City Councillor Plays Regional Tourism Role

Winchester City Council’s significant stake in the tourism industry of the south east has been acknowledged once again this week. At the Annual General Meeting of the regional tourism agency Tourism South East (TSE) in Oxford yesterday, it was announced that City Councillor Therese Evans has been elected to its Board for a second three-year term of office.

Tourism is a principal industry in the Winchester District, generating £230 million annually and supporting over 3,000 jobs. The district welcomes 4.25 million visitors each year, and Winchester has been identified by TSE as a key brand in domestic and overseas markets. The Council is proactive in encouraging visits not only to its cathedral city but also to its rural areas – as is evidenced by last week’s launch of the new Wickham Pocket Guide, in which Cllr Evans played a leading role.

Cllr Evans, who is Leader of the Opposition and Ward Member for Wickham, will be representing the interests of local authorities on the Board. Cllr Evans, a former City Council portfolio holder for culture, heritage and sport, commented:

"I have really enjoyed the last three years, and look forward to serving for a second stint. During my time on the Board I have drawn on my direct experience of urban and rural tourism, as well as an active and positive commitment to represent the aspirations and concerns of fellow authorities across the region. I would like to think that my re-election demonstrates confidence in my abilities, and to thank all those TSE members and local authority colleagues who voted for me."

Eloise Appleby, Head of Cultural Services for the City Council, added:

"Winchester has always led by example in the tourism sector. We are strong on the quality of our tourism services at a local level, but we also believe it is important to get involved with policy making, lobbying and development work of a regional and national dimension.

We are sure that the election of Cllr Evans will serve in the interests of all the region’s local authorities, because she is an experienced and committed politician. But we also know that she will be an advocate for Winchester and for Hampshire’s wider tourism economy as we start the run-up to London 2012 and all that it promises."

Winchester City Council’s tourism team were present at the AGM along with staff from Winchester Cathedral, making a presentation about the highly successful partnership behind the Cathedral’s Christmas market and ice rink.

Managing Director of TSE, Bob Collier, welcomed Cllr Evans to her second term saying:

"We appreciate Cllr Evans’s commitment and support for the tourism industry and her on-going contribution to the regional tourism debate."