Winchester Tourism lines up a new team in time for summer

There are new faces at the helm of Winchester City Council’s tourism service as the busy tourism season sets in.  Recent weeks have seen the arrival at the City Offices of two new staff responsible for marketing and development initiatives.

Ellen Simpson, Tourism Marketing and Development Manager, has extensive publishing, business development and marketing experience and specialises in product development and change management.  Her most recent post at Andante Travels, who offer archaeological tours world-wide, drew on her earlier career as a history teacher.

Ellen said of her appointment:

“I’m delighted to be joining an organisation that has so much of real value at its heart - Winchester is a district that has far more than most to offer. We’re looking forward to developing the way we promote this to encourage visitors to choose it as a preferred destination, stay longer when they are here and get more out of each visit.”

Rachel Abbott, the team’s newest recruit, began work on 30 June as the Tourism Marketing and Development Officer.  Up until now, Rachel has been working as a Marketing Officer at Southampton University, and brings with her a host of marketing-related qualifications, a solid track record in communications development and great enthusiasm for the Winchester District.

Rachel comments on her new role:

“As a regular visitor to Winchester, I have always enjoyed experiencing the attractions on offer, so I’m extremely excited about working with the team to promote and develop tourism within the district.”

Winchester’s marketing campaigns have been applauded nationally by UK tourism agency VisitBritain.  The image-led, modern house style of the visitor guide is considered one of the best in the country.  Winchester’s tourist information team, meanwhile, won the national gold medal in the Enjoy England Excellence Awards in 2006.

Cllr George Beckett, Leader of Winchester City Council and Portfolio Holder for Economy and Tourism, stated:

“We firmly believe in a high quality tourism offering in Winchester, which has been a successful tourism destination for many centuries and generates over £230 million a year for the district through visitor spend.  Our tourism service has always led by example, and I look forward to seeing our energetic new staff exploring the latest opportunities – particularly taking advantage of cost-effective e-marketing strategies.”

Local tourism businesses and residents can meet Ellen and Rachel at next week’s tourism summit on 15 July at Winchester Guildhall.  They are looking forward to getting to know the tourism community of the district, and incorporating local views and ideas into the new tourism strategy for the district which will be published in early 2009.