With Cornwall now firmly ranked as the number one destination in the UK for visitor satisfaction and repeat business, local residents and businesses are being asked to help ensure it keeps its place in the face of mounting competition from both at home and abroad.
With the latest figures showing an average 4.5 million staying visitors a year, spending £1.86 billion in the local economy and supporting around 42,300 jobs, tourism in Cornwall really matters.
Traditionally seen as a bucket and spade industry focused on the peak summer season, the past few years has seen Cornish tourism transformed into a high quality, niche market which uses Cornwall’s distinctive landscape, coastline, beaches, heritage and culture and world renowned food and drink to promote itself on the world stage.
Now Cornwall Council and Visit Cornwall want to build on this success and ensure that Cornwall keeps its number one spot by developing a new Visitor Economy Strategy which will help move the industry into the 21st century.
Julian German, the Council’s cabinet member for economy and culture, said: “Although Cornwall has been very successful in its transformation over the past few years, we know that the rest of the world has also been rising to changes and challenges in the market.
“Our competitors, both in the UK and overseas, are busy capturing new, high-spending customers and developing new and emerging niche markets, especially within cultural tourism, international visits and a year round offer and we need to ensure they do not beat us at our own game.”
The new Strategy, which has been developed following a widespread review of tourism over the past two years, sets out a number of priorities and areas for action.
Copies of the strategy are now available for consultation on the Visit Cornwall website. Tourism businesses, those working in the industry and the general public are all invited to share their comments on the draft document.
“We know that there is less money available to invest in new facilities and so it is even more important that we all work together to move Cornish tourism forward,” added Malcolm Bell, head of Visit Cornwall.
“The Strategy sets out how we think tourism in Cornwall needs to change but we now want to hear the views of partners and businesses involved in this sector.”
Consultation on the Strategy will run until April 12. The results will then be considered by the Council’s Cabinet and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.