Tourism Partnership Chairman Answers Concerns

Chris Gregory, Chair of the Island Tourism and Business Partnership

The chairman of the Islands’ Tourism and Business Partnership, the public and private sector joint initiative that has taken over the roles of Island Tourism, Island Marketing and the tourist board, has been answering locals’ criticisms and concerns.

Some islanders say they are worried that there doesn’t appear to have been a high level of promotional activity in the past year, at a time when visitor numbers are falling.

Chairman, Chris Gregory, says the islands have received exposure that other destinations “would weep for.”

There has been an emphasis on generating exposure in targeted, niche publications, like nature or photography magazines, so not everybody may see that. But Chris also cautioned that Scilly has been experiencing this type of promotion for some time, yet visitor numbers are still falling, and he says the marketing will need tweaking to make sure it’s more effective.

Next year it should be apparent whether that strategy is paying off.

Today, six marketing businesses will pitch for the promotional contract on behalf of the partnership, including current Island Marketing appointee, Mercury PR.

Chris says the partnership took the brave decision earlier this year not to appoint someone to the lead tourism position because, after interviewing, they didn’t want to put the wrong person in the post. Now they’ve redefined the role and job adverts have been placed for a ‘tourism coordinator.’

From Radio Scilly

Chris Gregory discusses the Tourism and Business Partnership

Vice chairman of the former Island Tourism group, Euan Rodger, has questioned the salary level being offered for the tourism role. He questions whether the salary range of between £28,000 and £33,000 a year will attract someone of the right calibre.

One difficulty in attracting applicants to the previously advertised job was the short contract being offered – the funding runs out at the end of next December.

Chris says the successful applicant will be expected to find grants and, if it’s felt a chief executive needs recruiting, the coordinator can try and secure additional funding. Chris says they can’t carry on using LAG funding forever, and the organisation needs to be put on a sustainable footing.

They’ll also need to encourage the business sector to work together and bring a consistent level of quality, value for money and experience for visitors. That could include seamless offers and promotions, organised between the travel operators and the accommodation providers.

Chris says he hopes to get somebody in the job by Christmas and the closing date for applicants is November 17th.

Another problem facing the new body is the delay in producing the 2013 tourism brochure.

Chris says it is because they have changed the way it’s put together. He says there is no need to get it into the marketplace until Christmas anyway and its publication will meet the partnership’s agreed deadline of the end of the year.

The Partnership will work closely with Visit Cornwall, says Chris, as the islands are a major asset for the mainland tourism promoters and joint working could benefit both areas.


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