years” (Harford, L. 2013. See Appendix 1.1, P.66) The first floating canal boat market consisting of fourteen barges was introduced last year alongside the towpath surrounding the official Olympic walking and cycling route housing everything from jewellery to vintage frocks. The Olympics also made way for many other innovative advances including the first ‘floating cinema’ devised as a project to engage communities who lived and worked in areas surrounding the Olympic park in the run up to the games. Providing a leisure service on the waterways does however come with its own unique challenges as Laura Harford the project manager of the floating cinema explains:
Fig 20: The floating cinema Fig 21: Regent’s canal floating market Fig 22: The cheese boat
Our first year came with a steep learning curve. The huge advantage is that the boat is mobile so you can take your ‘service’ - in this case high quality film, arts and educational experiences - anywhere you wish to go. This means that you can engage with different types of audiences by taking the boat to places where people can’t easily access the arts as well as to more high profile central sites to regular arts audiences. The pace of life that being on a narrow boat affords also lent itself very well to film and arts performance and creates a special environment for our visitors. However, there were also challenges such as having to learn a new set of regulations and licensing rules that related to boats and canals. Additionally, each waterway provided a new set of rules and conditions relating to moorings, locks and maintenance works. And finally, the narrow boat by very definition is also small and lack of space on-board is also an issue at times! (Harford, L. 2013, See appendix 1.1, P.66)
It seems that canal boats are a hot topic at the moment and that utilizing them as retail spaces is a great way to revitalize areas of the waterways that were previously underused and forgotten about, helping to contribute to a longer-term engagement programme for the waterways.
Fig 23: The wandering duck Fig 24: Stratford-upon-Avon market Fig 25: Floating market in Venice
Intentional or not, many of us already have our own preconceived opinions about canal boats and the British Waterways. Generally speaking,“until recently many of those who habitually took canal boat holidays were considered slightly ‘quirky’ in an old fashioned way” (Robinson, K: 2009. Online) but with youngsters constantly striving to be more individual and quirky surely this isn’t too much of a negative association by today’s standards. Despite the hard word of the British waterways in terms of improvements and regeneration, it seems that for the vast majority of people, their work remains overlooked.
Fig 26: Barge, Castle Marina
Modern associations of canal boats include “Rosie and Jim,” “old people, retired people,” “quiet and boring” (Email interviews. Appendix 9, P.83) forming generally a rather dated, negative perception. “Some people may regard them as floating caravans,” (Bolton, R. 2013, Appendix 2, P.72) and others refer to canal boaters as ‘water gypsies’ forming strong stereotypes. With the Industrial Revolution and canal heyday in the past today, it isn’t surprising for people to have “never really given them a second thought.” (Online questionnaire, Appendix P.82) However thanks to recent innovations within the canal boat industry, opinions are beginning to change and people are starting to realise just how diverse the waterways are. “Visitors to the Floating Cinema in 2011 were overwhelmingly positive about the boat and the experience it was providing on London’s waterways. Many had been to the canals, but few had actually been on them or on a tour of them.” (Harford, L. 2013, Appendix 1.1, P.66) It’s the simplicity of solidarity with an ‘anything goes’ culture that makes the canals, as a destination so special. Whether you’re hippy or grunge, urban of floral, dressed up or barefoot, when you step into the world of the waterways you can do what you want, wear what you want and be who you are. “Enjoy the people you meet ‘cos there are some real characters to be met on the water.” (Bolton, R. 2013 Appendix 2, Page.73)
conclusion This report set out to consider if it is time to revisit the canal boat holiday, re-pitching and remarketing it to an audience constantly in search of cooler alternative holiday options. With the staycation trend continuing to prosper we as a nation are rediscovering our appreciation for our homeland. This in turn is leading to many people also beginning to rediscover the romance of the British Waterways too, with “more boats on British canals now than there ever were during its commercial heyday.” (Canal Junction: Online) Renewed interest in canal boat holidays is bringing the canal boat out of the past and into the 21st century and the market looks more exciting than ever. With consumers looking towards their holidays as a form of escapism from their fast paced lived lives, it seems that today it really is possible to make people as excited about the slow as they currently are about the fast. People are increasingly seeking authentic experiences when travelling and are therefore changing their behaviours to ensure less damaging forms of consumption and lifestyle. Proving to be one of the greenest forms of holiday options whilst also offering the fastest way to slow down, canal boat holidays can provide the answer that many consumers have been craving. I therefore propose setting up a new canal boat company, marketing the holiday in a current, emotive way in order to appeal to a broader range of consumers with a strong focus being on the younger demographic.
Fig 27: Change of view/ London.
“ sometimes it’s all about getting away from it all in the middle of nowhere. ” (Greenwood, P. 2009: 1)
10 | future Recommendations
dix 4.6, P.76) Seen to be better value for money than the overseas holidays they are replacing, people consider a staycation to be “easier than sorting a trip abroad, and cheaper.” (Ryan, A. Appendix 4.2, P.74) Despite some still holding the view that they “would want to get out of the country to class it as a holiday”n (O’hanlon, C. Appendix 4.5, P.75) many others express how they “would love to go to a place in Britain where our age could go and be proud to be going there.” (Kenny, C. Appendix 4.4, P.75) Views such as these highlight the fact that demand within the younger demographic for holidays within the UK remains constant and hungry for future innovations. With consumers keen to spend rare quality time with loved ones and searching for a feeling of ‘escapism’ within their holiday, a gap in the market has been identified that could allow for the canal boat holiday to reinvent itself and finally adopt the new identity it has been craving for so long.
Fig 28: Regents canal house boat party.
| what do we want from the british holiday today? ARE THE YOUNGER GENERATION INTERESTED?
