Businesses are urged to get involved in promoting town
Businesses which benefit from tourism are being encouraged to do their bit to help put Berwick on the map.
The call was made by Andy Ashcroft, Welcome Visitor project manager, at Berwick Tourism Conference.
“We don’t have our businesses working together well enough,” he said. “They are disjointed.”
He urged businesses to add their entries to the England Coast tourism website and to sign up for the Berwick ambassadors scheme which aims to ensure visitors make the most of their stay.
The two-year Welcome Visitor project is funded by a £304,000 grant from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund.
“There are a series of actions we are looking to take forward,” he added. “It’s about effective communication and how we market Berwick.
“There have been concerns that websites like Visit Berwick needed to be improved and we are looking to do that but there was a feeling that more than that was needed which is why we brought in Wayne Hemingway to do his place branding work.
“It’s important we engage with our tourism businesses as they are going to be the drivers of job creation and skills development within the local economy.”
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The team is also working with Berwick Academy on a future skills programme focused on customer service and hospitality training.
The programme could eventually be rolled out to the wider community.
Another aim is to build on the highly successful autumn festival programme by building up the town’s events offer.
“We think there is potential to improve the events programme and boost visitor numbers,” he said.
“A project like this will never deliver the silver bullet to deliverBerwick’s tourism future. £300,000 isn’t going to cut it but there is a willingness to invest in tourism in Berwick and other related activities so the advantage of this project is that we’re not pushing a rock uphill.”
He felt that planned developments at Tweed Dock, a new Premier Inn and the proposed new leisure centre were all encouraging signs alongside opportunities at the Barracks, The Maltings and quayside.
The project aims to ensure that Berwick gets the maximum economic return from tourism and visitor markets by establishing it as a visitor destination, increasing visitor footfall, encouraging extending visitor stay and extending the current visitor season.