Secrets of the Causeway Coast

National Trust needed help dealing with capacity issues at the Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge during the busy summer months.

It's great being a popular tourist attraction, but when high demand, long queues and overcrowding start negatively affecting the visitor experience, action needs to be taken. The issue of overcrowding is an indicator of Northern Ireland's maturing as a tourism destination and we would be unable to stop the tide of visitors, particularly when we know both locations are key in promoting the island of Ireland internationally. Proven by the fact that 64% of visitors to the region are from outside the island of Ireland, we knew that a conventional, local activity wouldn't solve this problem.

These findings led to our approach: in-market visitor management as opposed to attempting to prevent visitation in the first instance. Key to this, was the promotion of a wider visitor experience. We wanted to engage with visitors, whetting their appetite, explaining the conservation role of National Trust, and importantly educating them around the best ways to experience and enjoy the region. Enter the 'Secrets of the Causeway Coast'.

We created a 'behind-the-scenes' look at a day in the life of the Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede visitor attractions and the trials and tribulations of the staff who entertain and keep safe over 1.6 million visitors each year.

Supporting our video piece we created a tangible piece of visitor information. We wanted the map to appeal to locals and visitors alike. Featuring original illustration, the guide is framed as a collection of secrets and 'did-you-knows'; sharing trivia, hidden gems and the inside track on the all the experiences the Causeway Coast has to offer from Cushendall to Binevenagh. This creative treatment was carried through on out of home formats, with placements on the Causeway Coast reinforcing the breadth of experience to be had in the region.

Providing visitor information whilst the visitor was experiencing the destination would be vital in influencing behaviour. We needed to physically meet the visitor where they were and answering their need for relevant information. The Causeway Coast Hosts would be our team on the ground, part concierge, part tourist guide, advising visitors on where to visit and letting them in on the secrets of the Causeway Coast.

So, whether you're a regular visitor or a first time day tripper, there's so much to explore in this breath-taking part of the world. The Causeway Coast Hosts are on the ground throughout the Summer, helping visitors experience all the region has to offer, whilst the Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede staff continue to take care of both the people and place, ensuring both sites are protected forever, for everyone.