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Exmoor Tourism Partnership Newsletter

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  • From the Chairman

    www.exmoortourismpartnership.org.uk

    The 2012 Exmoor Tourism

    Conference takes place on the 28

    November from 10am to 4pm at

    Halsway Manor in the Quantock

    Hills.

    Highlights of the day will be hearing

    from Kevin Redpath on New Media

    and James Crowden about Literary

    Somerset (see back page). The day

    will also include workshops and

    news round shorts that are sure to

    give you lots of tips, ideas and help

    in converting potential customers.

    Lovely Halsway Manor located

    within the Quantock Hills Area of

    Outstanding Natural Beauty is our

    host for this year, and we do hope

    that you will take advantage of

    visiting this 'extension' to the

    stunning landscapes of Exmoor. We

    will be allowing plenty of time for

    networking with industry colleagues

    both old and new.

    Book early to avoid

    disappointment by downloading

    a form from the ETP website.

    Another year has passed and, despite

    the continuing challenge of the

    economic climate and even bigger

    challenges from our natural climate,

    the tourism sector in our area has

    continued to make significant strides.

    In 2012, your Tourism Partnership was

    further strengthened with new core

    partners Somerset County Council

    and North Devon+, and associate

    members Quantock Hills AONB and

    Somerset Tourism Association, its

    Chairman Bob Smart being a welcome

    contributor to our quarterly meetings.

    Our meetings are short, focussed and

    collaborative: how can we best use our

    combined resources? There is no time

    for protectionism or politics. Every

    partner is focussed on the health of

    the tourism sector and making it

    strong and self-supporting going

    forward. Long may it continue! Some

    highlights since our last newsletter

    The industry is now managing the

    Visit Exmoor and Visit Somerset web-

    sites

    Exmoor Tourist Association com-

    pleted a robust business plan, essential

    to satisfy investors and attract and re-

    tain members

    The Walking Festival ran without

    heavy subsidy, working to a clear finan-

    cial plan

    West Somerset Council has ap-

    pointed Rob Downes as its Tourism

    Officer and is working closely with

    partners to gain maximum benefit from

    any Hinkley Point planning gain

    Exmoor National Park Authority

    has granted a further 45.5k from its

    discretionary budget towards fulfilling

    years two and three of our three

    year marketing plan

    We are strengthening skills in the

    tourism industry, mindful that we are

    in it for the long haul and local au-

    thority funding cannot be guaranteed

    North Devon+ has been tremen-

    dously supportive with numerous

    training seminars to improve skills,

    employee culture and the pursuit of

    excellence and a forum for people to

    swap ideas.

    We have a superb marketing group,

    with members from key local

    enterprises the small sums of money available to our partners goes

    so much further when marketing is a

    collaborative venture, with no

    duplication of effort. Digital

    marketing and social media are taking

    an ever higher profile and I for one

    am pleased that we have the com-

    bined support of some of the best

    marketing and PR brains in the SW.

    Clearly, tourism continues to make a

    vital contribution to the wider

    economy of Greater Exmoor. ETP

    will do everything it can to ensure

    tourisms pivotal role in the areas economic health is given due

    recognition, both locally and nation-

    ally. I very much look forward to

    seeing you at our November confer-

    ence.

    Evelyn Stacey, Chairman

    Exmoor Tourism Partnership

    Exmoor Touir Tourism Conference

    2012 update

  • Heavens Above

    At the end of last year Exmoor Na-

    tional Park Authoritys bid for Ex-moor to be designated the first Dark

    Sky Reserve in Europe was an-

    nounced as successful.

    Since then tremendous press cover-

    age has been achieved in most na-

    tional papers, a

    range of maga-

    zines and a live

    screening from

    Dulverton on the

    popular BBC Star-

    gazing Live pro-

    gramme with Prof.

    Brian Cox.

    Dark Sky Reserve Pocket Guides are

    available from the National Park Au-

    thority to help your guests explore

    the heavens above.