The way that we holiday, where we choose to holiday, when and why has evolved over time. The ability to travel wherever we want allows for endless opportunities. With Britain experiencing a heavily saturated holiday market, operators need to steer clear of mass selling tactics and instead speak to consumers in an emotive way. “The potential to evoke an emotional response towards tourist destinations is even greater given that vacations are rich in terms of experience attributes” (Otto and Ritchie, 1996, P.165) In order for holidays to appeal to us they need to evoke a memory, grab us at an emotional level, and spark a want or a need. All of these factors need to align with what is going on now in order to stay current. Over the past decade the younger generation have been tempted by cheap flights abroad. However due to current economic circumstances and increased awareness about environmental damage, the younger generation are looking for cheaper and also greener alternatives when they
book a holiday. The low-cost airline sector is set to face a number of challenges in the near future such as environmental factors and increased ticket prices and there appears to be little appetite among young adults to support such motivation. Although there is a growing concern about air travel for environmental reasons it would appear that young people are instead falling out of love with the idea of going abroad due to rising prices. With the staycation trend still going strong within the UK and proposed to continue, we are more susceptible than ever to consider a British holiday with 60% of those surveyed saying that they would consider going on a break with friends in the UK. (Online questionnaire, Appendix 8, P82) “I would because even though it’s England there’s still loads you can do and if you’re with your best friends you can have a really good time. It’s more about the company and the atmosphere. (Valiutre, G Appen
The key issue here is the need to draw in younger customers and to dispel the perception that boating, like bowling, is just an old persons pastime. (Mintel B, 2007: online)
| WHAT HAS MY RESEARCH SHOWN? So here lies the answer to the fundamental intent of this project, why is now, 2013, the right time to revisit and repitch the canal boat holiday to a younger audience keen to try new quirky alternatives? With renewed interest in canal boat holidays, the British Waterways are being revitalized due to long-term engagement programmes and interest. Many people have preconceived opinions about canal boats and boating holidays and one of the main focuses of this report was to identify ways to eradicate negative opinions and turn them into positive ones. Although as previously stated current perceptions of canal boats within young adults are generally quite negative, others however consider them to be “quirky and adorable,” “relaxing“ and therefore are opening their minds to the fact that “it could actually be a pretty fun holiday.” (Online questionnaire, Appendix 8, P.82) I therefore propose the creation of a new, innovative canal boat holiday hiring company. It would offer the chance to escape the pressures of modern life, to unwind and let your hair down while most importantly getting to spend quality time with the people you care about. The main appeal with canal boat holidays is the fact that you don’t think you want it until someone forces you to slow down and then you realise that going at 10mph when you can’t move anywhere but 10 feet is just what consumers need. With 87% of respondents who participated in the online questionnaire (Online questionnaire, Appendix 8, P.82) never having been on a canal boat holiday before, yet expressing the desire to try new authentic holiday experiences, it seems that there is a real market for encouraging virgin boaters to give it a chance. The canal boat holiday will be promoted to focus on time, presenting people with the opportunity to completely lose themselves in the experience not worrying about routines and schedules. It will offer space away from the pressures of modern life providing a change of scenery, reconnecting us with the rural and providing the feeling of ‘escapism’ that is so popularly sought after in today’s consumer society. Centred primarily on good company, good friends and good times aiming to take all these ideals and integrate them into the holiday, making people fall back in love with the Waterways whilst re-establishing the canal boat holiday as a contemporary, organic and fun break.
Fig 29: Ready for action.
| HAS IT BEEN DONE BEFORE? IS THERE A MARKET FOR THIS? This year saw the introduction of ‘The Wandering Duck’ a floating canal boat hostel aiming to show off a very unique and hidden side to the UK. “There is a sense of mystery surrounding the UKs waterways, but they’re so unknown and therefore underappreciated by the younger demographic. I could see that this was going to be an exciting challenge, and one that had (and still has) the potential to take off.” (Bratt, M Appendix 1.2, P.67) Targeting consumers aged between the 20-40 markets, ‘the Wandering Duck’ has been attracting a real mixture of ages and gaining a lot of publicity. Describing the experience in a unique way Mark explains how “canal boats are basically just a giant VW camper van. It’s like camping, but with a power shower, bed, and a socket to plug in your iPhone. Young people will always put music and alcohol high up on their priority list and we cater for that, even if at a different pace.”(Bratt, M. Appendix 1.2, P.83) Backed up by the fact that 62.5% of those who filled out my online questionnaire value nightlife as a main factor to look for within a holiday, one of the main factors to take into consideration is how to keep young people occupied.
The appeal of canal boat holidays is that in larger spaces the intimacy is lost, so although the boats size may initially put some off, in actual fact it really compliments the experience. An experience that is all about being with each other the whole time, chatting to each other in bed in your PJs, having all your meals with each other, going out to the pub together, and drinking and listening to music whilst playing games in the little lounge together in the evenings. It allows us to appreciate the simple things in life, sharing an experience and making memories. “Certainly the canal world is full of old men with beards that get rather to excited at the sound of an old diesel engine. I’m slightly afraid of those people. I try not to focus on that side of things. There are simple human desires like the need to explore, learn something new, meet new people, and be around good friends that don’t go away. Mix that with the music and alcohol thing, and how could that ever become passé?” (Bratt, M. Appendix 1.2, P.69)
Fig 30, 31, 32: Regent’s canal house boat party.
| what will set it apart? Part of the beauty of canal boat holidays is that they allow the consumer to become a part of the surrounding environment, in any shape of form that they desire. This new canal boat experience should guarantee the promise of escapism and relaxation. With the recession hitting Britain hard and leaving many sticking to budgets, holidays are one of the only factors that they are loathe to cut back on. With a growing emphasis on luxury, research has shown that if the service provided is worth it, consumers will be more than happy to spend that little bit more. Mintel believes that there is scope for a much bigger push towards short breaks, particularly at the luxury end of the market (Mintel B, 2007: Online) The slow travel movement ideals further emphasize the importance of luxuriating in the experience of a journey ensuring that travelling slower gives you a sense of place. With consumers paying considerably high prices for luxury retreats ranging from yurts to Scandinavian log cabins, the demand for innovative holiday spaces continues to rise. The regeneration of various old vehicles such as buses, caravans and horseboxes has appealed to a wide variety of consumers. However cleverly placing them at festivals ensured that the younger generation took a particular shine to them. The canal boat is one of the few remaining conventional vehicles that is yet to be explored in terms of mainstream innovative design. Therefore design will form an integral part of this new canal boat experience. Offering the design savvy younger generation a real home from home with all the mod cons and technology we over time have grown so dependent on. Just because youâ€™re away from home, it doesnâ€™t mean you have to feel like you are.
Fig 32: Moodboard to highlight the tone of the new canal boat hiring company
WHAT DOES IT NEED TO HAVE AS BRAND? | Regard clients as independent travellers. In order
to create a bespoke experience, an atmosphere of independent travel must be generated, â€œeven if they are not strictly offering it in its most basic sense.â€? (Mintel, A, 2010: online)
| Offer something different. Even if guests are arriving at the same destination or time, a bespoke holiday needs some differentiation, and separation from the mass market.
| This canal boat company must offer clients luxury,
quality and expertise. A combination of all three is key.
to understand consumers. It is not about | Need engaging in a relationship that is about mass selling
but instead focusing on what consumers want at the right time and at the right place.
| Present consumers with the chance to experience the
feeling of escapism that they desire. Offer a break from fast paced living, slowing down the pace considerably. Allowing consumers the chance to lose themselves in the experience.
| Creating an experience that showcases the beauty of
the British countryside and reignites appreciation for our homeland.
the canal boat holiday as a | Re-establishing contemporary, organic and fun break.
| Creating a space in which style is integral, offering
a real home from home. Allowing consumers to be surrounded by the simple beauty of the great outdoors whilst not however having to sacrifice their home comforts and luxuries. Providing a space to spend quality time with friends and family.
new canal boat experience needs to combine the | This romance of the Waterways with our need to escape in order to create longevity. Allowing consumers the chance to lose themselves in the experience.
| Centered on good company, good friends and good
times. Appreciating the simple things in life. Sharing an experience and making memories.
