15th October 2020

The English Riviera Destination Management Plan (DMP) brings the management of the destination together. It aims to provide a shared approach to ensure the whole destination and its tourism businesses are supported and developed.

Focusing on developing a successful visitor economy, the Plan presents clear actions and the different stakeholders involved to take Torbay, as a destination, forward. The Destination Management Group (DMG) has collective responsibility for the plan and currently meet online every 6 weeks.

As Chair of the group, I would like to share a summary of our recent meeting, some of the highlights and excellent work going on behind the scenes recently.

The English Riviera BID Company is led by CEO Carolyn Custerson, who gave feedback on some of the key aspects they are working on. Importantly, they are continuing to update businesses in the Bay on a very regular basis, with Covid-19 related updates and lobbying government, supporting the sector to recover and repair.

The ERBID are also continuing to invest in a number of targeted digital marketing campaigns to promote the English Riviera, including ‘Autumn Adventures Await’ and the Government funded ‘Enjoy Summer Safely’ national domestic campaign.   

Martin Thomas from Torbay Culture reported on the Great Place Scheme 2017-20 which is in its final phase of three-year programme. There have been a wide range of engaging activities including place shaping, audience development, health and wellbeing, as well as destination management.

The themes all connect across the Bay and have helped to support the next steps in the future of the Bay as a destination, identifying the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark and birthplace of Agatha Christie as important cultural assets.

Rebecca Davies is Senior Economic Development Officer at TDA and is central to the DMG partnership. Becky has recently supported businesses with their Kickstart Grant applications and co-ordinated the launch of Be the Business, a new support programme for tourism and hospitality businesses to improve productivity and resilience.

The free programme includes one to one surgeries, peer to peer support groups and a series of eight masterclasses. The feedback from business is that this is hugely welcomed at this time, the programme runs until 1st December. To sign up click here

Furthermore, TDA is now rolling out Torbay employer expressions of interest applications for the Kickstart Scheme, a Government scheme for six-month work placements for young people aged 16-24 who are currently on universal credit and therefore at risk of long–term employment. This is hugely positive and gives people a real chance to retrain in this difficult time.

As the skills lead in the DMG I was delighted to be able to report on the increase in student enrolments at the College, in both Further and Higher Education in the Tourism, Hospitality curriculums.

The increase in student numbers is being managed very carefully to maintain social distancing. Many of our groups across College now have online/blended learning to reduce overall numbers on site. 

We are also seeing a return of employers wishing to take on Apprentices to grow their own workforce for the future. The South Devon College website has seen a big increase in searches looking for information on Tourism and Hospitality courses, which is really positive.

To get in touch about Destination Management contact Rebecca.davies@tda.uk.net or lynnstephens@southdevon.ac.uk.  

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