    European shows, and an online

    version of the guide.

    Find out more by visiting www.exmoortourismpartnership.org.uk.

    Stunning New Guide Around

    The Corner The 2013 version of the highly

    praised Exmoor, the Coast and

    Quantock Hills visitor guide is set to

    hit shelves this December. If you

    would like to book advertising space

    in this years guide call us on 01271

    336 037 before the deadline of 31

    October 2012.

    Pre-VAT advertising prices have been

    held at the same rates as the past

    two years, and with a full programme

    of marketing activity planned

    throughout 2013, entry in the guide

    offers excellent value in promoting

    your business to tens of thousands of

    potential visitors.

    Next years accompanying marketing plan will include national PR and

    distribution, regional and national

    advertising campaigns, e-marketing,

    promotion at national and

    Mobile sites are designed to be

    quick and fit neatly on a mobile de-

    vice screen without the need to

    zoom or scroll sideways.

    The VE website stats already show

    that 19.5% of visitors are viewing

    the current site on mobile devices.

    At the moment their experience will

    not be brilliant as they will have to

    scroll and zoom to see the content.

    This figure has grown rapidly in the

    last 3 months from about 10%, so

    there is clearly a need for this mo-

    bile site as more people get

    smartphones.

    This new mobile site, coupled with

    visit-exmoor will make our site even

    more attractive to advertisers as it

    becomes more accessible. One of

    the main strengths of being part of a

    main tourism destination site is that

    search engines see this site as very

    important. This means we enjoy

    good listing positions for our

    keywords. But a less obvious major

    advantage is the link from the VE

    site to yours. This is a powerful

    relevant inward link to your site,

    boosting your own sites positioning

    on search engines. As we know,

    getting relevant inward links to our

    tourism accommodation websites is

    a nightmare, so links from major

    local sites are very effective.

    Visit-Exmoor Web Update &

    New Mobile Site The Visit Exmoor website

    (www.visit-exmoor.co.uk) is

    performing well, getting about 8000

    visitors each month who stay on the

    site for over 3.5 minutes each. 25% of

    these visitors return to find out more

    information. Looking at the way they

    go through the site, the Where to

    Stay section is the most visited,

    followed by the Must See and Do

    pages.

    The new Exmoor TV advert caused a

    noticeable peak in visits to the site

    and the Exmoor Guinea has also

    generated interest. Like the Groat

    before it, it produced a lot of free

    publicity for the area including articles

    in two national papers, and we have

    had a few reports of it bringing in

    business.

    We are now building a new mobile

    website for Visit Exmoor, funded

    through Western Somerset Local

    Action for Rural Communities

    (LARC) scheme, West Somerset

    Council, Exmoor Tourist Association

    and Exmoor National Park Authority.

    This new site will reflect the standard

    VE website showing all the

    accommodation providers, events

    and things to do through searches.

    Good management needs good re-

    search and monitoring. Over the

    years weve collected some good quality data on why people come,

    what they like, dislike and what they

    do when they're here. Now, for the

    first time we have some up to date

    information on why people dont visit, thanks to research conducted

    by the University of Exeter with the

    Exmoor National Park Authority.

    89% of respondents had heard of

    the area and nearly 50% of non-

    visitors had no particular reason for

    not visiting before. Several of Ex-

    moors selling points were rated as strongly desirable or desirable by over 70% of respondents (such as

    being a haven for wildlife; offering plenty of opportunities to relax and unwind; hosting the highest coastal cliffs in the country; being Europes first ever International Dark Sky Reserve and containing a wealth of history and heritage). The full re-port can be downloaded from the

    Community section of the Exmoor

    National Park Authority website.

    Non-Visitor Research

  • In 2012 for the first time we

    ventured overseas and represented

    Exmoor at Vakantiebeurs which is a

    very large travel show in Utrecht.

    Interestingly we heard from many of

    the visitors to the stand that they

    were not visiting the UK in 2012

    Prices will be very expensive and travel will be very difficult becau

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