Tourism plans for Cheltenham – make sure you’re part of it

As a valued member of the Cheltenham visitor economy we want to take this opportunity to update you on the latest visitor statistics, the plans to revitalise marketing to support Cheltenham’s visitor economy and to ask you to get involved.

2015 visitor volume and value figures for Cheltenham

New figures released for Cheltenham have revealed that the tourism economy in Cheltenham in 2015 was worth £154 million, an increase of 5% on 2014. Although day visitors are down 1% at 1,822,000, staying nights are up 2% (356,300 visits), with UK visitors to the town increasing by 5%.

A bit of an update on what’s been happening over the past two years

In 2014 The Cheltenham Trust was formed. The Cheltenham Trust is an independent registered charity focused on developing Cheltenham’s culture and sport offer through community engagement, sustainable investment and social enterprise. Included in their remit is the delivery of a tourist information service.

In late 2014 the Cheltenham Tourism Partnership was also established to represent businesses across the tourism spectrum, those involved include Cheltenham Hospitality Association, Chamber of Commerce, The Jockey Club, Cheltenham Borough Council, The Cheltenham Trust, Cheltenham Festivals, the Cheltenham BID and the University of Gloucestershire.

During 2014/15 Cheltenham Borough Council commissioned a review of strategic and operational tourism which identified an ambitious vision to take tourism forward to 2020. The Tourism Partnership is working together to take this ambition forward to find a much bigger and better solution to promoting Cheltenham to the world, and to attract a greater share of the tourism market, both domestic and international. A tourism strategy will be shared with you in the New Year.

The plan for the year ahead

In July 2016 Kelly Ballard was recruited on a one-year contract to lead on bringing the Cheltenham tourism industry together, as well as delivering the first year of the tourism and marketing strategy.

To give you an understanding of what we are trying to achieve, the aims for the year have been outlined:

  • The initial resources are in place and they are starting to deliver tangible marketing results
  • A three-year tourism and marketing strategy is in place
  • A business model is in development to sustain the future marketing of Cheltenham
  • The tourism industry businesses of Cheltenham feel that they have a positive structure taking forward the needs of individual businesses as well as understanding the bigger picture
  • The Cheltenham brand is defined and new marketing assets disseminated to all related stakeholders (internal and external)
  • Cheltenham is clearly positioned within the Gloucestershire/Cotswold offer and a strategy for working with Cotswolds DMO and Marketing Gloucester in place
  • Connections have been firmly established with the key tourism organisations such as VisitEngland and VisitBritain
  • A system of business barometer measurement and evaluation is in place to monitor success

The Tourism Partnership will be meeting every two months and a marketing group will be set up who will also meet every two months.

Tourism Forum – watch this space

In February we plan to hold a tourism forum where we would like all businesses to attend who are interested in benefiting from tourism and the visitor economy. We’ll send you details of this in the next few weeks.

Next steps for you

Correct contact details: Please ensure we have your correct contact information so we can continue to update you as things progress. Please send any updated email addresses to Claire.a.cook@cheltenham.gov.uk

Send us your events for 2017: We are pulling together an anti-clash diary for 2017 to help with event planning. Please can you send your planned (and pencilled) events, any key anniversaries you have and any themes you are planning for 2017 (and 2018 if you have them). This diary will not be used for publicity purposes, simply for planning purposes for the moment. Please send all events to Claire.a.cook@cheltenham.gov.uk

Update Visitcheltenham.com with your events: You can add your events for free reaching thousands of people per month. Click on the ‘Submit event’ button on the top right of every page of the site to add your own events. Note: You will need to provide an image in order to get the event approved.

In other news:

South West Group Travel Show – Cheltenham Racecourse, February 4th February 2017

The Cheltenham Trust is excited to be exhibiting and working with Group Travel Organiser to welcome the group travel sector to this successful event which usually attracts 200 groups. We will be welcoming employer’s sports and social clubs, women’s groups, retirement associations, special interest groups, together with specialist travel trade.

To find out more about the South West Group Travel Show or to book an exhibition stand, please contact Sarah Jeffery at Group Travel Organiser – t: 01288 361490,
e: sarah.jeffery@grouptravelorganiser.com

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch and subscribe for further updates.