This report is requesting the Committees approval to commission a tourism marketing campaign to support and promote the Arun visitor economy.
The Group Head of Economy provided members with a report requesting the Committee to approve the commissioning of a tourism marketing ‘Destination Awareness Campaign’ to support and promote the Arun visitor economy.
The Chair invited questions. Comments made by Members were that they very much supported the progression of this work as it would promote the district’s three destination sites and other areas to a wider audience.
A range of questions were then asked which were responded to at the meeting by The Group Head of Economy. These have been summarised below:
· There was a lack of holiday accommodation and holiday parks in the district, could this be addressed? It was explained that an extensive accommodation study was being prepared which would be an item for a future meeting of the committee.
· Was the big wheel coming to Littlehampton this year as this was very positive PR for Arun? It was agreed that a written update would be provided to councillors.
· A big issue identified by numerous Councillors was that the name ‘Arun’ did not relate to a location or place, just a river and so it was difficult to market. It was explained that by supporting the proposal, the Council would have a professionally delivered and targeted digital marketing campaign. The experts that would deliver the campaign would identify proposals about labelling destinations and what the offer was for the visitor sitting behind destinations. It would be necessary to come up with creative ways to work around this issue which would be addressed as part of the project.
· The cost of the campaign was discussed and explained.
· How would key stakeholders be involved and how would the campaign fit in terms of masterplans for each of the towns? It was explained that this would very much be left to the experts running the campaign to explore and that the council would be guided by their recommendations. In terms of stakeholder engagement, generally the council was working well with all town councils and other partnerships. The campaign would be seen as a major way to promote the towns in a positive and big way which would feed into master plans.
· The new web portal Sussex by the Sea was praised as it provided a simplified and easy to navigate platform to promote primary tourism destinations in the district. It was outlined that the campaigners might come up with other interesting options to direct visitors to locations and sites.
· Would visitors be able to access the sites through any other entry points – a similar response to that provided above was given.
· Could the Bognor Regis beach webcams be included into this package as they attracted high hit numbers? It was explained that all options would be considered by the campaigners
· It was vital to market the entire area to entice visitors to stay in the area for more than just a one or two days providing information to other attraction areas and their offers
The recommendation was then proposed by Councillor Mrs Cooper and seconded by Councillor Dixon.
As a recorded vote had been requested, those voting for it were Councillors Cooper, Mrs Cooper, Dixon, Edwards, Northeast, Roberts, Seex, Staniforth, Stanley, Walsh and Yeates.
That the proposal to commission a tourism marketing ‘Destination Awareness Campaign’ to encourage the development of the district as a key tourist destination be approved.