Free workshops to spark summer tourism success

Winchester tourism businesses can enjoy a free insight into two hot topics facing the industry this summer at special workshops organised by Winchester City Council, in conjunction with the regional tourist board Tourism South East.  The workshops take place on Tuesday 26 June at Banks Bar Bistro, Bishop's Waltham and on Thursday 28 June at Greens Wine Bar, Winchester and run from 11am to 2pm.

Implications for the sector of the forthcoming smoking ban in enclosed public premises will be outlined by an environmental health expert, and workshop attendees will also benefit from a range of low- (and no-) cost marketing tips to attract new customers.

Open to any tourism-related business based in the Winchester District, from B&Bs to restaurants and coach operators to retailers, the workshops (which feature identical agendas) also offer networking opportunities and a complimentary lunch.  Both events are co-financed by the Hampshire Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and the European Social Fund.

The new smoke free legislation, which comes into force from 1 July 2007, has particular significance for the tourism industry.  Smoking will be illegial in all indoor areas (eg bars, lobbies and restaurants) although accommodation providers can offer designated smoking guest rooms, which must be clearly indicated.  All businesses must display a prominent A5- sized No Smoking sign at public entrances.

Non-compliance fines (including signage and failure to prevent smoking) could cost businesses up to £2,500. Workshop delegates will hear more about the legal requirements and will be able to pose questions specific to their business.

The workshops also cover low and no cost marketing ideas including public relations, website and online promotion, direct mail and 'word of mouth' marketing.  Many businesses are slow to take advantage of some of the simple ways to promote their excellent and varied services, and Winchester Tourism aims to offer some handy tips.

Winchester City Council's Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economy and Tourism, Cllr George Beckett, said, "It's vital that our tourism businesses are up-to-date with the latest relevant legislation, such as the smoking ban, so they can plan for any potential impact.  These free workshops aim to be of genuine value to attendees with practical advice which, for small businesses in particular, can make a real difference to their bottom line."

For further information, or to book your space, contact Darren Rivers at Tourism South East on tel: 023 8062 5513 or email: