North Norfolk Theatres Contract
We were in the process of reviewing our Theatre contract at Cromer Pier Pavilion. I needed to produce a piece of work that examined other theatres and how they were managed, whether it was in house, lease or on a contract, and then the costs associated with their arrangements.
I contacted British Destinations asking for their support and they sent a request to all of their members asking for help. I received a really good response from around 11 different theatre managers, who all provided me with sensitive information confidentially. I used this to inform a report that I took through the North Norfolk District Council decisions process, which resulted in a positive outcome. Without the help of British Destinations and the credence that it provided for my request, I feel it is highly unlikely that I would have been able to access this information.
Karl Read, North Norfolk District Council
The tramway system is one of Blackpool’s iconic tourism attractions and carries millions of passengers every year. One of the oldest tramways in the world it was in need of significant investment to safeguard the future of the service and continue to meet the needs of residents and visitors.
British Destinations supported Blackpool Council and Blackpool Transport in their bid for funding for a multi-million pound upgrade which formed part of a broader regeneration plan for the time. Comments were submitted as part of the formal consultation process and a letter of endorsement was provided to support the application. A funding contribution of £68m from the Department for Transport was approved in Summer 2009 towards a £100m+ scheme which saw the replacement of track, new depot and the introduction of a fleet of modern vehicles completed in April 2012
The value of British Destinations membership
I have now been in my current post for 5 years, and our membership of British Destinations initially helped me get up to speed with the bigger picture of where we fit into the UK tourism offer, and in more recent years kept us informed of changes in legislation and other relevant information that affects us. In particular we have a local issue on Brown Signs, and through our membership of British Destinations, we are in direct contact with the person at VisitEngland who is working on shaping the future of signage so we are able to feed our views and concerns directly. On other issues with less of an immediate concern we are still able to feed up our comments on consultations – our membership keeps us directly in the loop and is well worth the annual budget investment
Diana Roberts, Guildford Borough Council
Managing and making sense of tourism intelligence
Blackpool is obviously a place where we are very concerned about visitor statistics to the extent that we gather a plethora of statistics – some being driven by the Council’s Data and Research team and some coming from a marketing and event angle. The need to be consistent and to spend ever reducing resources wisely was our ambition. But who could we turn to in order to know what happens elsewhere, what is best practice and offer an impartial view about what would be best for Blackpool?
I contacted British Destinations and was offered excellent advice over the phone and by e-mail about who to contact and where to go for additional information. This alone would have helped us to focus and save money. But additional support was provided by British Destinations Chief Executive, Peter Hampson, who facilitated a workshop for all the various parties with an interest in the town. He provided an excellent foil and a level of knowledge that enabled our differences to be dealt with in one short session. The outcome for us has been a saving in costs of £7,500 per annum and a far more consistent message that works both from a member information point of view and for the new Marketing Team to understand more about our target markets. This contact alone more than justifies our subscription to British Destinations.
Alan Cavill, Blackpool Borough Council
Coastal Communities Fund – National Coastal Tourism Academy
Bournemouth is home to Europe’s first National Coastal Tourism Academy, a new knowledge transfer institution for the tourism and hospitality industry which provides coastal tourism businesses with access to educational and professional training in order to help boost their growth and also help develop the wider tourism industry.
Bournemouth put in a bid to the Coastal Communities Fund in 2012 for the creation of a ‘National Coastal Tourism Academy’ and was successful in this bid for 2 million pounds. A support letter from British Destinations was an important part of the overall bid.
Mark Smith, Bournemouth Borough Council
British Destinations provides an excellent insight into government’s latest initiatives and how they may have an implication for tourism locally. Announcements are usually thoroughly analysed to provide an ability to link local tourism related issues.
Scott Dolling, Southend on Sea Borough Council
Learning from the annual conference
I have always found the annual conferences extremely useful, providing an opportunity to learn more about a number of key subjects including the development of Tourism Business Improvement Districts (TBID’s) which we are now considering on the English Riviera. I also welcome the opportunity to meet other tourism professionals from across the country to share experiences and contacts when we are all so busy!
Carolyn Custerson, English Riviera Tourism Company
The value of British Destinations
Like many local authorities, Hastings Borough Council is under severe financial pressure. Indeed, because of the Government support we have enjoyed in the past, we are affected more than most, with a 55% cut in Government grant. Whilst our marketing budget has borne more than its fair share of the cuts, because of its non-statutory nature, we are continuing to invest in British Destinations. We’ve benefitted greatly from the various research projects it has helped fund, and equally importantly by having a voice at the ‘top table’ :- we feel we are involved in helping to influence strategic decision-making by Government on a number of tourism-related issues that are important to us.
Kevin Boorman, Hastings Borough Council