Only a few weeks remain for leisure and hospitality sector businesses to take advantage of the free Visitor Economy Support Programme.

11 Jan 2021

Only a few weeks remain for leisure and hospitality sector businesses to take advantage of the free Visitor Economy Support Programme.



“Only a few weeks remain for leisure and hospitality sector businesses to take advantage of the free Visitor Economy Support Programme. This scheme provides 1-2-1 unique diagnostic consultancy from sector specialists, tailored to your business and can help with topics such as forward planning, online booking, an effective digital presence and the ability to stand out in the marketplace.

Key Opportuities to learn include:
  • forward planning 
  • developing your product
  • ease of discovery and online booking
  • an effective digital presence and the skills to maintain it
  • effective customer communication and ability to stand out in the marketplace


This is only open to members in the Exmoor, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip, Sedgemoor and South Somerset regions. It does not include Bath and North East Somerset & North Somerset    

Introducing the Visitor Economy Support Programme (VESP) - Somerset County Council, Visit Exmoor, Visit Somerset and Tomorrow’s Toursim are working together to enable FREE business support.



Visitor Economy Support Programme

"I found the VESP process very useful, easy to complete and provided me with an exceptional 360 degree appraisal of how I want to realign the business moving forward. They have been in touch with me to follow up in a very pro active way.” Mark Tobin, The Swan Hotel Wells

More Testimonials HERE

The Visitor Economy Support Programme (VESP) is a programme funded by an allocation of £500,000 from the Somerset Business Rates Retention Pilot programme (BRRP). The BRRP is funding to deliver economic growth and prosperity and is managed by all local authorities in Somerset via the Somerset Growth Board (which provides strategic oversight of joint economic development priorities).
The VESP scheme will fund FREE support services to visitor businesses, this will focus around the impact of Covid, business resilience and growth. This includes support with marketing communications including digital advice, and as part of this programme, the VESP scheme will be compiling sector specific research across visitor markets, that will provide valuable insight for Somerset businesses, assisting with forward planning and growth.
VESP aims to provide guidance and support to SME’s (0-249 employees) in the sectors of accommodation, retail, high street, food & drink, creative industries, heritage, visitor attractions, activity providers and outside visitor spaces.
To sign up to receive this business support please register on the Visit Exmoor/Visit Somerset link here:
Max Lawrence, of Visit Exmoor, commented, “We are really pleased to be part of this important initative. The Covid pandemic has had an enormous impact on our Exmoor tourism businesses, we are really keen to reach out to as many businesses as possible to ensure they benefit from this valuble free support.”

Giles Adams, of Visit Somerset, commented, “We want our portfolio of brilliant Somerset tourism enterprises to return to top business health as soon as possible and this free support scheme will accelerate that process."

Carl Benneyworth VESP Commissioning Manager, said: “Tourism plays a significant role in Somerset’s economy, and I am excited to see The Visitor Economy Support Programme launched today. The free support available for Somerset’s visitor businesses will make a real difference as they seek to recover quickly and safely.”

Under the VESP scheme, Tomorrows Toursim are fielding a team of industry experts, with a range of specialist skill sets, that will be matched with businesses, identifying business goals, opportunities and challenges. A dedicated advisor will then work with each business to create a bespoke package of support to help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.
Further proposals are being developed to create new added-value services, such as a focus on green tourism, for the Somerset visitor market. More information to follow.  
Press Contact:
Cally Elston
Social Media & Press Liaison
Visit Exmoor
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