Tourism Summit holds Olympic Promise for Winchester

Press Release: 07/07/2008

The third Winchester Tourism Summit will take place between 1pm and 5pm on Tuesday 15th July at Winchester Guildhall. The summit, subtitled The Promise of 2012, is a forum to examine the district’s aspirations as a tourist destination leading up to 2012 – the year of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The summit is part of the evidence-gathering process that will lead to the development of a new tourism strategy for the district. Its purpose is to gather a range of perspectives on what constitutes Winchester’s offering as a tourist destination and look at ways to take this forward in a direction that benefits both residents and visitors alike.

The City Council is keen to involve a good number of tourism businesses as well as local residents and City Councillors, stakeholders and partners to gather broad-ranging expertise, opinions and insights.

Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for the Economy and Tourism, Cllr George Beckett, explained:

“The coming four years will be an exciting time for the UK, in tourism terms. The country has an unprecedented opportunity to show itself off to the rest of the world. We need to do this by ensuring our tourism products and marketing campaigns can compete with the best – without any additional cost to the council tax payer.

The Winchester District has a £230 million tourism industry, and welcomes around 4.25 million visitors each year. We want to help grow this business in a way which is both sustainable and profitable.”

Head of Cultural Services, Eloise Appleby, commented:

“The City Council engages in many aspects of tourism and has an excellent track record in supporting this high profile sector. We have an award-winning tourist information centre, and museums which have seen visitor numbers increasing year on year. However, we are always mindful of the delicate balance between commercial interests, the quality of life of our residents and the sensitivities of our wonderful built and natural environment.”

The afternoon event, which is free and open to anyone with an interest in tourism, starts with a light lunch at 1pm and consists of a programme of presentations and workshops designed to prompt some lively discussions. The main presentations and workshops will take place between 2pm and 5pm.

The previous tourism strategy for the district can be viewed on the Council’s official tourism website at www.visitwinchester.co.uk by clicking on the ‘research’ tab on the navigation bar. This strategy, which will be reviewed as part of the preparation for its successor, expires at the end of 2008 and the Council is hoping to issue the new draft for consultation in the autumn.

Please telephone the tourism unit on 01962 848 311 or email lmessingham@winchester.gov.uk by Wednesday 5th July if you would like to attend