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News - 17/10/16

CHC supports Visit Isle of Wight at World Travel Market

In brief: Visit Isle of Wight looks to the global tourism market to grow visitor numbers over the next five years.

Today (Monday, 17th October 2016), Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) has announced plans to showcase the Isle of Wight at the World Travel Market this November. This new initiative is one of the first activities funded by the newly established WIGHT BID, in which over 1,000 tourism businesses are collectively funding projects to increase their returns from the visitor economy through a statutory investment arrangement introduced on the Island this September.

Staged annually, World Travel Market (WTM) is the leading global event for the travel industry and travel media, and takes place in London’s ExCel exhibition centre from 7th to 9th November. Around 50,000 travel industry professionals are expected to meet, network and conduct business at the show, which is attended by almost 200 countries from around the world.

David Thornton, Chief Executive for VIOW said: “Currently only 5% of our annual visitors originate overseas, and this number has remained stubbornly low for many years. To grow our overseas volume, we need to team up with travel agencies and inbound operator partners who can sell holidays to the Isle of Wight across the counter in other parts of the world. Being at this show, alongside Visit Britain, and many of the UK’s established inbound carriers, is essential if we are to increase our share of this global tourism market in years to come.”

The Isle of Wight stand (stand number UKI166) will promote the Island’s heritage, stressing connections with internationally recognised names including Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Tennyson, Churchill, and the Isle of Wight Festival. A new destination manual will list all WIGHT BID levy payer businesses and provide maps, local information and new itineraries that tour operators and travel agents can use to promote the Island and build marketing programmes to support consumer sales.

Visit Isle of Wight will be joined by the newly formed Destination Cowes partnership, who are co-investors in the exhibition, with the aim of attracting more cruise ship business and new events to Cowes.

Capt. Stuart McIntosh, Cowes Harbour Master, said: “There is real potential to establish Cowes as a popular cruise ship destination and with its central south coast location, it is an ideally situated port-of-call for cruise ship operators catering to the northern European luxury cruise market.”

The Destination Cowes partnership will also be launched at the show: a collective made up of Cowes Town Council, Visit Isle of Wight, the Cowes Harbour Commission, Red Funnel, Cowes Yacht Haven, English Heritage, and Cowes and East Cowes Business Associations.

£5,500 of the WIGHT BID fund is being invested in the World Travel Market exhibition this year. So far, Visit Isle of Wight has committed £35,000 of the annual levy fund in early projects to grow the visitor economy on the Island. Full details of the 2017 plan will be revealed at a Marketing Briefing for all levy payers to be held at Shanklin Theatre on 1st November. More details can be found here: https://isleofwightbid.com/events/

Just over 1,000 WIGHT BID levy payers will receive their annual bill this week. The documentation, sent by Isle of Wight Council on behalf of the BID company, lists key activities planned over the next six months. Visit Isle of Wight is urging tourism providers to pay their bill promptly so that funds can be committed to new marketing campaigns aimed at increasing the number of first time visitors to the Island next year.

Notes to Editors
Photo: At Osborne House, East Cowes, Isle of Wight attached (L to R): David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, Bryn Jones, Marketing Manager, English Heritage, Charlotte Clark from Chale Bay Farm – a member of the WIGHT BID governance transition panel – and Mark McNeill, the Chairman of Destination Cowes.

Visit Isle of Wight
Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.

As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwightpro.com

The Wightpress site brings you all the latest news and views from the Isle of Wight: http://visitwightpress.com/

For more information about World Travel Market, please visit: http://www.wtmlondon.com/