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Visit Somerset Membership Update from our CEO and Chairman

22 May 2020

Visit Somerset Membership Update from our CEO and Chairman
Our CEO and Chairman are very heavily involved in the following lobbying and discussion this week.

John Turner  Visit Somerset CEO and Giles Adams Chairman have been involved with the South West Tourism Alliance and calls every week with DCMS and the Industry through the South West, looking at the plans for social distancing and POST COVID 19.

Topics that are now being covered and lobbied for:

HEALTH and SAFETY & NEW EMPLOYMENT TERMS 
  • The reduction in the 2-meter distance to a one meter distance as on the Continent - giving businesses a chance to at least open with a possible 70% re opening capacity as opposed to the current 30%, which in many cases will mean that businesses will just not be able to open.
  • The extension and flexibility of Furlough moving forward.  
  • The potential of funding to support COVID protective equipment ensuring businesses are ready and prepared to engage with visitors. (Not having this funding could be a major barrier to visitor businesses opening.) 
  • Working with Visit Britain to ensure that the availability of a national Kite Mark program is effectively rolled out in the coming weeks to help certify and support visitor businesses throughout the region.
STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT 
  • Our CEO is now part of the Heart of the SW Local Enterprise Partnership leading a plan that will be published next week to tackle the post Pandemic. This will be subject to the plan having its funding approved - However if approved could make a huge difference to the industry moving forward. 
  • Our CEO reporting in weekly to the Somerset Economic Cell and (Heart of the SW Economic Resilience & Opportunities Group) HEROG.     

      
The Beginnings of our exit strategy are detailed below, working with Somerset County Council and the district council's: 

Our main aims in the short term will be to:

MEMBERSHIP MOVING FORWARD
  • All members of Visit Somerset will have a further 3 months FREE membership automatically attached to their annual term, to support them through the COVID Crisis.  This will be from the beginning of their membership on renewal date starting from March, April, May, and June - moving forward for three months. Other cases will be discussed on a case by case basis. However, we want to be supportive of all members and their current needs. 
  • Provide tailored and guided business support
  • Digital skills technical support
  • Covid-19 compliance with national guidance for the sector
 
All focussing on being ‘trading ready’ when the lockdown eases.
 
In the medium term we aim to develop:

MARKETING FORWARD GUIDANCE
  • Destination packages – to collate information and experiences that enable the visitor to visualise and plan a particular trip.
  • New marketing/PR that focusses on brand identity and management looking more at the activity, heritage, experience market to maximise our natural environment
  • SEO development program for the Visit Somerset site is now being executed, supported by funding from Visit Britain
  • After membership feedback about the new Visit Somerset website, a new advanced search function is being created for the site.
  • Other website developments will include the doubling up of members with two columns per page of membership entries.
  • Plans are now being made to launch a booking system for events and attraction experiences on the site. 
  • E Commerce Strategy to support all our Somerset Producers through www.visitsomerset.co.uk and other famous supportive Somerset brands that have recently joined Visit Somerset.      

NEXT WEEK

Our CEO will be talking Friday with the first Somerset MP James Heappey who is also a Minister for the MOD. Our CEO will be joined by the Chair of the SW Tourism Alliance Alistair Handyside MBE and some many members in giving feedback.

Working with Weston College preparing our first Webinar for the 13th June. With our first headline speaker an expert in infection control including COVID 19, who will be speaking on up and coming training courses that he will be holding through the college, so that members can become certified ready for exit strategy. 
 


Visit Somerset Membership Opportunities 

Its better being with Visit Somerset than not, if you can encourge new membership, we will give you a 15% discount off your Visit Somerset renewal.  

Dont forget our FREE Resource's - Download our Interactive E Book here & our Image Library here with over 2000 award winning images for you to use within your membership. 

Find out more about membership by contacting us at info@visitsomerset.co.uk  We will then contact you and tell you all about the benefits of membership, why its value for money, with our professional services support and our now heightened strategic partnerships as we plan for a more positive future.


Read our positive testimonials here
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