notes of meeting 13 sep 2011 by r4InTQ

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									          Cotswolds AONB Sustainable Tourism Partnership
                               Cotswold Hall, Northleach
                          Tuesday 13 September 2011, 10.30am
                                     MEETING NOTES
Attending:

Sally Graff, Cotswold District Council (SG)
Nicola Greaves, Cotswolds Conservation Board (NG)
Nick Holliday, Cotswolds Conservation Board (NH)
Chris Jackson, West Oxfordshire District Council (CJ)
Sarah Loftus, South East Protected Landscapes (SL)
Monica Stephens, Cotswold District Council (MS)
Simon Tipple, Destination Worcestershire (ST)
Neil Warren, South West Tourism Alliance (NW)

Apologies:

Sue Adie, Cheltenham Borough Council
Tom Cassidy, Cotswolds & Forest of Dean Tourism
Teresa Ceesay, First Great Western
Marilyn Cox, Gloucestershire Rural Communities Council
Richard Drakeley, Warwickshire County Council
Janet Gough, National Trust
Paul Moir, Painswick Rococo Garden


NOTES

1. NH welcomed the group and recapped on the recent success in achieving the European
   Charter for Sustainable Tourism award for the Cotswolds AONB.
2. Matters arising

An update was given on the previous meeting’s discussion to look into an electric bike
network for the Cotswolds. A separate meeting had been arranged with NHS Gloucestershire
and Cotswold District Council focusing on the community transport perspective. However it
was agreed that it wasn’t going to be feasible due to a lack of funding. The group agreed that
it was still worth investigating further in terms of its tourism potential.
Action: NG agreed to contact the Electric Bike Network to find out more.


3. Our Land – South East Protected Landscapes sustainable tourism project

Sarah Loftus gave an interesting presentation on ‘Our Land’ a new, rural sustainable tourism
initiative which has been developed by the 9 AONBs and National Parks in the South East,
with the backing of £1million from RDPE. The project is aimed at celebrating the SE special
landscapes, including the Cotswolds AONB, and supports and promotes sustainable tourism
businesses through a new website and marketing and PR campaign. Our Land is being
launched on Friday 14 October by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP and TV presenter Kate
Humble.

Key points

      Businesses can benefit from having a free listing on the Our Land website – www.our-
       land.co.uk – and by having the backing of the project’s commercial partner,
       responsibletourism.com who bring significant marketing expertise and resources to the
       project.

      Tour operators, such as walking holiday operators, can be included on the website on
       a commission basis.

      All activity on the website including click-throughs, bookings and enquiries will be
       monitored by rt.com.

      Businesses can pay for an upgrade listing to have their full contact details listed.
       However it was thought that many customers may simply search for the business
       online and contact them directly.

      A question was raised about the project’s target markets. Details of these are
       attached.

      Our Land goes much deeper than GTBS by asking businesses to explain in detail their
       commitment to the environment, landscape and community.

      A press release will be issued locally to promote the launch of Our Land.
      A suggestion was made to prepare a useful fact sheet for businesses to explain who
       does what in terms of sustainable tourism advice, initiatives, schemes, etc.

      Cotswolds Tourism are considering holding a tourism conference next year which
       could be an opportunity to involve the AONB and promote Our Land.

      Many businesses had informed the research stage of the project and stated that
       marketing advice and support was one of their main areas of interest and need.

      Tourism officers can help support the project by communicating and promoting it to
       businesses.

      The project will work with businesses outside the AONB boundary who have a positive
       impact on/access to the AONB.

      It was suggested to concentrate the next meeting on how best to engage and network
       with tourism businesses. A few businesses should be invited to attend.

Additional material and press release attached. Sarah was thanked for her presentation.


4. General updates & progress on the sustainable tourism action plan

Cotswolds Conservation Board:
New self-guided downloadable walking routes uploaded to new website:
www.escapetothecotswolds.org.uk
Successful educational visit to the Cotswolds organised for Oxford pupils by Cotswold
Voluntary Wardens.
Positive first meeting held in July between First Great Western, bus companies, local
authority transport planners and Cotswold Tourism to explore the idea of a Cotswold rover
ticket.
New guide to long distance walking routes in the Cotswolds being planned.
British Horse Society has launched new Cotswolds on Horseback guide.

South West Tourism Alliance
SWTA is looking to gather support for the future in terms of funding. Sustainable tourism
funding is likely to come from sponsorship. It was suggested that funding via AONB’s
Sustainable Development Fund could be a useful source of funding.
Web pages are being developed for sustainable transport in the form of ‘spectacular journeys’
short videos. Similar videos could be produced for scenic routes in the Cotswolds. A
suggestion was made to produce a video for the North Cotswold line.
First Great Western are submitting a tender for the rail franchise. NW is feeding them
information on tourism criteria and the need to provide for visitors.
The latest SW ‘How’s Business’ survey includes details on how businesses are affected by
the rise in fuel prices eg whether people are staying longer, looking to do more within the area
they are staying rather than travelling further afield. Interesting results to come through.
NW is looking into a renewable energy project to include case studies, webinar, videos, etc.

Destination Worcestershire
An autumn/winter sustainable tourism initiative is being rolled out to include GTBS discounts,
promotion of the Worcestershire and Visit England Green Tourism toolkit, free energy
monitors, etc.
A downloadable training course for businesses on sustainable tourism is being prepared.
A leaflet has been produced to promote the Droitwich Canal Ring.
A new autumn/winter editorial guide has been printed.
A new website is being developed for launch in November which will include an itinerary
builder and sustainable tourism information.

Cotswold District Council:
Cotswolds & Forest of Dean Tourism has now become Cotswolds Tourism due to the Forest
of Dean leaving the DMO.
Cotswolds Tourism will review their Sustainability Plan and look to join it up with the AONB
Action Plan.


Date and venue of next meeting

Tuesday 13 December, 10.30am, Venue TBC

								
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