Panel Meets To Pave Way For New Unitary Tourism Body

Tourist Information Centre in Hugh Town

A group set up to pave the way for the new tourism body for Scilly has met for the first time.

The panel, which includes Councillor Christine Savill as Tourism Chair, Euan Rodger of Island Tourism, Diana Mompoloki from the Town Hall Economic Development team and Steve Hicks, representing St Mary’s Boatmen, was set up in response to the output of the Blue Sail tourism report.

The report recommended that the tourism functions of Island Tourism, The Council and Island Marketing should be amalgamated into a single body.

Julian Pearce from the TIC, and who sits on the panel, says one of the key discussion points will be over who pays for the operation of the new body. At the moment the Council puts the majority of cash in through Island Marketing but also by operating the TIC.

Julian Pearce

Julian says there is an opportunity to combine the financial muscle of the three groups and indeed, to raise even more finance to support islands’ tourism.

The group is also finalising its administrative status with a ‘task-and-finish’ group sorting out the legal framework that the new body will inherit and Julian says integrating all the operations into one body with a unified way of doing things will be a challenge.

Julian is also pleased that Steve will be offering input from the Boatmens’ perspective. He says it’s important for the group to ‘cast the net wide’ and get input from many stakeholders.

Julian was criticised by Vice Chair of Council, Marian Bennett, in a recent Council meeting for saying that building the new tourism body would take time.

But he says things need to be done properly as decisions made now could affect what happens for the next 20 or 30 years and a great deal has already been achieved this year.

Julian hopes the new body will be up and running, supporting our islands tourism industry, by next year.