The Isle of Wight ‘Tourism Open Day’ organised by the IW Chamber of Commerce last week proved to be a great success. About 200 businesses expressed their support to revitalise tourism by creating the UK’s largest business-led destination management organisation.
Delegates at the Tourism Open Day were told that the industry could not afford to wait any longer for the Isle of Wight Council to take the lead.
Business plans for the new destination management and marketing organisation are already drafted. Development work and product launches are being planned leading up to October, when a new website under the working title GoWight will be fully in operation, and the organisational structure of Isle of Wight Tourism Limited will be in place.
David Groocock, chair of the Chamberâ€™s Tourism Board, said:
â€œThe waiting is over. We recognise the need for strategic vision but businesses throughout the island are asking, what about here and now?
â€œOur proposals are the start of a new future for tourism and, of course, the door remains open to the Council if it decides to get involved in the future. This is the start of something really exciting.â€
Tim Addison, former Head of Tourism for the Council, who is now advising the Chamber, said the next step was to enable direct member involvement in the new range of tourism products, and he will also be meeting each tourism sector to agree objectives and actions.
He told the conference, at Gurnard Pines: â€œVisitor figures are now static, and in some cases declining. But by working together and selling the island, we can turn this around.â€
Tourism is worth about £360 million to the local economy and supports up to 30,000 jobs.
Chamber chief executive Kevin Smith said: â€œIsle of Wight tourism is now very much on the road again. We all want success for the islandâ€™s tourism industry, and everyone at the Chamber looks forward to working with our members and partners to make this happen.â€
Vincent Woods Isle of Wight Community News @Island Pulse.
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