What has happened with South West Tourism (SWT)?
South West Tourism closed on 31 March 2011.
South West Tourism was fully funded by South West RDA to deliver its strategic statutory remit for tourism. Due to the change in Government and funding for regional structures there will be no funding for SWT post 31 March 2011.
What will fill the void left by SWT?
The leading membership organisations, business groups and iconic businesses in the region have come together to form THE SOUTH WEST TOURISM ALLIANCE.
This will mean a shared voice for the tourism industry; a clear direction for the sustainable and balanced development of the visitor economy; and the collection of data and intelligence to underpin the competitive performance of the industry. Importantly, the Alliance aims to safeguard the intellectual property built up since the regional tourist board was formed over 40 years ago.
What is The South West Tourism Alliance?
This is a vehicle to make sure individual membership organisations are working together to maximise economies of scale and to ensure a collective voice for industry in the South West. This is not a quango, company or a new business. The Alliance has no legal form and will work with established organisations through bilateral agreements for the good of the industry.
What are the main aims and objectives of the Alliance?
The overriding principle of the Alliance is to support the tourism industry to improve the visitor experience in a cost effective and sustainable manner.
- To represent, advocate and champion tourism in the South West and be a voice for its tourism industry.
- To guide sustainable and balanced development of the visitor economy.
- To collect data and provide intelligence to enable the competitive performance of the industry.
What will The South West Tourism Alliance do?
In the first instance the Alliance will focus on securing services for the industry that would otherwise be lost. In particular it will ensure that the priority areas identified as important by the industry will be maintained. These include:
- United industry voice, communication and co-ordination
- Welcome to Excellence
- Data and intelligence
- Excellence Awards
The Alliance will bring together, represent, advocate and champion tourism across the South West.
In the medium term the Alliance will recommend options for sustaining these services and developing them. Most importantly, the industry will set the agenda.
Who can join the Alliance?
Organisations, business groups and trade associations will form the membership of The South West Tourism Alliance. In the main it will be those organisations who represent a group or sector who will be part of the Alliance, rather than individual businesses.
However, iconic and leading businesses, such as Airports, major conference venues, stadia and major attractions (top 10) will also be able to join.
How are individual businesses represented on the Alliance?
All businesses will be represented through their membership organisation, business group or trade association.
How do I know if I am represented?
To date the following stakeholder bodies or leading businesses have signed up to be FOUNDER members or associates of the Alliance, and work is now in place to attract further support from across the region.
Arts Council SW
Bath Tourism Plus
Bed & Breakfast Association
Blue Chip Holidays
Bournemouth and Poole DMO
Dartmoor and Exmoor National Park Authorities
Devon and Cornwall Business Council
Gloucestershire and Cotswold DMO
Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
National Marine Aquarium
Somerset County Council
South West Food and Drink
Sustainability South West
Taste of the West
The English Riviera Tourism Company
Tourism for All
University of Exeter Business School
This means that, so far, over 25,000 people / businesses active in tourism and the visitor economy of the South West will be represented by The South West Tourism Alliance.
The FOUNDER members are those who commenced work on this approach in November 2010. If you think your membership organisation or representative body should be part of the Alliance, please do let us know.
Who leads the Alliance?
There is a Management Committee that has been working to bring the Alliance into existence which includes:
Andy Jasper (Eden Project), Christine Marshall (South West Food and Drink), Alistair Handyside (Chair of SW Excellence Awards) and Tim Hassell (BHA South West)
How are the Management Committee elected?
The existing Management Committee is made up of volunteers from the stakeholder organisations. Once the Alliance is established, the Membership will decide how long Committee Members should stand for and how election or nominations take place.
Who is the spokesperson?
Alistair Handyside ( South West Tourism Excellence Awards Chair) is the spokesperson for the Alliance. He can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 07771 678028.
Will the Alliance have a figurehead or Chair?
Once the Alliance is formalised it will be seeking a Chair, drawn from the membership of the Alliance. The remit of this post and expectation will be developed over other the next few months.
How do we contact the Alliance?
Visit the website www.swtourismalliance.org.uk or email email@example.com.
How do I make my views known, or ask for help?
You will be able to connect through your membership organisation, if they are a member of the Alliance. If not, join the linkedin group South West England Tourism Forum, in place
for the entire tourism sector of the South West, and of course, there is still be an industry website.
How does the industry find out what is going on?
Check out the website www.swtourismalliance.org.uk or join the linkedin group South West England Tourism Forum. To recieve regular updates on whats happening in the region sign up for our industry newsletter on the home page of this website.
How will the critical services for the industry be delivered?
United industry voice - the Alliance will have executive support and be connected to local, regional and national agencies and decision making. It will be able to assess impact on the South West and raise issues the industry faces; it will also be able to co-ordination ACTION around key opportunities and in times of crisis.
Communication - the www.visitsouthwest.co.uk site will be retained by the Alliance, as will all traffic coming via www.swtourism.org.uk. This will be redirected to www.swtourismalliance.org.uk and retained as the key communication route for the industry.
