Term Paper: Eden Project

Pages: 20 (5745 words)  ·  Style: Harvard  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Topic: Recreation  ·  Buy This Paper

Eden Project is one of the largest ecotourism sites in the world. The purpose of the Eden Project is to highlight man's dependence on and relationship with plants. The Eden Project informs visitors about the importance of plants to life on earth, delivering a high-impact message about the importance of preserving plant diversity (Eden Project ltd., 2007). The message at the Eden Project is not delivered in lecture style, but utilizes an engaging display the showcases the major current environmental issues.

The Eden project contains more than 5,000 species, representing many of the major climatic zones of the earth (Eden Project ltd., 2007). The Eden Project utilizes the natural environment of Cornwall and contains two of the largest conservatories in the world (Eden Project ltd., 2007). The visitor to the Eden Project does not simply view the exhibits. Exhibits are designed to be thought provoking and to leave the visitor with a lasting impression that they can carry home with them to their own communities.

The Eden Project was the brain child of Tim Smit, working in close collaboration with horticultural experts (Eden Project ltd., 2007). Peter Thoday and Philip McMillan designed the plant climates and exhibits. The primary architect and co-founder was Jonathon Ball (Eden Project ltd., 2007). The vision of these men was to design a garden that would inform visitors about the importance of the plant kingdom. They wanted to do so on a global basis, and hopefully, attract a global audience as well.

The major attractions at the Eden Project are two large biomes that house plants from the humid tropics and the temperate zone. The Humid Tropics Biome 15,590 square meters, and is the biggest greenhouse in the world (Eden Project ltd., 2007). The Warm Temperate Biome has an area of 6,540 square meters, still an impressive attraction (Eden Project ltd., 2007). These structures use state-of-the-art ethylene polymer hexagons that should remain maintenance free for at least 25 years (Eden Project ltd., 2007). Climates within the biomes are controlled by a sophisticated computer system that controls ventilation and heating (Eden Project ltd., 2007). The project used green technology to the extent possible, by way to heat natural heat sinks, but the entire project could not completed 100% green.

The focus of Eden Project is on plants, not animals. It does not intend to be a zoo, it's market is with other conservatories and visitor gardens. It does have insects, butterflies, birds and lizards, but these are primarily for the control of plant pests (Eden Project ltd., 2007). They do not comprise a major part of the exhibit. Plant material comes from cuttings and seeds from all over the world, raised in a nursery just down the road from the project (Eden Project ltd., 2007).

How Does Eden Project Benefit the Community?

The Eden Project utilizes local suppliers and services whenever possible. It provides employment and brings tax dollars into the Cornwall and South West. The first year that it opened, it attracted nearly two million visitors. The original business plan was based on 750,000 visitors per year. Since its opening, visitors have dropped to a steady 1,250,000 visitors per year (Eden Project ltd., 2007). These numbers overshot the mark of the original plan. However, this raises several concerns from a marketing perspective. Visitors need to see something new so that they keep coming back. Otherwise the product life cycle of the Eden Project may be short-lived.

In order to keep the brand fresh, Eden Project has a continuously changing its plant displays. The display takes different characteristics during the different seasons. The Eden Project has plans continually to add new displays and biomes. For instance, it has plans for new exhibits involving the outdoor landscape and a new addition called "The Core." The Core is an educational facility that highlights the key values and ideals encompassed in the Eden Project. After the Core, Eden has plans to construct a display called "The Edge," a fourth climate zone. There are also plans to recreate the Fertile Crescent, a meeting place for people to gather (Eden Project ltd., 2007).

In addition to a continually changing display, Eden hosts world scale events, such as Live 8 Africa Calling. It also hosts the Eden sessions, outdoor concerts with edgy groups such as Moby, Keane, Basement Jaxx, and Brian Wilson (Eden Project ltd., 2007). Eden also hosts seasonally themed events, such as bulb mania in the spring, a Time of Gifts in the Winter, and Jungle Nights in the summer (Eden Project ltd., 2007). These events and concerts help to build a continuous stream of new and exciting things to experience at Eden.