Fig 33: Moodboard to highlight the tone of the new canal boat hiring company
Adventurous. Design Savvy. Experimental. Innovative. Creative. Fun. Imaginative. Those who like to spend time outdoors. Those who enjoy their own company just as much as they enjoy others’. Those in the pre/ no family demographic between 20-30 years old. Those who aren’t afraid to try something new. Those who care about the environment. Those who like to let their hair down. Those who are willing to pay a little bit more for luxury. Those who aren’t afraid of a challenge. Those who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Those that can pack light. Those that are seeking an escape. Those who enjoy peace and quiet but also know how to have a good time.
Fig 34: Moodboard to highlight target consumers
Fig 35 & 36: Get the party started Boating holidays have been around for a century and are one of the oldest established types of popular holiday. Having adapted to changing market conditions and weathering many storms, the future is likely to see further evolution meaning that demand for holidays afloat will remain constant.
This report has regognised how now inparticular is the perfect time for people to discover that the canal boat industry really does have â€˜moorâ€™ to offer than many of us realize...
Fig 18: Lets go glamping (2012) by unknown in paper crafts magazine, 2012: Online.
11 | list of illustrations Fig 1: Llangollen canal (2012) by Eleanor Pearson in Blogspot, 2012: Online. Fig 2: Barge roof garden (2010) by unknown in Garden organic flikr, 2010: Online. Fig 3: Bird watching (2008) by uknown in interesting places: the Epiphany gallery, 2008: Online Fig 4: Castle Marina Nottingham (2013) By Ellyn Grant. Fig 5: Expert interviews (2013) by Ellyn Grant. Fig 6:Analysis of research methods (2013) by Ellyn Grant. Fig 7: Llangollen canal (2012) by Eleanor Pearson in Blogspot, 2012: Online. Fig 8: Horsedrawn barge (c.1970) by unknown in canal world, 2005: Online. Fig 9 + 10: Canals 1987 (c.1987) by unknown in alporthub, 1998: Online. Fig 11: Llangollen canal (2012) by Eleanor Pearson in Blogspot, 2012: Online. Fig 12: Flying the flag (2013) by Christine Booth in BBC Derby, 2013: Online Fig 13: Narrow boat flower pot (2010) by Paul in Flikr, 2010: Online. Fig 14: Retts wood canal boat home (2010) by Todd Selby in The Selby, 2010, P.188 Fig 15: British holiday makers (2010) by unknown in Travel reviews, 2010: Online. Fig 16: Bestival (2010) by David Rutler in not work related, 2010: Online. Fig 17: The Glam Camping Company (2012) by unknown in the Glam Camping Co, 2012 : Online.
Fig 19: Time lapse, Grand Union Canal (2012) by unknown in Shutterstock 2012: Online. Fig 20: The floating cinema (2012) by unknown in Time Out London, 2012: Online. Fig 21: Regentâ€™s canal floating market (2012) by unknown in London 24, 2012: Online. Fig 22: The Cheese boat (2012) by unknown in the Canal and River Trust, 2012: Online. Fig 23: The wandering duck (2012) by unknown in Gogobot, 2012: Online. Fig 24: Stratford-upon-Avon market (2012) by Brian in a moveable bridge, 2012: Online. Fig 25: Floating market in Venice (2012) by unknown in Wolf and Badger, 2012: Online. Fig 26: Barge, Castle Marina (2012) by Ellyn Grant. Fig 27: Change of view/ London (2012) by Coco CapitĂĄn and Anna Ryan in bettery magazine, 2012: Online. Fig 28: Ready for action (2008) by uknown in interesting places: the Epiphany gallery, 2008: Online Fig 29, 30, 31: Regents canal house boat party (2009) by Judo Jules in Moblog , 2009: Online. Fig 32: Mood board: Tone(2013) by Ellyn Grant. Images from Pinterest, whats in your bag Tumblr and google images. Fig 33: Mood board: Tone (2013) by Ellyn Grant. Images from Pinterest, whats in your bag Tumblr and google images. Fig 34: Mood board: Consumer (2013) by Ellyn Grant. Images from Pinterest and google images. Fig 35 + 36: Get the party started (2011) by Anna Batchelor in the guardian, 2011, Online
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| Articles and magazines
Bowes, G, 2011. A narrow boat tour of London’s canals. The guardian [online], 5th August. Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2011/aug/05/ canal-holidays-london-narrowboat. [Accessed 18th December 2012]. Card, N, 2012. The Peak District’s new barge hostel for backpackers. The guardian [online], 28th December. Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2012/ dec/28/peak-district-barge-hostel-backpackers. [Accessed 3rd January 2013]. Choat, I, 2011. Why glamping works for mum and dad. The guardian [online] 22nd July. Available at: http:// www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2011/jul/22/glampingfrance-family-avignon-languedoc. [Accessed 10th January 2013]. Cullimore, S, 2012. We lost two decades in a Midlands canal. Daily Mail [online], 17th December. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/ article-2249012/We-lost-decades-Midlands-canal-20-years-great-fun.html?ito=feeds-newsxml. [Accessed 29th December 2013]. Davis, J. 2011. Are pop festivals on their way out? The guardian [online]. Available at: http://www.guardian. co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/07/are-pop-festivalsover-debate. [Accessed 13th January 2013]. Gillmore, L, 2012. Canal boat holidays: The towpath to enlightenment. The Independent [online], 29th August. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/ travel/uk/canal-boat-holidays-the-towpath-toenlightenment-8084475.html. [Accessed 2nd January 2013].
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| Audiovisual resources
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The bespoke bus company, 2012. Flagship vintage bus conversion. The bespoke bus company [online]. Available at: http://www.thebespokebus. co.uk/?page_id=6. [Accessed 29th November 2012]. The Co-operative, 2013. Cheap young and lively. Co-operative travel [online]. Available at: http:// www.co-operativetravel.co.uk/cheap/young-andlively. [Accessed 18th January 2013]. Thomas cook, 2013. Holidays for young adults. Thomas cook [online]. Available at: http:// www.thomascook.com/?lpsrc=Google+-+Thomas+Cook+Generics&adv=tho&adv id=15&ord=brand&lpke y=%2Byoung%20 %2Badults%20%2Bholiday&gclid=CPONyceL8rQCFSHHtAodtnoATg . [Accessed 18th January 2013]. Rokou, T, 2012. The fastest growing trend in travel. Travel daily news [online]. Available at: http://www. traveldailynews.com/news/article/52532/the-fastest-growing-trend-in [Accessed 15th January 2013]. The Selby, 2013. Boats. The Selby [online]. Available at: http://theselby.com/?s=boat [Accessed 18th January 2013]. Visit England, 2013. Inspire me: boating. Visit England [online]. Available at: http://www.visitengland.com/ee/Inspire-Me/?choice=Boating [Accessed 15th January 2013]. Yeoman, I, 2012. Can we really segment future tourists? Travel Tourism [online]. Available: at http:// www.tomorrowstourist.com/fluid.php. [Accessed 11th January 2013]. Walljasper, J. 2009. Why life in the fast lane fails to forfil us. Jay Walljasper (online). Available at: http:// www.jaywalljasper.com/articles/life-in-the-fastlane.html. [Accessed 14th Jan 2012].
14 | Appendix | declaration
| project infomation sheet
| appendix 1: expert interviews 1.1. Laura Harford, Project manager of the floating cinema, London. What was the initial thinking behind taking the ‘floating cinema’ to water? The Floating Cinema project came about in 2011 when UP Projects (a public art commissioning agency based in East London) won a tender competition run by the Olympic Delivery Authority to provide an arts project that would engage communities who live and work surrounding the Olympic Park in the run up to the games. Looking at the rapidly changing landscape of the Olympic Park site, the waterways are a very tangible feature that run right through the site - like arteries running through the park connecting the inside of the park with the outside world. This led us to develop a project that focused on the waterway, to bring a high quality and engaging cultural project to the East London canals. We also felt that the waterways were underused and almost forgotten about and wanted to contribute to a longer term cultural/engagement programme for the waterways. From your own experiences how have you found using a canal boat as retail space, in terms of advantages and disadvantages? Providing a leisure service on the waterways does come with its own unique challenges! Our first year came with a steep learning curve. The huge advantage is that the boat is mobile so you can take your ‘service’ - in this case high quality film, arts and educational experiences - anywhere you wish to go. This means that you can engage with different types of audiences by taking the boat to places where people can’t easily access the arts as well as to more high profile central sites to regular arts audiences. The pace of life that being on a narrow boat affords also lent itself very well to film and arts performance and creates a special environment for our visitors. However, there were also challenges such as having to learn a new set of regulations and licensing rules that related to boats and canals. Additionally, each waterway provided a new set of rules and conditions relating to moorings, locks and maintenance works. And finally, the narrow boat by very definition is also small and lack of space on-board is also an issue at times! (NB. In 2011 all events and screenings were free but we are piloting charging for tours in 2013). Recently there has been quite a lot of innovation within canal boats and retail, do you feel this will continue throughout 2013? Yes – I hope so. There do seem to be more small business providing services on the water such as the Book Barge, Sandwich Barge, Floating Hair Salon and Herbal Barge – in London alone! I think a lot of individuals and small businesses are beginning to pick up on the canals and waterways on their doorsteps and realising their value and potential. Particularly in the East End of London, with the regeneration of the Olympics and the waterways that surround lots of communities has changed so much in the last 10 years. A lot of people have preconceived opinions regarding canal boats, from your own experience would you say people were generally more positive or negative towards them? Visitors to the Floating Cinema in 2011 were overwhelmingly positive about the boat and the experience it was providing on London’s waterways. Many had been to the canals, but few had actually been on them or on a tour of them.
In terms of consumers, would you say that the majority set out to find you or is it more spontaneous, word of mouth based? Because of the nature of the project and programme (the Floating Cinema offers a programme of screenings and events during the summer months only) our visitors come to us in a variety of ways. The tours were pre-book via the website booking system only and the screenings (both outdoor and on board) are drop-in’s on the day – so more spontaneous. I would say that the majority set out to find us, but the boat does attract a lot of attention on the water and many also come spontaneously. Interestingly 50% of audiences in 2011 were from the five Olympic host boroughs, which demonstrates a very local appetite for this kind of activity. What age ranges does the floating cinema attract? The Floating Cinema attracts quite a young audience as the majority visitor, with 40% of those surveyed being between the ages of 25–34. However, there was also much older, (retired) sub-section of visitor that we attracted for the hosted tours and on board screenings. Do you think that it is possible to make people as excited about the slow as they currently are about the fast? Definitely. We are already seeing a slower pace of life being sought out by lots of people, as demonstrated by the increase in people having allotments and trying to be more sustainable.
1.2: Mark Bratt, owner of the wondering duck canal boat hostel. Prior to buying a barge had you been on canal boat holidays before hand? We spent a week on a hire boat on the Oxford Canal. Previous to this we hired a narrow boat for the day. What was the initial thinking behind taking the ‘floating duck’ to water? To an extent I cover some of this in my blog. There are two elements to this. Firstly I love backpacking around the world. I have met some great people doing this, and I wanted to continue to meet new people from different backgrounds. Secondly, I wanted to show off a very hidden side to the UK. There is this sense of mystery surrounding the UK’s waterways, but they’re so unknown and therefore under-appreciated by the younger demographic. I could see that this was going to be an exciting challenge, and one that had (and still has_ the potential to take off. Space is incredibly tight. You could be sleeping next to a stranger 2 feet away (and they could be snoring, you can hear people taking a pee in the middle of the night. Storing all the food for 10 people for 3 days in a 6ft square kitchen, and cooking for them all, is incredibly challenging. However, the disadvantages are also the advantages. Some of our trips are groups of friends, but often it’s individuals who have booked on to a scheduled tour. They start off as complete strangers. And of course there is an element of unease to begin with. The unknown. Being out of your comfort zone in a relatively confined space with people you
don’t know. But the small space ensures that the “getting to know one another” process is sped up quire significantly. You’re with each other the whole time. You chat to each other in bed in your PJ’s. You have all your meals with each other; go out to the pub together. Drink, listen to music and play games in the little lounge together in the evenings. By the end of a two-night trip you’ll know the other guests better than you know some of your own friends. Occasionally we’ve stayed in touch with guests. In a larger space the intimacy is lost, so the boat’s sixe actually compliments the experience. Recently there has been quite a lot of innovation within canal boats and retail, do you feel this will continue throughout 2013? There have been some interesting businesses set up on canal boats. Occasionally these have been to more of a trend-setting crowd. The Guardian wrote a good article about this in Aug 2011. In addition, Manchester has a drive in/ float in movie by the canal this year to highlight the canal as a feature of the city (we’re the boat with the yellow strip on the back- we set up cushions on the roof for people to watch the film, and sold them drinks from the on-board bar!) In terms of actual retail traders, check out the Boarders Cheese Carrying Company or, a bit more to the younger market, the Brew Boat co who set up just last September. I think with support from the new Canal and River Trust (taking over as a charitable trust from the British Waterways) this is set to continue. A lot of people have preconceived opinions regarding canal boats, from your own experience would you say people were generally more positive or negative towards them? I feel that people are very interested in canal boats. Whenever we have an open boat, we have lots of people that just want to come and have a nosey as they really don’t know what they are like inside. People are surprised how much headroom there is. They are also surprised how homely they can be, and were expecting something more primitive. I think there is definitely an old-person image attached to them. This is understandable as most of the people who go on canal boat holidays are older. In terms of consumers, would you say that the majority set out to find you or is it more spontaneous, word of mouth based? It’s definitely a word of mouth thing. When people hear about us there’s this great enthusiasm and excitement. People have no idea you can do this, so they’re not looking for it. This is the unfortunate reality of being pioneers. What age range does the floating duck attract? We have been attracting a real mixture. We target the 20-40 market, and we get out fair share of these, however we have had a lot of publicity among the canal boat world, and this has understandably attracted many people in their 50’s and 60’s (the traditional market). Over time I see more younger people coming on. Do you think that it is possible to make people are excited about the slow as they currently are about the fast? Definitely. One of the big trends of 2012 set to continue is glamping. Music festivals like Glastonbury are also attracting a wider audience of young people hence the new demand for designer willies. Camping has had a coolness makeover whilst maintaining its more traditional nature-loving crowd. Canal boats are basically just a giant VW campervan. It’s like camping, but with a proper shower, bed and a socket to plug in your iPhone. Young people will always put music and alcohol high up on their priority list, and we cater for that, even if at a different pace. The younger generation have been attracted by an influx of cheap flights abroad over the past decade, do you think that they have therefore missed out somewhat on what the UK has too offer them in terms of tourism?
