February 2019

With the advent of some unseasonably warm weather, February 2019 was looking brighter than expected for many. We saw plenty of sunny pictures of the town shared via social media, with even an ice cream or two included! February saw the first two Brian Jones tour dates run, along with the fantastic three-week-long Light Up Cheltenham which was unbelievably popular! Here’s an overview of what we got up to in February…

  • Kicking off February with perhaps the vibrant event of the year, Light Up Cheltenham saw the town transformed with illuminations and a vibrant atmosphere. This 2019 festival of light built on the success of the previous year, running for three weeks instead of just one, and lighting 47 buildings instead of the original 6. Visitors flocked from far and wide, and the event gained some unique exposure for the town including:
    • 3 hosted events on Facebook which reached:
      • Launch Event: Reached 91,000 people and secured 4,100 event responses
      • The Main Event: Reached 58,100 and secured 2,600 event responses
      • Observation Wheel: Reached 72,100 and secured 3,600 event responses.
    • Promotion on SoGlos, which as far as short term (2-4 week) promotions go, had the best results in 12 years of publishing content on SoGlos. The enhanced event listing was read by over 11,000 unique readers, the news feature about the wheel was read by over 18,000 unique readers, the editorial video was viewed over 13,000 times and the display adverts seen by over 120,000 unique readers delivering 749 clicks directly to the Visit Cheltenham website.
  • Launch of the Brian Jones Tour, to coincide with the Singer’s birthday. The first and second tour (which both ran in February), brought visitors to the town from as far away as Sheffield, as well as some local fans too! We also engaged local media and BBC Radio Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire Live and The Western Daily Press all took part.
  • Hosted our Quarterly Members Meeting to share news, updates, opportunities and discussions with all our lovely members. More than 30 were in attendance and some great discussions were had!
  • Launched the first of the new features on the website for 2019, which have improved bookability and availability searches on the website, particularly for accommodation businesses. The new developments, including Quick Book options, adopt best practice in booking from around the world and we anticipate an uplift in low-commission / commission-free bookings for our members.
  • We’re excited to have spent some of February scouting cricket pitch locations for a Bollywood Film. The producers, who want to use Gloucestershire’s cricket heritage as part of the film, would ideally like to spend some time on location in Cheltenham. We’ve provided a number of options, so watch this space…
  • As part of our strategy to grow the tourism opportunities within the town, we kicked off the process for recruiting a team of five, full-time experts. Job applications closed on 24 February and we had a whopping 265 applicants across the five roles. Interviews go ahead in March, so we’ll keep you posted.
  • Maximised the profile of the town and Cheltenham as a Destination by working with partners for promotional opportunities including:
    • Promoting the town using posters and signage regionally; thanks to GWR for their support
    • Sharing the latest event updates and content with our distribution partners including GWR and National Express via their websites
    • Provided unique content to our partners at Cotswold Tourism, including content for Mother’s Day, Feelgood February and a solus email to their database about The Festival and Cheltenham Races.
  • Met with the providers of T-Stats to look at the capabilities of the platform and how else these tourism stats can be supporting our members. We already gain insight into annual visitor figures, but there is so much more available through these means. Next step is to make use of some of the extended capability and apply the knowledge to the member base.
  • Fulfilled image and information requests from 24 journalists, including working with a number to profile Cheltenham as a Destination alongside features on The Festival. This included Town & Country, Mr & Mrs Smith, The Telegraph, Conde Nast & providing footage to support a Festival promotion video from This Racing Life.
  • Secured published press coverage of Cheltenham in February which reached 336,794 people nationally.
  • Grew the content on the website, with stats for February as follows:
    • Over 40,429 unique users for the month – a whopping uplift of 118.65% or 21,939 visitors to the site when compared with 2017
    • 99,120 page views, up 80% since last year when there were 55,068 page views .
  • Continued to build the Visit Cheltenham social media channels (which were revamped in April), including:14 pieces of content curated and distributed via the Visit Cheltenham blog
    • reaching 42,800 people via Twitter
    • reaching 74,569 people on Facebook and securing 16,460 individual engagements on our posts
    • reaching 46,670 people via Instagram.

Don’t forget, members are now eligible to join our private Facebook Group where we share news and opportunities as soon as they become available…

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