Two linkedin groups have been developed one for all industry members to join [The South West England Tourism Forum], regardless of their size or membership affiliation; the other is for Alliance members only [The South West Tourism Alliance (members)]
We have also maintained the industry twitter account @southwestourism and the consumer account @visitsouthwest. Leading destination Alliance members are now tweeting directly on the consumer twitter account.
Sustainability - the independent charity, Sustainability South West has stepped in to ensure that practical support for the tourism sector can continue into the future.
Neil Warren, South West Tourism's Sustainability Strategist, has moved to Sustainability South West, as an associate, to deliver this sustainable tourism remit. This means that he will be able to continue to focus on supporting the tourism sector to find practical opportunities to becoming more sustainable - particularly in relation to how businesses operate, getting visitors involved, transport issues and protection of the natural and historic assets that attract visitors.
Contact: Neil.Warren@sustainabilitysouthwest.org.uk or call 0770 351 7475
Emma Whittlesea will provide additional support regarding key sustainability strategic and research issues for South West England, through her work at the University of Plymouth. This includes research on climate change and tourism, promoting use of the REAP Tourism footprint tool, chairing Climate South West's Tourism Sector group and other work supporting the sector adapt to climate change. Emma can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to Excellence - a key industry stakeholder, Rick Turner, has set up Purple Cloud Consultancy to take on the Welcome to Excellence remit, including the expertise of Helen Jones, SWT's former Welcome to Excellence Manager. Helen can be contacted at Helen@purplecloudconsultancy.co.uk or follow her on twitter @purplecloudsw
Research and Intelligence - leading Destination Management Organisations in the South West have stepped in to support the ongoing collection of research and intelligence in the region. This will be delivered by The South West Research Company; contact Phaydon@tswrc.co.uk or email@example.com for more information or follow them on twitter @swreseachco and @swresearchco2
The South West Excellence Awards - a board of trustees has been developed to ensure continuation of the Excellence awards. Services for Tourism have the contract to deliver this, please visit http://www.southwesttourismawards.org.uk for more information.
What about marketing?
The role of SWT did not include marketing - SWT was responsible for the www.visitsouthwest.co.uk website and this has been retained by the Alliance to direct web traffic to the destination level.
The Alliance has discussed and debated collective marketing and at this stage there are no plans to develop any regional marketing initiatives.
What is happening with Towards 2015?
Towards 2015 united both tourism businesses and public agencies around a shared vision for the growth and development of tourism in the South West. This vision set out a very clear commitment to quality and sustainability in tourism, and South West England has taken a leadership role in developing tools to measure the environmental impact of tourism.
The network of organisations that work with tourism businesses have and will change, and the Alliance is keen to retain the focus on, and commitment to, quality and sustainability within any new structures and arrangements.
South West Tourism reviewed Towards 2015 with key industry partners, and developed ‘Principles for Success' - the Towards 2015 legacy document. This acts as a guide and beacon for businesses in the South West - setting out the key actions and priority areas. It is the main focus for the Alliance and the industry in the future and can be downloaded from www.swtourismalliance.org.uk
How does this fit with the Government Tourism Policy and with the England Strategic Framework?
The recently published [March 2011] Government Tourism Policy recognises the need for ‘high-quality and respected local tourism bodies', and has an aim to ‘create strong, new and independent tourism bodies, [to eliminate these structural problems] and allow the industry to take responsibility for its own future'.
Therefore, the agreement to form an industry led Alliance which focuses on support for the tourism industry to improve the visitor experience in a cost effective and sustainable manner, is completely in line with Government thinking.
The priorities and actions of ‘Principles for Success' complement the national priorities set out in Visit England's Strategic Framework for Tourism, and more importantly, is very much about what matters to businesses in the South West, with its focus on priorities and activities that the industry believe are really important.
What tourism structures are in place to support the industry at local level?
There are Destination Management Organisations (and support structures) in Bath, Bournemouth and Poole, Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. The key contacts are:
Fiona Humphreys [email: Fiona_Humphreys@bathtourism.co.uk or call 01225 477228]
BOURNEMOUTH AND POOLE
Mark Smith (Bournemouth) [email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01202 451 717]
Graham Richardson (Poole) [email: email@example.com or call 01202 262539]
Feisal Khalif [email: Feisal.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01179462203]
Karol Puleston [email: email@example.com or call 01872 322911]
Sarah Thomas [email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01872 322887]
Claire Hutchinson [email: email@example.com or call 01872 322870]
Marketing: Trevor Hedger [email: T.Hedger@westdorset-dc.gov.uk]
Research: Loraine Morris [email: LoraineMorris@purbeck-dc.gov.uk]
Quality: Rachel Limb [email: RLimb@eastdorsetdc.gov.uk]
Chris Dee [email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01452 328302]
John Carter [email: email@example.com or call 01823 355664]
Nick Baumber [email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 602 7323]