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The Alliance

In 2011 South West Tourism, the Regional Tourist Board for South West England, was disbanded by the Coalition Government. The private sector industry came together to form the South West Tourism Alliance. Our initial goals were to maintain and protect the following critical services:


  • Tourism specific training

  • Tourism specific research and data

  • The Regional Excellence Awards

  • Green Tourism support


This has been achieved and all of these areas are now run by the private sector. In addition the South West Tourism Alliance was tasked by the Members to lobby on key issues relevant to the region. We organise newsletters, social media and meetings to maintain communication with the industry.


The council is formed from both the private and public sectors. No-one is paid for their contribution and all positions are voluntary. 


Membership of the South West Tourism Alliance is free and is available to two types of organisation. The first are Membership groups that operate in the visitor economy in the South West. The British Hospitality Association SW, National Trust SW and Bed & Breakfast Association SW are good examples. The second group are Commercial Members, these might not have Members but operate in the visitor economy in the South West. Examples of these would be The Arts Council, City Councils, County Councils and Universities, as well as marketing or PR companies focussed on this sector. The “Visits”, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset etc are also represented. There are now over 100 Members covering all aspects of the visitor economy in this region.

Membership is free; funds are raised through sponsoring Membership newsletters, meetings and fund raising dinners. There are two full Membership meetings a year where guest speakers are invited to present in addition to the Alliance giving updates of their activity.


In 2014 the work of the South West Tourism Alliance was recognised at the prestigious British Travel Awards, where it was awarded Best UK Regional Tourism Enterprise. In 2016 the South West Tourism Excellence Awards presented Alistair Handyside with the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award for his work at the South West Tourism Alliance.


If you require any further information please contact us

How are funds raised?


  • Twice a year fund-raising dinners are held at Higher Wiscombe. Around 55 Members attend and as no costs are offset, bar the base cost of ingredients and drink, each raises from £1250-£2000.


  • Regular newsletters are sent out to the database (more than 9,000 businesses) and these are generally sponsored.


  • We also seek sponsorship of the conferences, generally to offset the provision of teas and coffees as many are provided free of charge by Members.


What is the money spent on?


The biggest cost is the distribution of the newsletter, sending to over 9,000 businesses via a newsletter programme is increasingly costly. We also pay for the newsletters to be professionally put together. 


Another occasional expense is booking rooms large enough to host in excess of 100 delegates plus teas and coffees, if not sponsored. 


Train fares are occasionally expensed, as are entrance fees for attending relevant meetings.


We also pay the annual Membership fee for the national Tourism Alliance.

If you require any further information please contact us

Alistair & some else
Alliance Finance
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