Leisure Opportunities in Cornwall

Eden's purpose was to attract global appeal. However, the local community is its mainstay. Repeat clientele is likely to come from the local audience than from travelers on holiday. In order to attract the global audience that it desires, visitors will have to have a number of attractions that will make them want to visit the area. The local area has to have the infrastructure, including accommodations and dining to support an expanding tourist trade. The following will examine the local infrastructure for travel and tourism in the Cornwall area.

A survey by the Cornwall Tourism Board revealed that the average visitor to Cornwall is a sightseer. They visit a number of sights and participate in a variety of outdoor activities. St. Ives and Newquay were the most popular tourist destinations. The most popular attractions were the Eden Project, Land's End, and properties on the National Heritage Trust. This survey indicated that Eden was attracting visitors to the area. Spending time on the beach and shopping were other popular activities while in the area.

One of the most important sections of the Cornwall Tourism Board survey was the number of visitor who were planning to visit a number of listed attractions. Of 50 subjects surveyed, 39 were planning to visit Eden. Eden ranked among one of their favorite destinations. Many of them were return visitors, which indicates a certain level of satisfaction with Eden and its changing exhibits.

Among other places that people intended to visit (in no particular order), were Minack Theater, Flambards, National Maritime Museum, Blue Reef Aquarium, Tate St. Ives, Lost Gardens of Heligan, St. Michael's Mount, and the many National Heritage Trust sites. There are many things to do in Cornwall. Eden quickly made its way to the top of the list. There is so much to see and do in Cornwall that it is not surprising that many of the visitors are repeat tourists, who make Cornwall their holiday spot of choice year after year.

Leisure Spending in Cornwall

Cornwall contains hundreds of accommodations from upper class suites to primitive camping sites (Cornwall Tourism Board, 2007). Accommodations in the area are numerous and support a yearly influx of visitors to the area. From 1993 through 2006, room occupancy rates in the non-serviced sector of accommodations averages 50-70% in the summer months and drops to around 30% in the winter months (Cornwall Tourism Board, 2007). For the serviced sector, occupancy was the same in the summer, but slightly higher in the winter months (Cornwall Tourism Board, 2007). Peak tourism months are May through October, with a severe drop off in October (Cornwall Tourism Board, 2007).

Source: Cornwall Tourist Board. (2007). Tourism in Cornwall. Available at http://www.cornwalltouristboard.co.uk/documents/TourisminCornwallResearchUpdateSep06.pdf

Travel and tourism in the Cornwall area averages 4 million Pounds per year (Cornwall Tourism Board, 2007). Domestic visitors account for a majority of the spending in the area. Overseas visitors only account for approximately 2% of the total tourism revenue (Cornwall Tourism Board, 2007). This demonstrates the importance of developing the local market, yet demonstrates considerable room for expansion on a global scale.

Although visitors during the spring and summer were more numerous, those that visited during the winter had a higher average expenditure per person per day/night at (40). Accommodations and food took up most of the money spent, with shopping at a close third. They spent less on entertainment and travel than other items during their stay. There are many opportunities to expand marketing and shopping opportunities at Eden to take advantage of the typical spending habits of the visitor.

Cornish Holiday Pattern

Devon attracts the largest percentage of visitors in the area for the purposes of entertainment. Cornwall is second, with the other districts following in total tourism visits (Cornwall Tourism Board, 2007). A majority of the visitors to the Cornwall area come for the purposes of holiday, as opposed to business trips or other purposes. In a 2006 survey, it was found that 82% of visitors to the Cornwall area were adults that were not accompanied with children. The other eighteen percent represented families with children (Cornwall Tourism Board, 2007). Fifty-eight percent were couples, with groups of 3-5 representing an additional 25% (Cornwall Tourism Board, 2007).

The average visitor to the Cornwall area is aged 55 and up (Cornwall Tourism Board, 2007). Groups with small children and teens… [END OF PREVIEW]

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