Yes unfortunately the UK has missed out a lot because of this. I think people have a lack of appreciation of the diversity of the UK’s landscape. I have travelled around Scotland and seen world-class beaches, and then we have places like the Lake District that are stunning. We also have an amazingly colourful history, but boring History teachers have tried very hard to make History dull. The canals are a good example. This was the first man-made transport system on the planet, and allowed much larger amounts of cargo to be taken from A to B. This spawned the industrial revolution- the very first time we had factories instead of making stuff in peoples houses. What started as a canal boat ride, is now learning about how we got to a world of factories, production lines and your iPhone. Do you think there I longevity when it comes to remarketing the canal boat holiday to the younger generation or do you think that it is still at risk of becoming an aesthetic cliché like other holiday spaces? (i.e. revamped old vehicles and small spaces)? Certainly the canal boat world is full of old men with beards that get rather too excited at the sound of an old diesel engine. I’m slightly afraid of those people :-) . I try not to focus on that side of things. There are simple human desires like the need to explore, learn something new, meet new people, be around good friends that don’t go away. Mix that with the music and alcohol thing, and how could that ever become a passée?
1.3: Geraldine Prescott, owner of the cheese boat. What is it about the Waterways that attracts you? We initially bought a very old boat in 1995 as a home and one that moves, so we could go away most weekends when not working and longer trips during the year. We now own a newer boat, which we had specially built in 2006. Life on the canals and rivers is rather insular, we moor up out in the country whenever we can and only mix with other boaters and one or two walkers. If by chance we do moor up near a noisy boater or pub or railway line or motorway, we just move along. We would never go back to live in bricks and mortar. What was the initial thinking behind taking the cheese boat to water? We were already living on our boat and for some time we had been looking for something to do or sell off our boat. Michael is a marine electrician but due to arthritis in his knees and neck had to stop doing this sort of work and I am disabled so were restricted with what we could do. It was by sheer chance we tasted some cheese when on our travels and after giving it some thought I contacted the cheese company asking if we could sell their cheese off our boat and got a resounding yes. We have now been selling cheese and chutneys for 6 years and couldn’t imagine life without this. From your own experiences how have you found using a canal boat as a retail space, in terms of advantages and disadvantages? There is only one disadvantage, if you could call it that which is our boat is not big enough to hold more fridges, (we have 5 on board) which regulates how much cheese we can carry, but really that is not a disadvantage. The advantages are that the public think it is a fantastic idea to be able to buy cheese and chutney off a narrow boat instead of a supermarket plus being able to chat to the person selling you the cheese which makes a sale far more personal – people have commented that it is like being back in the good old days when you buy something over the counter and served by one assistant and you can have a chat at the same time.
Recently there has been quite a lot of innovation within canal boats and retail; do you feel this will continue throughout 2013? Am afraid we are not aware of any great deal of innovation within canal boats and retail – there are always boaters who would like to adopt this mode of life but finding the right thing to sell is not an easy task. A lot of people have preconceived opinions regarding canal boats, from your own experience would you say people were generally more positive or negative towards them? Definitely more positive as there are so many people out there who would love to own a boat but due to the cost of running a home and a boat makes it prohibitive so they make do by hiring boats. It is still a very romantic idea to be on a narrow boat and although they think it’s cheaper believe me it can be expensive. In terms of consumers, would you say that the majority set out to find you or is it more spontaneous, word of mouth based? We do have a high proportion of loyal customers who will travel far and wide to find us but on the whole we get custom from the public who come to many of the events we attend during the year , or just happen to walk where we are moored, plus some have been recommended to try our cheese. What age ranges does the floating cheese boat attract? Right across the board – it is surprising how many children love cheese and ours in particular, some even know the names of our cheeses. Do you think that it is possible to make people as excited about the slow as they currently are about the past? Don’t know if excited is the right word – but we have found that travelling around at 4mph is a great attraction even those who spend their lives on motorways with the peace and tranquillity of the countryside a great draw.
1.4: Nicola Dawkins, owner of the floating salon.
know existed on the canal or that the canal was even there. Disadvantages: Being selfsufficient we need to keep a close eye on our water, waste and diesel tanks. If the weather is very wet, windy or the river is in flood it can be difficult to navigate to the service point to fill up or to get to the next mooring destination. You just have to plan ahead and I keep my clients up to date with my website. Twitter and Facebook. With regards to the actual space, you just make it work to suit your needs. Recently there has been quite a lot of innovation within canal boats and retail, do you feel this will continue throughout 2013. I would like to think so. Only if people are serious about it though. The canal system is getting more congested every year with more boats coming on. We don’t have the space for to many more if they are just going to ‘hang around’ and take up valuable space for trading craft. A lot of people have preconceived opinions regarding canal boats, from your own experience would you say people were generally more positive or negative towards them? Negative definitely until they see our boat or I show them the website. When I meet new people and I tell them how I live and about the salon. They often comment ‘you don’t look like you live on a boat’!! People tend to think we can only have dreadlocks, dirty nails and smell of diesel!! I like to think we are opening peoples minds to another very civilized way of living. There are of course boaters who live a very simple life just as some house dwellers do. It’s just that we are on display more so. In terms of consumers, would you say that the majority set out to find you or is it more spontaneous, word of mouth based? Mostly spontaneous as they walk past the boat. Word of mouth and recommendations also. I have had a lot of press over the last few years so I do get emails from boaters all over the network asking when we might be in their area. What age ranges does the floating salon attract? The very young for the first hair cut through to people in their eighties!! Do you think that it is possible to make people as excited about the slow as they currently are about the fast? Not the majority no. We live in a very fast paced world and to slow down takes a lot of adjusting which many find an alien concept.
