Posted: Friday, 30th March 2012
TOURISM researchers have teamed up with Channel 4’s ‘A Place in the Sun’ to investigate the factors which influence Brits buying property abroad.
The research is expected to last up to five years and will begin by looking at why people buy abroad, where they are buying and why, what kind of property they buy, and how they pay for it.
The first stage of the research will see two students head down to the ‘A Place in the Sun’ exhibition in London at the end of March to interview visitors and exhibitors on overseas property buying habits.
Tourism and Hospitality researcher Professor John Swarbrooke had the idea for the collaboration, he said: “I was thinking about some interesting areas for research that haven’t really been investigated yet, and this struck me as perfect.
“There isn’t any real research being done in this area and it’s a big and growing market. This will help us see what some of the big issues and trends are.
“For example we suspect that some people are buying abroad, not to live in the property themselves but rather to rent it out to provide an income in old age as they are worried about their pensions, so with this research we can find out for sure what is happening.”
The ‘A Place in the Sun’ offering consists of the TV programme, the best-selling magazine in the sector and twice-yearly exhibitions.
As well as finding out about the overseas property market Professor Swarbrooke sees this collaboration as a perfect profile raising opportunity for the university.
The Channel 4 brand have agreed to sponsor a book and a conference dedicated to the outcomes of the research as well as publicising the university’s work in the magazine and on the TV show.
“From our point of view it’s fantastic,” John adds, “We get access to all of their databases as well as cross-marketing opportunities on their website which gets over a million hits a year.
“The research should also generate plenty of PR stories which will help with our national profile.
“When I called them they were really interested in having independent legitimate research done as they are aware that the sector doesn’t always have the best reputation so it’s a win-win for all involved.”
MIRIAD have provided £1,000 funding for the first phase of the project which will cover the students’ research at Earls Court from today, March 30 to April 1.
Students Charlie D Ojukutu-Macauley (BA French and Spanish) and Arina Cernysiova ( MA Architecture) were selected to carry out the research and represent the university at the ‘A Place in the Sun’ exhibition.
Professor Swarbrooke is hoping to have the first set of data from the research within the month.