A major blueprint for the region’s tourism industry was launched last week.
On Tuesday 19 May 2015, Shakespeare’s England, the tourism organisation for Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Kenilworth, Royal Leamington Spa and surrounding areas, revealed details of the area’s first ever destination management plan (DMP) at Kenilworth Castle in front of an audience of tourism stakeholders from across the region.
The event, attended by James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland, outlined how local tourism businesses and key stakeholders such as Birmingham Airport can work together to ensure that this intrinsic part of the local economy continues to grow and develop.
The tourism plan outlines the shared statement of intent of how the industry, local authorities and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership can develop the area as a visitor destination over the next decade. It clearly articulates the roles of these different stakeholders and identifies clear actions that they will take along with the apportionment of resources.
VisitEngland sees the development of DMPs throughout England as an essential tool for delivery of a successful visitor economy. The DMP will focus effort, reduce duplication and maximise investment in the right areas and furthermore, bring independent and individual partners together to benefit and develop the visitor economy.
The destination management plan outlines seven key areas for the development of the local visitor economy. These include developing the evidence base for information on tourism, destination and infrastructure development, market development, communication of the regional offer, product development, welcome and information, and the skills and business development.
It has been developed over the last 12 months in conjunction with many of the local tourism businesses and funded by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Warwickshire County Council. The plan will form a key part of the strategy to further develop tourism within the region.
Latest figures underline the importance of tourism to the local economy and indicate that from 2012 to 2013, the value of it in the Shakespeare’s England area rose by 15% to £631 million per annum, employing over 11,000 people.
James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland, commented: “It is fantastic that Shakespeare’s England has taken the lead to bring tourism businesses in the area together to create this destination management plan. These plans are an important part in the development of the local visitor economy and will help ensure that Shakespeare’s England continues to be one of the country’s leading tourist destinations.”
Jonathan Browning, Chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Tourism is an important sector in our economy in Coventry and Warwickshire which supports and creates jobs and allows businesses in this sector throughout the area to innovate and thrive.
“The Destination Management Plan will help us identify all the different ways we can work together to grow this important part of our local economy and build on our potential to attract even more visitors to the area.”