What is it about the waterways that attract you? Many things, the opportunity to have a different view out of you window when you want it. The freedom. The community spirit. Living a self contained life as much as possible in regards to generating our own electricity and carrying our own water. It’s a unique setting for my business. It is its USP. What was the initial thinking behind taking the ‘floating salon’ to water? I was a mobile stylist when we bought the boat. We were going to live on board anyway but when I saw the size of this boat I realised I could have a fully functioning albeit small salon on board. I asked all my regular mobile clients if they’d consider coming to The Floating Salon if I set it up. They were over excited by the idea. So with their backing and knowing they would venture on board the salon was born in August 2008. I offer all the same as a high street salon but I have that uniqueness that sets me a part from the rest. From your own experiences how have you found using a canal boat as retail space, in terms of advantages and disadvantages? Advantages: Change of scenery to attract clients. They get a different view when they come. Introducing people to the waterways. Taking / showing them places they didn’t
| appendix 2: interview with a barge owner Email interview: Robin and Ange Bolton. What is it that interests you about canal boats? For the old working narrow boats, barges and buttys (an engineless narrow boat towed behind a narrow boat with an engine – additional cargo space) it’s got to be the social and political history from an industrial age of cargo carrying etc. before the era of railways. Also the engineering/build of the boats from early horse drawn wooden boats to steel boats with engines and of course canal boat art, decoration, ‘roses and castles’ painting etc.. The history of old carrying companies like Fellowes, Morton and Clayton, Pickford’s etc. is fascinating in all its aspects. Prior to buying a barge, had you been on canal boat holidays before hand? No, but we have always messed about in boats in salt and fresh water, from dinghies to small river cruisers. We’ve towed them to water; rivers etch and had permanent moorings on the Thames. What was the reasoning behind you deciding to purchase one? We love boats, we love being on the water, we love the pace of life on canals and inland waterways. You can come and go when you like – if you find a good pub with a mooring you can stay as long as you fancy – we once set out for a full week’s cruising and only got as far as a great pub in a great spot on the Oxford canal and stayed there for seven days – Bliss! Because of our love and interest in boating and boats we finally decided to buy our first canal narrow boat. The main reason was to give us full access to the narrow canals and locks on a suitable craft and because of the accommodation available on a narrow boat – a floating home with all mod cons or you can also be as basic as you like – depends on your tastes, interests and budget, (narrow boats are expensive and running costs/mooring/ insurance/maintenance etc. mount up pretty quickly – particularly now because of increasing regulation, health/safety etc.). We recently sold our last narrow boat – a beauty, our pride and joy with much history to her – because we have retired to a place which is too far away from the connected canal system to make it feasible to use as often as we would like – remember it cost’s to keep and run a boat and you really do need to get maximum usage for your money. So, from the beginning of our boating lives we always wanted a traditional narrow boat with a vintage diesel engine in it’s own engine room, complete with Boatman’s Cabin at the rear etc. – (there are loads of canal/boat magazines which will give you information on the different types of boats etc. – Waterways World is a good place to start). How often did you use it? As much as we possibly could and for us that meant in the main from Easter to Octoberish for cruising weekends, holidays etc. As long as we could both scrounge off work. When the winter hit we would still go and stay on the boat on it’s moorings and do odd jobs, read books, drink beer and read! Do you think that it is possible to make people as excited about the slow as they currently are about the fast? Yes – it’s a terrific mental, emotional and physical break for people to let go and take stock. It’s important to avoid the temptation of packing too much into a week’s holiday.
We reckon that the minute you step onto a boat you take your spine out and relax and that’s what it’s about – enjoy the countryside, the industrial history (take a cruise through the potteries), start early, especially in the summer – wow cruising at 5 and 6am and tying up for the day at lunchtime – or start late and finish late – in other words please yourself. Enjoy the people you meet ‘cos there are some real characters to be met on the water. A lot of people have preconceived opinions regarding canal boats, from your own experience would you say people were generally more positive or negative towards them? Some people may regard them as floating caravans – however, in general the people who come down to the river or canal to walk etc. are generally speaking the people who are truly interested in boats, boating and boating history. Anglers generally hate boats of all sorts – miserable buggers! What was the best thing about owning a canal boat? In our case, owning a piece of history, which also was so much admired by everyone on the cut! Built by master boat builder who cut his teeth in working boat yards in the Black Country. Taking out your spine and relaxing, walking the pounds (bit between locks) and the physicality of shifting lock gates, swing bridges etc. Being able to go when we pleased. Would you recommend it too others? Without hesitation! Tell people to try it and see for themselves – hire a boat for a long weekend/week and see if it suits you. It does rain!
| Appendix 3: Interview with a canal boat holiday maker.
Face to face interview: Jake Terrence Cohen. 20, student. Would you ever go on holiday in Britain with Friends and why? Yes I would because it is cheap and convenient. What do you think about when you think about canal boats and would you ever consider going on a canal boat holiday? I have been on a canal boat holiday. Best holiday ever!!!! Oh and I also plan to live on one when I retire. When did you go on a canal boat holiday? Erm, I went on one in the summer when I was about 8. Who did you go with? Um, my Mum Dad Bro Aunty Cousin, and then another time with mum dad bro and a few family friends: Aunty Fiona and Uncle Ralph and their two kids How long did you go for? About a week I think yeah. What did you do during your holiday? Um went just went with the flow, floated from lock to lock along the river lee with like no worries, and went into little villages and walked our dog, had a few picnics, great times man. Where abouts did you go?
Along the river Lee. How did you come across the holiday, i.e. whose idea was it or where did you see it marketed? I’m guessing Mums and Dads idea, I’ll say a brochure. Did your experience match up to the perceptions you held before going on the canal boat? I didn’t really have any perceptions before because I was young and sort of open to it a nd to new ideas and stuff I guess. But yeah it was better than any previous perceptions I had, I’d recommend it to anyone. Were you bored at any point? I probably was, but cured it by doing fun activities and playing games, this is probably why I love games so much now to be honest. You don’t need a telly for fun. Just great people and a great game i.e. Balderdash my fave. Would you consider going on another one and why? I would go on another one yeah deffo. As I said I’ve always wanted to live on one when I retire. Why? Erm probs because it’s so peaceful and I enjoy the simple life. How did you find the living conditions? Living conditions were pretty cramped, tiny little bunk beds, and you’re on water so it’s not exactly stable. But when I buy one when I retire it’s gonna be sick. There are different boats and different sizes so I guess it depends what boat you have and how many of you there are. All in all though, great memories.
| appendix 4: face to face interviews 4.1: Jason cook, 20.
Would you ever go on holiday with friends in Britain and why? Erm, it depends where and with who I suppose, there’s many implications` but overall I would probably say yes. What do you think of when you think about canals? Silent waters, blue skies, fluffy clouds and probably ducks. Would you ever go on a canal boat holiday? Yes, when I’m 65. I think I’d enjoy it more when I’m older because that’s the age that people seem to go on them isn’t it?
4.2: Al Ryan, 23.
Would you ever go on holiday with friends in Britain? & Why? Yeah, but it depends where, like say I wanted a city break I’d go to London or something but if I was going for a week in the summer then I would probably go to Cornwall. I’d go because it’s easier than sorting a trip abroad, and cheaper but not for any longer than for a week I don’t think. What do you think of when you think about a canal boat holiday? Old people, but amazing. Would you go on one? Yes, if I could drive it myself. That would be fun!
