Tourism Personas

UX Design Intern — Barclays and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism


The Western Cape Government in South Africa wants to take advantage of a rise in travel to bring more tourists to Cape Town and the Western Cape. In order to create programs to draw in visitors, the Western Cape Government was looking for more information as to who is coming to the Western Cape, what they are doing there, and what they are spending money on. During an internship with Barclays South Africa, I partnered with the Western Cape Government to study the habits of American and Indian tourists visiting South Africa. 


I only had two weeks to complete the project, so I decided to researched tourism habits through a combination of interviews and surveys. I began by attempting to talk to people at the V&A Waterfront, a fairly popular boardwalk and shopping mall among both South Africans and tourists. I quickly learned that very few people were willing to stop and talk to me, and many were skeptical of my intentions. Quite a few people also either rushed through the survey or left questions blank, making it hard to know if the information was reliable and accurate.


Realizing that I needed a new plan, I decided to change locations to the base of Table Mountain. Another popular tourist attraction, there is a cable car that takes people up to the top of the mountain. On a nice summer morning, the line is usually at least an hour and I thought that if people were bored and standing in line, they would be more likely to talk to me. I also changed strategies to chat with the people in line for a bit before asking them about the survey, rather than starting with it, which helped give them a better understanding of who I was and what I was doing. Over two days at Table Mountain, I was able to connect with fifteen tourists through the interviews and survey. This provided me the insight I needed to develop personas.