Tourism recovery package for Gloucestershire

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Tourism recovery package for Gloucestershire

Press Release issued by Gloucestershire County Council

With the flood water receding and the weather finally cheering up, Gloucestershireís tourist attractions are open for business.

Images of flooding and stories of water shortages understandably put many people off visiting Gloucestershire. But now tourist attractions across the county are ready to welcome back visitors from Britain and abroad, as well as local residents.

And a new marketing campaign to promote Gloucestershire and its attractions will get underway later this month. The campaign is being funded by the South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA), which is putting up £50,000 to support the campaign and provide other benefits for tourism businesses.

South West Tourism, working with The Cotswold and Forest of Dean Destination Management Organisation (DMO), will run the short-term campaign. It will include a million promotional inserts in the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday newspapers, plus online promotions with VisitBritain and video footage promoting Tewkesbury, Cheltenham and Gloucester as well as the wider county.

As part of its support for local tourism businesses, the RDA has also arranged to fully subsidise membership of South West Tourism for quality-assured accommodation providers for six months. This will enable them to gain a range of business benefits including additional free marketing on the regionís official tourism website www.visitsouthwest.co.uk and preferential rates on credit card processing, plus professional services such as legal advice.

Richard Thomas, the RDA's director of marketing, said: "Tourism is an important industry in Gloucestershire, so we were eager to work quickly with South West Tourism and the DMO to put together a marketing package that would help bring back visitors as quickly as possible.

"Whilst a small number of businesses have suffered substantially and will not be open for quite a long time, the vast majority of the county is now open for business and this is a message we will convey far and wide.

"This £50k package for marketing is in addition to the more general £2 million support scheme we announced last week."

Kirsty Cumming, head of marketing at South West Tourism, said: "Itís good news that this funding is available to help reassure visitors that Gloucestershire is open for business during this important time of year. Supporting the industry is key and we would encourage tourism businesses to take up the offer of what is essentially 'free' membership and the marketing that goes with it."

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive is Gloucestershire County Council's cabinet member for the economy, he said: "We are really grateful for this grant to help promote Gloucestershire - tourism is essential to the county's economy. We want everyone to know Gloucestershire is open and it's a wonderful place to visit. People will really enjoy the county if they make the effort to come here."

Gloucestershire has some stunning countryside and a range of tourist attractions, including:

* Country parks and picnic sites, such as Westonbirt Aboretum in the Cotswolds, Beechenhurst Picnic Site in the Forest of Dean, the commons around Stroud and the Rococo Gardens in Painswick

* Cotswold towns and villages, including Bourton on the Water, Fairford and Bibury

* Churches, including Gloucester Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey

* Shopping in Cheltenham and throughout the county, including Farmers' Markets

* Attractions for families, including Cotswold Farm Park, Prinknash Abbey and Deer & Bird Park, Cattle Country in Berkeley, Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Steam railways at Forest of Dean and Toddington, Over Farm in Gloucester and Clearwell Caves in the Forest of Dean

* Museums, including Corinium Museum in Cirencester, Cotswold Motoring Museum in Bourton on the Water and Stratford Park Museum in Stroud

* Theatres, including Rose's Theatre in Tewkesbury, Everyman in Cheltenham and The Guildhall in Gloucester

The county offers accommodation in friendly B&Bs, homely guest houses, country pubs, luxurious country-house hotels and trendy town centre hotels. The county also has pubs and restaurants serving everything from traditional English food to haute cuisine and food from around the world.

Posted : 14/08/2007 13:51:33

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