Success at Sidmouth’s first “Imaginarium” with key strategic partners and local MPs
An exciting further step forward was taken through a highly collaborative event hosted at The Victoria Hotel, Sidmouth on Friday 16th December. A group of 30 local businesses, industry representatives, town councils and MP’s took part in an innovative process with the shared goal of collaborative working to promote sustainable tourism in East Devon.
This year Sidmouth Town Council was awarded a grant from East Devon District Council’s Innovation and Resilience Fund for the “Coast Meets Country “ sustainable tourism project. This joint transformation project, led by Sidmouth includes partner towns Budleigh Salterton, Honiton, Seaton, and Ottery St Mary. Sharing learning, marketing resource and experience the project aims to connect the places, spaces and products that will attract new visitor markets to our connected tourism destinations.
The Imaginarium – followed a stepped process to imagine and inspire innovation for sustainable tourism across East Devon. Designed and led by The Travel Foundation who are a leading sustainable tourism organisation who work globally with key destination management organisations such as visit Scotland, Visit Greece and many others was attended by local MP’s Simon Jupp and Richard Foord. The workshop will be followed by further training and support to destination businesses and communities to work towards net zero targets. This aims to strengthen resilience and to ensure a sustainable tourism model is integrated with other areas such as housing, transport and employment. The “Imaginarium” provided opportunities and thought processes to share resource and knowledge by linking what the community is already doing with local tourism businesses and will in the new year also be mapping the important role that many of our civic groups are already doing for a sustainable future.
The five towns have been working with local business Voyage Travel Marketing to create new branding and will each have a shared digital presence in the new year building on the success of Visit Sidmouth. “The approach with this project is all about collaborative advantage to support sustainable tourism innovation. Visitors are increasingly making positive environmental consumer choices about where to stay and what to do, we are making sure they can access them through joint itineraries and show casing all that the area has to offer. It is equally important that the strategic decision makers in our area recognise the importance of a new model for tourism – one which is integrated to benefit our communities, businesses and visitors and is sustainable.” Louise Cole, Chair of Tourism and Economy, Sidmouth Town Council.
Would you like to get involved and help us work together as a community in 2023. Do you have the knowledge to be a green leader in your town and share your ideas and knowledge?
If so, then get in touch so we can share your resource and experience.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org Ref. IRF Project Sustainability.