March 2020

We’ve been busy here at Marketing Cheltenham HQ this month, with plenty of work on future events and promoting current ones. Alongside that we’ve had FAM trips, collaborations and plenty of planning! Read on to find some key things we’d like to update you on:


Coronavirus

There’s lots of guidance available on the potential impact of Coronavirus and we’ve pulled together some of this helpful advice into a quick snapshot:

There is also advice for small businesses and FSB members – https://www.fsb.org.uk/resources-page/advice-to-small-businesses-and-fsb-members-about-the-novel-coronavirus-covid-19.html?utm_source=Announcement&utm_medium=Feb&utm_campaign=coronavirus

Although it isn’t an outbreak, it has the potential to be one and it is important for businesses to plan for that possibility.

From contact with a number of our accommodation members over the past week, we are aware that cancellations are beginning to come in from some overseas markets. In order to continue to monitor this impact and any potential response, we’d be grateful if members could continue to update us on any loss of business, or significant additional cancellations over the coming days and weeks. Please email david.jackson@marketingcheltenham.co.uk with your updates, or any general feedback on the current impact within your business.

Updates

Map guide advertising

Our Visit Cheltenham 2020 visitor guide will be printed in April and there is an opportunity to advertise in it! With over 70,000 guides distributed across the wider region, this is a fantastic opportunity to get your business in front of a big audience! If you’d like to find out more about our advertising opportunities, please contact emma.gill@marketingcheltenham.co.uk.

Christmas 2020
Members will hopefully already be aware that permission for a new ice rink on Imperial Gardens was approved by Cheltenham Borough Council last year. With the need to move the ice rink to the adjacent quarter of Imperial Gardens, Cheltenham BID, who are leading the ice rink project, have also revealed plans in their revised application for an expanded Christmas Market alongside the ice rink and the prospect of a significantly enhanced Christmas offer in Cheltenham in 2020. See the BID’s recent press announcement here.
The rink is certain to create a great visitor experience, bringing even more visitors into the town. The ice rink will be covered making it the only one in Gloucestershire to be used whatever the weather!. If you’re interested in sponsorship opportunities for Christmas 2020, please contact Tara at tara.sanchez@marketingcheltenham.co.uk

(Image shows the rink at the Cardiff Winter Wonderland, which was run by 11th Hour, who will operate the Cheltenham rink)

Member meeting
Date:     Wednesday 25th March 2020
Venue:  Cowley Manor
Time:    1pm – 2:30pm – Hoteliers Meeting
             3pm – 4:30pm – Members Meeting

We can’t believe it’s already March! Which also means it’s nearly our Member Meeting! We really look forward to the chance to say hello to you all, give some updates and listen to you, get updates and gather suggestions. It’s already great to see so many of you joining but there’s always room for more! It’s only for a few hours, is a great chance to catch up on all things Cheltenham and meet plenty of people. To RSVP email tara.sanchez@marketingcheltenham.co.uk.


In other news…
Cheltenham has welcomed three familiarisation trips since the beginning of the year, with fantastic responses from those who have visited. In February we had two travel trade businesses visit, Hotels & More and Scancoming, giving them an opportunity to see Cheltenham and find out more about what the town has to offer. Thank you to those who hosted them whilst they were here! If you would like to be involved with any future FAM trips please contact emma.gill@marketingcheltenham.co.uk.

Cheltenham has its very own Olive Magazine foodie guide! Late last year Marketing Cheltenham supported a press visit from Olive Magazine – one of the UK’s leading and most highly respected foodie publications. We were delighted to welcome Olive writer Hannah Guiness to Cheltenham and to assist her in producing her guide to places to eat in Cheltenham – and it’s great to see this has now been published. If you’d like the opportunity to benefit from any future reviews/press trips, please contact emma.gill@marketingcheltenham.co.uk.

We’ve also recently collaborated with the University of Gloucestershire journalism students who, as part of a final year assignment, worked with us to create a digital magazine focused on race week. The piece will be available online very soon, so keep an eye out for it! A big thank you to all our members who gave their time to help the students with content for this brilliant magazine!


Digital update
February was another record breaking month for the Visit Cheltenham website with a 47% increase in website visits compared to February 2019 and a 20% increase in overall page views. 

Light Up Cheltenham proved to be popular with nearly 75k visits to the website to seek out information and a reach on social media of 1.33 million. This publicity along with coverage in local and regional media plus distribution of the Light Up Cheltenham guide, resulted in a staggering 5,000 people attending the launch night on the 1 February.

A media launch night was hosted by the Marketing Cheltenham team at Bar Padron to promote the three-week event. It generated some great content from local influencers and regional media including videos, social posts and blog posts. Two highlights include: https://www.facebook.com/thisbristolbrood/videos/525340074776795/ – video by This Bristol Brood and https://splodzblogz.co.uk/2020/02/20/light-up-cheltenham/ – Zoe from SplodzBlogz

An award winning travel writer and highly influential family travel blogger also visited Cheltenham during February to review member hotels. Kirstie from the Family Adventure Project who stayed at the Queens Hotel and Carrie from Flying with a Baby who stayed with her family and dog at the DoubleTree to produce these two SEO articles which you can find on her website here.

Many thanks to the members involved in hosting these trips and Matt at Bar Padron for hosting the Light Up Cheltenham launch night.  If you’re interested in hosting future trips for bloggers/influencers please contact Lisa.Kowalkowski@marketingcheltenham.co.uk

That’s all from us for now! We wish you all a fantastic race week!