4.3: Kaz evanson, 19. Would you ever go on holiday with friends in Britain? & Why? Yeah definitely, it wouldn’t always be my first choice but It would be something that I would consider. What do you think about when you think of canals? Tranquility and peace. Would you ever go on a canal boat holiday? My boyfriend’s parents own a canal boat/barge and we often go for breakfast on it at the weekends. It is a lovely atmosphere and it’s always so nice and warm thanks to the log burner!! I would definitely consider going on a canal boat holiday, if my previous experiences on the barge have been anything to go by then I think it would be a really good experience.
4.4: Colette Kenny, 21.
Would you ever go on a holiday in Britain with friends and why? Erm, yes on the condition that 1: it’s cheap and reasonably priced because I wouldn’t want to pay too much if I wasn’t going massively far away from home. 2: If it was a well managed place that I was going too. 3: Weather dependent…. like if its raining then I think it would generally ruin it and would be a bit rubbish so then I would be put off the idea. 4: where we go would have to have the right balance of places to chill but equally go wild because after all, that’s what holidays are about. And 5: Good travel connections just incase we couldn’t drive or something like that. Do you know what would be good, if you could go to a place in Britain like Butlins where like our age could go and be proud to be going there. What do you think of when you think of canal boats? Erm I generally think of old people, retired people, the Summer and dirty canals. Would you ever consider going on a canal boat holiday? I think that I would if my perceptions of them were changed.
4.5: Conor O’Hanlon, 21. Would you ever go on holiday with friends in Britain and why? No I wouldn’t because of the weather, which is normally pretty crap in Britain. I would want to get out of the country to class it as a holiday. I know that might sound snobby but for me, if I am spending money on a holiday I want it to be something a bit different from my daily life. What do you think about when you think about canals? Cuteness, florals and um gypsies. Would you ever go on a canal boat holiday? Erm, no it would be too cramped I’d want better living conditions on holiday. I imagine it to be tiny little bedrooms, low ceilings and horrible sofas, and that’s not really my cup of tea.
4.6: Ginti Valiultye, 20. Would you ever go on holiday with friends in the UK and why? Yes, I would because even though it’s in England there’s still loads you can do and if you’re with your best friends you can have a really good time. It’s more about the company and the atmosphere. They for me are the most important factors of a holiday. What do you think of when you think about canal boats? Cambridge, probably because that’s where I see them the most. I have been on one before and it is quite fun, it’s a nice thing to do especially in summer because you can have BBQs and drinks on it in the sun like I did and it’s really chilled out and fun. Would you ever go on a canal boat holiday? Probably not. If you use it as accommodation it would be fine because you would only be sleeping on it and then in the day you could explore the area. But in terms of a change of scenery then no. And I think that’s part of the reason we go on holiday, for a change of scenery isn’t it?
I actually would quite like too look into. I don’t suppose all my friends will be keen on the idea I think its something that you’ll either like or you’d hate the idea of isn’t it?
4.9: Tom Patrick, 23. Would you ever go on holiday with friends in the UK and why? Maybe, I mean I’m sure you could still have a good time but my friends and me prefer to go abroad. It’s a different atmosphere and the party scene is a lot better than it is over here and the girls too! What do you think about when you think about canal boats? Quite boring. I went on a canal boat daytrip when I was younger though actually and I do remember thinking that was quite decent, but now that I’m older I don’t think I’d do it again by choice. Too boring and like yeah not for me. Would you ever go on a canal boat holiday? No, not anytime soon. Maybe one day when I’m older or retired or something I don’t know.
4.7: Jonathon Tomlinson, 21. Would you ever go on holiday with friends in the UK and why? Yes I don’t see why not, if it’s a holiday spending time with my friends then yes definitely. I wouldn’t really mind where we went; we seem to be able to have a good time wherever we are so to me it doesn’t really matter. What do you think of when you think about canal boats? Rosie and Jim. I was obsessed with that show as a child so it’s sort of stuck in mind even to this day. How embarrassing is that. Would you ever go on a canal boat holiday? Erm with my friends? Yeah I don’t see why not. If it turned out anything like Marks stag do on Peep show then yes one hundred per cent.
4,8: Jenny Price, 24.
4.10: Katie Barker, 22. Would you ever go on holiday with friends in the UK and why? I like to get tan when I go on holiday, and in the UK lets face it that’s not really possible is it? But there is a lot to do in the UK these days so I would consider going away with my friends yes. Every year me and my family and family friends always go away for a week at the beginning of February to different places in the UK and we have actually been to some really nice places that I thought would be nice to do with my friends. What do you think about when you think about canal boats? Cute and adorable. Scenic and slow. Would you ever go on a canal boat holiday? Oh my god I would love to go on one. I have always wanted to see inside one of those. I guess it would be really relaxing and sort of a good way to chill out, and that too me is what I want to do when I’m on holiday.
Would you ever go on holiday with friends in the UK and why? Yes for sure, I tend to do that at least once with my friends every year. Not necessarily as like my main holiday but little breaks away with my friends is a great way of all spending time together, with us all living in different places now because of uni we love an excuse to meet up. For example last summer we all went to Newquay camping in a teepee, that was really fun because it slept 10 and meant we could all be together…and we felt like pochahontus which is always a plus. This year we are hoping to go Edinburgh for a long weekend. What do you think about when you think about canal boats? I think about how cool it would be to live on one. I live quite near a canal and often walk my dog down there and I’m always walking past boats that look really fun. Like there’s` one with bikes on the roof and bunting around the edges and all sorts of wacky things in the window, I always try to look in but I look a bit creepy. Would you ever go on a canal boat holiday? I would! I think it would be a fun thing to do with my friends, and something that I
| appendix 5: Undercover travel agent booking Friday 18th January, 16:00. Thompson Nottingham. Hello are you alright there? Yeah erm just wondering do you do boat holidays, like canal boat holidays? Erm yes we should have a brochure let me just have a look. 3 minutes later she comes back… Sorry I can’t actually find one But do you actually offer them yes? Yeah I think its call le boat Ok I’ve not really seen any of the brochures so it might be easier if you want any prices to come in or… Well we were thinking of going, when would be the cheapest time, because we were thinking when we finished uni Anytime that avoids the school holidays really would be better Yeah, are they quite popular or do you not really tend to have much interest, with not having a brochure? Erm the odd one but we don’t do a lot that’s why we don’t tend to keep the brochures in you see. Do people our age sort of go on them? Ermmm I mean I work on the bureau so I don’t really come out here so I don’t really know. We get the odd enquiry don’t we for the boating holidays? (another travel agent) Yeah but where are you thinking about doing it? We don’t really mind, The Norfolk broads would be a good one because it’s just like being on a pub-crawl Yeah that’s where we have heard the majority of people going. How big do they cater for? They can go up to 16 births Oh really, we are only looking for about 6 people. I’ll just go and have a look for the brochure one more time. 3 minutes later travel agent comes back Sorry no I definitely can’t find it, but is there anything that you want me to have a look at on the computer? We are just interested in the sort of sizes, and where really The best place to go would be the Norfolk broads, obviously a lot of it would be quite scenic, erm that’s the place where lot of people tend to go on the boating holidays. How much are they roughly? What sort of date are you looking for? Probably around June time, before the schools break up, as soon as we finish really... I’ll just have a look Thanks How many for again?
