13/03/2024 - Permalink

Workshops put Shropshire tourism and visitor economy in the spotlight

Related topics: Leisure, culture and heritage / Partner organisations

Ahead of English Tourism Week (Friday 15 March – Sunday 24 March 2024) a series of specialist workshops for businesses working within Shropshire’s tourism and visitor economy sectors is helping the county develop its reputation as a place to watch.

In January 2024 Shropshire was named as one of the world’s top 10 tourist destinations to watch by renowned travel experts ABTA – The Travel Association, and the workshops were commissioned to help inform industry professionals and to demonstrate how Shropshire’s reputation can be enhanced. They were commissioned by Visit Shropshire, using funds secured by Shropshire Council from the Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

More than 100 delegates will have benefited from the expertise shared at the four workshops.

Robert Macey, left, and Mark Hooper, right, at Love 2 Stay in Shrewsbury, where one of the workshops was held.

Robert Macey, left, and Mark Hooper, right, at Love 2 Stay in Shrewsbury, where one of the workshops was held.

Mark Hooper, project lead for Visit Shropshire, said:-

“The visitor economy in Shropshire supports 10,776 jobs and is worth £987m to the local economy.

“Partnership working with Shropshire Council is vital to our ongoing efforts to continue to grow our visitor economy and encourage investment into the tourism sector. It ensures that our businesses continue to develop, leading to job creation and increased inward investment.”

Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and digital, said:-

“We are excited to promote and develop tourism and the visitor economy in Shropshire, and the ABTA rating, which saw our county named as one to watch on a global stage, reinforces how much we have to offer.

“These workshops will help inform and inspire the community and stakeholders, by combining their unique interests with leading marketplace research to generate business ideas that benefit the economy, businesses and visitors to our county.”

English Tourism Week is held annually to kickstart the spring / summer tourism season, to engage public interest in the tourism sector, and to encourage domestic tourism by highlighting attractions that can be found close to home.

In 2023 Shropshire Council’s Cabinet approved the county’s destination management plan.

The plan explains how Shropshire Council wants to work with partners and industry specialists to promote Shropshire as a fantastic destination for anyone looking for somewhere to relocate or as a new destination to visit.

There are three clear objectives:-

  • Establishing ‘One Shropshire’: By 2025 public, private, voluntary and community groups will come together under the name of One Shropshire, to focus on what makes us different from other rural destinations; to consider both physical and digital connectivity in a sustainable way; and to maximise public and private skills and capacities, and encourage business engagement.
  • To grow value added by the visitor economy, which will grow at a rate of five per cent per year by adopting a sustainable model of development that includes longer stays, value over volume, addressing seasonality, and by showcasing more of Shropshire to new audiences.
  • Promoting Shropshire as a destination that can leverage resources and is worthy of consideration for any future tourism funding initiatives, because it is well organised, internally joined up and engaged with external partners.

Visit Shropshire commissioned the marketing workshops from creative agency Buy-From, based in Bridgnorth.