Following the launch of “Destination Cowes” last autumn at London’s World Travel Market, the partnership has had a busy first year working to attract increased cruise ship business and new events to Cowes, and has also laid strong foundations for further achievements in 2018.
Destination Cowes brings together some of the key stakeholder organisations in the towns of Cowes and East Cowes and is a collective made up of Cowes Town Council, Visit Isle of Wight, Cowes Harbour Commission, Red Funnel, Cowes Yacht Haven, Northwood House, English Heritage, and both Cowes and East Cowes Business Associations.
Successes from 2017 include the establishment of a new website and related social media to market Cowes to potential visitors. The new site is kindly hosted and managed by Visit Isle of Wight and can be accessed via www.cowes.co.uk or www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/cowes.
All Cowes and East Cowes businesses are entitled to a free listing on the Destination Cowes website, and if you haven’t already done so, we would encourage everyone to take up this great opportunity for free advertising. To find out more, please contact Jill Harlow at Visit Isle of Wight.
Also this year, a new visitor leaflet – “Explore Cowes” – was developed with the aim of attracting more mainland visitors to Cowes. The leaflet, with its colourful map highlighting some of the top attractions in and around Cowes and East Cowes, proved extremely popular and there are plans to do a reprint in time for Easter 2018.
The International Dragon fleet returned after a gap of seven years to compete for the Edinburgh Cup in July, assisted and supported by Destination Cowes, and a media campaign is soon to be initiated to attract additional regattas to Cowes, particularly outside of the peak season.
Most recently, Destination Cowes has been supporting Cowes Harbour Commission in developing marketing materials targeted at itinerary planners for small to medium-sized luxury cruise ships. This has already delivered some encouraging interest from five to seven star cruise line operators and a booking from Seabourn Quest to visit Cowes in 2019 during Panerai British Classic Week. In addition, Destination Cowes is seeking operators who can develop a wider range of tours, packages and activities that will be attractive to cruise ship guests calling at Cowes.
The full Destination Cowes Annual Review for 2017 is available to view below.
Destination Cowes objectives for 2018 will continue to focus on bringing more visitors and events to Cowes, and ideas for the future may include a combined approach to promoting live music in Cowes, a fine dining week, and new cultural festivals.
• Destination Cowes Annual Review 2017