We were thinking about 6, but if it lowers the cost then maybe we could be more flexible, but we are just really not sure what the possibilities are… Talks to a fellow college… You know for the boat, the Thompson boating, how do we do it You phone up, go under Thompson and do it that way, Have you had one of their brochures? Erm I had a hoseasons brochure but that’s the only one I think they are owned by the same hands So there are 6 of you going? Yeah I think so about 6 And is the beginning of Jan you are wanting? Yes, we aren’t that fussed on dates anytime after the end of may. And how long for? How long would you recommend? A week, generally the week. Ok great Lets have a look… We will have to see if they answer because they are based at Coventry and they have worse snow than us so if they don’t answer we will take your details and ring you back, with the snow being bad they might be closing earlier. I don’t think that they are going to answer No What are your details? Ellyn, E, L , L , Y N And what’s your telephone number It’s 07800568490 What I’ll do is I’ll ring tomorrow and give you a call once I’ve got some prices for the Norfolk broads. Ok yep that’s great, thanks for all your help Speak too you soon. The next day, they rang me to say that they had the information and to come in store to find out more… Hello, I came in yesterday looking to book a canal boat holiday and I just received a phone call telling me to come in store to find out more… Oh right I see, its Jenny that you will need to speak to if you just want to go straight down to the end there. Yes that’s who I spoke to I think, thanks. Hello Hi, I spoke to you yesterday about the canal boat holiday? Oh yesss, it was the Norfolk broads wasn’t it? Yes I think so, we don’t really mind Hang on one-second love I’ll just go and get the folder, it should be on record Ok that’s fine Two minutes later Here we go, so I’ll just get onto the system and erm show you the results Great
Ok so lets see, I think there were some good deals around…. Erm maybe when the schools aren’t off so you know around June. Looked at the screen for ages and didn’t really say anything, so I had a look and all the prices were coming up over £1000 so I said… So how much are they roughly, around £1000? Yes, hang on there was a better deal Brings up a page for a motorised boat Well it was actually a canal boat or barge that we were looking for... Oh yes ok, so is there 6 of you did you say? Because remember the price will be split between the 6 of you Yeah about 6, for now, that’s fine we were just looking to enquire about the prices really because we didn’t really have any idea how much they would be that’s all. They all seem to be the same around the £1000 mark but that will change depending on when you want to go. Ok then thanks that’s a big help, I’ll speak to my friends and see what we want to do from here, thank you. No problem, just come in anytime!
| appendix 7: Ethnograhpic research Trip to Nottingham Castle Marina on the 3rd December 2012 from 2.30pm until 4pm. Research objectives: What age ranges will be identified around the marina? Will any houseboat livers be around? What are people doing in the area? Will I get to interview anyone? How many boats are at the Marina? Will the opportunity come to take a look inside one of the barges? What will I be able to capture on my camera? Will this be a good time for an observation? What activities will be happening on the towpath? Observational images. By Ellyn Grant.
| appendix 8: online survey 7.0 Online questionnaire, survey monkey, piloted via social media. How old are you? How many times a year do you go on holiday? Would you ever consider going on holiday in the UK with a group of friends? When choosing a holiday what are the main factors that you look for? Have you ever been on a canal boat holiday?
| Appendix 9: email interviews Would you prefer to go on a holiday with Friends, or family and why? - Friends because I can be myself more! - Boyfriend- it’s lovely alone time away from work and uni. And he’s great company! - Friends. - Family, i can spend a week with them and be able to tell them to fuck off off i get pissed off with them! its more difficult do that when they’re your friends! - Family - feel more comfortable, and you can just be yourself. Closer to family. - Friends so I can explore more and have more freedom! - Both, one to relax with family, and some crazier/drinking holidays with friends, maybe a ski holiday or safari type one with friends too. - Both. - Friends because my family aren’t into the same things as me and they can’t afford to take me. - Either! A holiday is always fun! - Friends, because my family don’t like getting as drunk as i do. - Friends because it’d be MORE CRAZY. - I do like going on holiday with my family because it’s free and I like to spend time with them, but now i’m older I definitely prefer going away with my friends. I like to explore and go to different places and there are so many options that we can literally go anywhere. - Friends because I never really get the time to relax for a long period of time with them whilst at uni etc.
What do you think about when you think about Canals/ Canal boats? - I would think they’re boring at first but it could actually be a pretty fun holiday. - The canal opposite my house, slow, ducks, small and cramped. - Rosie and Jim. - Very odd vehicle. - Rosie and Jim and the time i went on one with my grandparents and i nearly crashed it! - Childhood Rosie and Jim!! My grandad. - Ducks, relaxing, nice walks. - Restaurants, stratford-upon-avon, special occasions. - Quiet, Relaxing. - Relaxing, scenic and cute. - They are quirky and adorable! - Old people. - It wouldn’t be the first type of holiday I’d decide to go on but if I ever came across the opportunity and it was good value then I’d definitely do it. - I think about how much I would love to live on one, one day. - Never really given them a second thought, I don’t see them as being something I would enjoy!
Would you consider going on a canal boat holiday...and why? - I wouldnt prioritise it as a first choice but I think i could be persuaded if it was good value for money because it’s different! - I would because my mum and dad went on one when my mum was 19 and dad was 24. They’ve divorced now but still go on about how much fun they had on it. I’d probably go with 4/5 friends for a long weekend.
| EMAIL CONSENT - Yes. Canals are fun.
- Yes.. was really cool, so relaxing and you can stop off and have picnics along the way and doing the locks are sooo fun! - Yes, Childhood memories. - No. - Yes! I think it could be quite quirky and relaxing, especially stopping off at pubs on the way and having bbq’s etc! - No, because I prefer hot weather abroad :) - No, I would prefer to stay in a hotel rather than a canal boat. - Yes if the boat was nice and it wasn’t too expensive. - YES, because it’s a unique idea and would be a great way to celebrate british holidays! - Yes i would, it would be a new and exciting experience. - Yes, I think they’re really cute and fun and different to normal holidays, added excitement because it strays away from the type of holiday people I know normally go on. - Yes definitely, with a group of friends I think it would be quite a cool thing to do. You would definitely all become a lot closer. I don’t think I would be able to drive one though. - No, they appear a little cramped and I need lots of space for my clothes :) also I prefer exploring holiday places on foot not water!
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Published on Jul 15, 2013