New Year update

Happy New Year from the team at Marketing Cheltenham! We’ve got a bumper issue, so read below for a full update, calls for content, events and news!

2020 Tourism Forum
Make sure you register for the 2020 Tourism Forum on Thursday 23rd January 2020 at the Cheltenham Doubletree by Hilton. The forum looks set to be the largest and most significant tourism industry event of the year and features an impressive programme of national speakers, including talks from Visit Britain, Barclays, Expedia and TXGB alongside some of the leading figures from the region’s tourism and hospitality sector. Places are limited, so make sure you book your place today to avoid missing out.

Better still, we’re able to offer our members a 20% discount on the delegate fee, making a full day ticket (including lunch) only £24 + VAT + bkg fee. Simply enter the promo code 3CCTF2020 when booking.

For further details and to book your place, click here: (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-three-counties-cotswolds-tourism-forum-2020-tickets-79355230631?ref=estw)

Light Up Cheltenham
Light Up Cheltenham will return on Saturday 1 February and will see landmark buildings dramatically lit up. Once again there will be a giant observation wheel in Imperial Gardens, however this year there will also be an interactive self-guided tour of the events, allowing visitors to find each building and find out a little bit more about them. For the first time there will also be a guided tour available to purchase from our local Blue Badge Guides, this tour will give a fascinating insight into the buildings and tell the human stories of the people who passed through them. We’re asking members to get involved by creating their own Light Up Cheltenham themed products which we’ll be able to promote alongside the event.

Call for content
We are really keen to encourage local businesses to run instore themed Light Up events i.e. themed light up cocktails, meals, glow in the dark evenings. If you decide this is something you can offer please add the event here https://www.visitcheltenham.com/whats-on/add-your-event and we will feature it here https://www.visitcheltenham.com/light-up-cheltenham and on our social media posts and in our newsletters.

Grants for rural and tourism businesses
In case you missed the announcement before Christmas and the recent workshops in December, a further round of European funding is now open for eligible, rural businesses in Gloucestershire.

If your business is based in Gloucestershire and you are considering a project to create jobs or bring more money into the rural economy you could be eligible for a grant of between £20,000 and £175,000. Grants are available for projects in three particular areas: Business Development, Food Processing and Rural Tourism Infrastructure.

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 16th February 2020.

To find out more – see https://www.gfirstlep.com/news/grants-available-for-rural-businesses/

Digital update – a Record Breaking Year
December was another record breaking month for the Visit Cheltenham website and social media channels with 56,300 visitors (and 105,500 page views) compared to 38,500 visitors for the same period last year. The giveaways ran via our Facebook page proved to be very popular increasing our newsletter subscribers by an additional 2,200+ people plus helping to generate 351,100 impressions on Facebook alone.  Thank you to all of the companies who kindly donated gifts for our giveaways.  We are running more giveaways to promote our next big event – Light Up Cheltenham.  If you wish to be featured in this free publicity contact Lisa on Lisa.Kowalkowski@marketingcheltenham.co.uk

2019 as a whole was a hugely successful – and a record breaking year for the Visit Cheltenham website, with visitors increasing by a massive 50% compared to 2018. Overall the site received over 590k website visitors (compared to 393k in 2018) and 1.25 million page views (compared to 975k in 2018).  Our combined social following (social media followers & newsletter subscribers) has also doubled from 15k to 30k+.

To take advantage of publicity for your business through Visit Cheltenham and our social channels we encourage you to join in with the calls for content, add your events via this link – https://www.visitcheltenham.com/whats-on/add-your-event and send special offers for this section of our website https://www.visitcheltenham.com/your-visit/special-offers direct to Lisa (email above).

Cheltenham FAM trip
This week we hosted our first FAM trip of 2020. Tuesday saw two representatives from AC Tours (a UK based travel company focused on Scandinavian clients) visit Cheltenham for the first time. With a tour and lunch at the Queens Hotel and a tour of Dunkerton’s cidery, the FAM trip proved a success, with Cheltenham due to be included in their next newsletter to their agencies.  Working alongside our colleagues at Cotswolds Tourism we will see two further overseas trade FAM trips by the end of February.