Project aims to boost town's visitor appeal
Tourism-related businesses are being encouraged to do their bit to help raise the profile of the Berwick area.
Berwick’s Welcome Visitor project, funded by a £304,000 grant from the Government’s Coastal Community Fund, wants businesses to register for a new visitor website - www.englandscoast.comJenna Shields, Welcome Visitor project officer, said: “We’re working with englandscoast on an ambassador programme giving tourism-related businesses training on how to welcome visitors, ask them what their plans are for their time here and make their own suggestions on what to do and where to go.
“It’s an opportunity to advertise their business on a national website - and it’s free.”
It is also planned to organise familiarisation visits and tourism fair so local businesses are better aware of what is available.
Hospital and skills training is also envisaged.
A branding development plan is also being drawn up, with the tender exercise led by Berwick Town Council.
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Andy Ashcroft, Welcome Visitor project manager, said: “It’s a significant piece of work for the town. We see it as under-pinning what the Welcome Visitor project is about but helping Berwick and its businesses to move forward.
“It has stemmed from the tourism conference in the town hall when a lot of comments were made that Berwick needed to have a rethink on how it markets itself to visitors.
“It’s a competitive market and it’s a positive that Berwick does well to sustain the level of interest from visitors that it already does. We’re very good at getting people to come and stay here but not so good at converting those stays into people actually spending time and money in the town itself because they’ve headed off to Bamburgh, Holy Island and Alnwick.
“We have some really nice attractions here but they need to be promoted better and all businesses that rely on tourism in some way can play a part in doing that.”