East Dorset District Council Policy and Resources Committee 19th

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East Dorset District Council Policy and Resources Committee 19th Powered By Docstoc
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           East Dorset District Council
           Policy and Resources
           Committee                       Agenda Item No 17
           19th June, 2002                 Public Report

           Merger of North Dorset and East Dorset Tourism
              Item for Decision:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       To approve the publication of a joint Tourism Guide between
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       North Dorset and East Dorset District Councils
              Contributors:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            District Environmental Services Officer
              Contact Officer:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Neil Farmer, Head of Leisure & Tourism
              Financial Implications:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Within existing budget
              Council Priorities:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      PE1 PE2 PE3 PR3 PR4
              Recommendations:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         It is RECOMMENDED that this Council work with North
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Dorset District Council to produce and promote a joint Tourist
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Guide for the East and North Dorset area.

1. Applicable Specialist Service Area(s)
                                            1.1                                                                        Culture

2. Introduction
                                            2.1                                                                        Both North and East Dorset Councils currently produce their own annual
                                                                                                                       tourism guides. These publications are printed in full colour and contain
                                                                                                                       editorial material on the area, accommodation advertisements, events listings
                                                                                                                       and details of eating places, activities and travel. Their purpose is to provide
                                                                                                                       potential visitors with sufficient information on the area to encourage them to
                                                                                                                       book holidays or short breaks.
                                            2.2                                                                        The North Dorset guide (entitled Rural Dorset) has a print run of 30,000 and the
                                                                                                                       East Dorset guide (entitled Wimborne & East Dorset) has a print run of 40,000.
                                                                                                                       Both guides are currently subsidised slightly by the relevant local authority, as
                                                                                                                       the printing costs of each guide are not completely covered by advertising
                                                                                                                       revenue. The Tourism Officer for each authority edits the guides and sells
                                                                                                                       advertising space.
                                            2.3                                                                        The East Dorset guide is designed by the Council’s in-house graphics section
                                                                                                                       and printed by an outside company. The North Dorset guide is both designed
                                                                                                                       and printed by an outside company.
                                            2.4                                                                        Over the last two years, in order to save costs, North and East Dorset have
                                                                                                                       undertaken most of their national advertising in partnership. The results have
                                                                                                                       been very positive, with increased demand for guides. However, in order to
                                                                                                                       service enquiries, Wimborne and Blandford Tourist Information Centres
                                                                                                                       currently have to send two separate guides to each enquirer.
                                            2.5                                                                        Apart from direct enquiries both guides are also available in the Tourist
                                                                                                                       Information Centres and other key outlets such as airports and ferry ports
                                                                                                                       across the UK. This distribution is handled by National Brochure Distribution
                                                                                                                       Services (East Dorset guide) and Brochure Display (North Dorset guide).

3. Joint Guide Proposal
   3.1   It is proposed to amalgamate the two brochures into one overall publication
         entitled “Rural Dorset”. This would have an extended print run of 50,000 and
         would be slightly larger that the existing East Dorset guide, with up to an
         additional 8 pages.
   3.2   This joint brochure would include:
         (a)   Paid accommodation advertisements (inspected properties only)
         (b)   A revised map of the region and key town maps
         (c)   Events listings
         (d)   Brief guide to attractions
         (e)   Editorial on the region
         (f)   Transport to and within the area
         (g)   Activities – e.g. walking, cycling
         (h)   Places to eat/shop
   3.3   The brochure would also promote the two local authority websites and the
         tourist information centres in Wimborne, Blandford and Shaftesbury. Design of
         the joint guide would be undertaken by the Graphics section at East Dorset to
         ensure that the two authorities had tight control over the editorial and
         advertising content.

4. Advantages of Joint Guide
   4.1   The primary advantage would be the cost savings made on design, printing,
         distribution and postage. These funds could then be used for printing of
         additional guides. Appendix 1 to this report details to cost of producing the
         East Dorset guide in 2001 and the estimated cost of producing a joint guide in
   4.2   A joint brochure will also have more impact in the tourism market place.
         Potential visitors to the region are not interested in local authority boundaries
         and will travel throughout a chosen region. The joint guide will be able to offer
         a wider range of accommodation and more places to visit and thus a more
         substantial holiday product enticing visitors to stay longer in the area.
   4.3   The two districts have great synergy, shared geography in terms of the
         Cranborne Chase and the Stour Valley, major annual events such as the
         Wimborne Folk Festival and Great Dorset Steam Fair and common themes such
         as archaeology and heritage. East Dorset will also benefit through links with
         North Dorset’s nationally known sites such as Milton Abbas and Gold Hill,
         similarly North Dorset can benefit from being able to promote places such as
         Wimborne Minster, Kingston Lacy and Badbury Rings.
   4.4   North and East Dorset are the two smallest District Councils in the County and
         working together will help to give them greater influence when dealing with
         neighbouring authorities, the Dorset and New Forest Tourism Partnership and
         regional tourist boards.
   4.5   Over recent years, notably following the introduction of the essential
         “inspected accommodation only” policy, East Dorset has had only a limited
         number of potential business advertisers to call upon for advertising. This
         makes it increasingly difficult to produce a self-funding publication. However,

         with a greater advertising audience the guide could be self-supporting, again
         allowing more budget flexibility and extended promotional activity.

5. Disadvantages of Joint Guide
   5.1   Whilst the most obvious disadvantage appears to be the loss of individual
         identity, this is clearly not an issue in the minds of potential visitors who
         already expect “East Dorset” to include Christchurch, Bournemouth, Poole and
         even Purbeck! The unfortunately vague nature of the East Dorset title makes it
         a difficult entity to promote to holidaymakers, who will be able to identify much
         more readily with “Rural Dorset” as a concept.
   5.2   The only other impact on each authority may be a small reduction in income as
         there are currently some accommodation establishments that pay separately to
         advertise in both the North and East Dorset brochures. The current East Dorset
         advertising rates may also have to be cut slightly to bring the two rate cards
         into line, but this will have an insignificant effect and a joint, comprehensive
         publication is likely to attract additional advertisers, which, together with the
         cost savings, would easily offset any loss of income.

6. Appendices
   6.1   Appendix 1 – Cost of Joint Guide

7. Background Papers
   7.1   None

                                                                           Appendix 1

                    TOURISM GUIDE COSTS & INCOME

Costs and revenue for 2001 East Dorset Accommodation Guide

Artwork/scanning of images               £        371
Photographs (royalties)                  £      1,350
Printing of guide                        £      8,130
National Distribution                    £        560

Total costs                              £      10,411

Income from advertising                  £       8,000

Net cost to EDDC                         £       2,411

Estimated costs and revenue for Joint 2003 North/East Dorset publication

Artwork/scanning of images               £         400
Photographs (royalties)                  £       1,500
Printing of guide                        £      15,000
National Distribution                    £         700

Total costs                              £      17,600

Income from advertising                  £      13,000

Net Cost to EDDC and NDDC                £       4,600

Net cost to EDDC (50%)                   £       2,300


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