THE SOUTH WEST WORKING TOGETHER
The South West is one of the country’s largest and most popular regions for tourism visits with a huge diversity of product on offer from a wide range of businesses, destination marketing bodies and protected landscape organisations.
The South West Tourism Alliance is able to support different tourism stakeholders to come together to collaborate around common themes and funding opportunities as they arise.
A recent example of collaboration is when Visit Britain launched the Discover England Fund. The SW Tourism Alliance supported the South West Coast Path Association’s bid for funding and helped facilitate the partnership with Visit Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, English Riviera Bid, Exmoor National Park and Destination Plymouth. The funding allowed the partners to undertake a considerable programme of product development and marketing to potential Dutch and German walking visitors. The results are impressive for the programme of work and has led to a National project for all National Trails.
The collaboration and support has continued as maintenance funding for this vital route has been in decline for the past 5 years, with a 30% reduction in its core budget. As one of a family of 15 national trails, which represent the finest walking routes in the country, further cuts are expected to affect all the trails and the South West Alliance are keen to prevent this.
Being aware of the funding pressures that all our Protected Landscapes are under, and the huge collective value that they represent to the South West visitor economy, resulted in the award of ‘Outstanding contribution to Tourism” being awarded to the Protected Landscapes (The AONB’s, The South West Coast Path, The National Parks, the Geoparks and the World Heritage Sites). This collaborative award recognises that the combination value of the Protected Landscapes in the South West is the single most important contributor to the South west visitor-economy.
Alistair Handyside, Chairman of the Alliance says that the Protected Landscapes are; “the region’s best asset, they’re not only great for visitors, but is equally important to all that live in the wider region”, adding that they are “critical and integral to the visitor economies of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset”.