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Solihull Tourism Action Plan _2007- 08_

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									Solihull Tourism Action Plan (2007- 08)
West Midlands Context

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport devolved strategic responsibility for regional tourism development and marketing to the Regional Development
Agency, Advantage West Midlands in 2003, which led to the development of the West Midlands Visitor Economy Strategy and the Tourism West Midlands
Partnership Board, the strategic lead in the region for tourism.

The West Midlands Visitor Economy Strategy (WMVES), which is due for review in 2010, identifies that the region is under-performing in tourism compared
to other regions. The Strategy has a key focus on ‘destination development’ made up of attractions, services and infrastructure, all incorporated into a strong
brand. It identifies the role tourism has in regeneration, acting as a multiplier for investment. The Strategy identifies that in 2001, Coventry and Solihull
accounted for 7% of total visits to the region (9% of total visitor spend), 6.5% of day visits (7% of spend) and 12% of staying visits (12% of spend). A key
strategy recommendation was the creation of strong sub-regional public-private Destination Management Partnerships to identify sub-regional priorities for
destination development, co-ordinating delivery, investment and marketing.

Business tourism is identified as a priority theme for the strategy – given the importance of the region’s national and international profile and existing strengths
                                               1
in business tourism. A recent KPMG report has identified that an estimated 208,000 conferences and 392 exhibitions were held in the Region during 2005,
attracting nearly 14 million delegates and having a value to the economy of £3 billion. This industry supports a wide supply chain of industries and the multiplier
effect to the economy amounts to around £6.3 billion, supporting 100,000 jobs.
                                                                                      2
Regarding the tourism sector as a whole, a survey of the regional hotel industry highlights 42% of the ‘serviced accommodation’ sector noticed an increase in
the number of customers in Quarter 3 2006, compared to 2005. Issues raised as factors that affect their business include local events generating trade, local
investment (both private business expansion and general economic development) and more competition threatening volumes of business.

The draft West Midlands Economic Strategy (WMES) prioritizes the exploitation of markets and sectors with the most wealth and employment potential.
It also prioritizes maximizing the region’s cultural offer and natural assets as key to attracting more highly skilled workers and business investment to the region.
Priority actions are to support the enhancement of existing assets, to attract and maximize the regional benefits of high profile international and national events
(e.g. 2012 Olympics) and to link dispersed attractions and assets more effectively to enable their sustainable exploitation as tourism resources.

The Birmingham, Coventry, Black Country City Region (which includes Solihull) is developing a ‘Quality of Life’ Joint Investment Plan (JIP) focused on the
development of a co-ordinated cultural, leisure and sporting strategy for the City Region. The central priority will be to improve the attractiveness of the City
Region area as a place to live, work and relax for both existing and potential residents. Culture and leisure are identified as key generators of a strong positive
internal and external image that can influence location and investment decisions.

Tourism is also a key theme within the West Midland plans to capture the benefits for the London 2012 Olympic Games, led by Tourism West Midlands and
feeding into regional plans as defined by the West Midlands Leadership Group for the 2012 Games. Priorities include maximize visitor numbers, stay and
spend in the region in the run up to, during and after the Games and to ensure continued investment in quality, skills and productivity.




1
    Economic Impact of Business Tourism in the West Midlands – October 2006, KPMG
2
    Industry Performance Monitor – July to September 2006, Heart of England Tourism
Tourism in Solihull
                                                                                                                                                         3
The number of workplaces in the ‘Tourism & Leisure’ sector in Solihull has increased by 5% to 512 and the number of employees by 12% to 9077 (2003-2005),
exceeding regional trends and identifying it as a key growth sector for Solihull. This accounts for 9% of total employment within the Solihull Borough (2005).

    -    Visitor Expenditure – worth £662m in 2006, a 4% increase from 2005, with the ‘Accommodation’ sector the fastest growing
    -    Visitor Numbers – 7.5m (2006), 4% increase from 2005, with ‘Day Visitors’ making up 87% of the total
                                                                      4
    -    Employment Supported – 9883 (2006), 3% increase from 2005

Business Tourism in Solihull
                                                                                        5
Solihull is a natural location for Business Tourism, as identified during a recent study - as the location for the National Exhibition Centre and Birmingham
International Airport in the Borough and at the heart of the motorway network.

Research was conducted into the Solihull hotel sector during 06/07, to capture local trends within the sector, the impact on the economy and identify areas for
future support. Key findings include recognition of the significance of business tourism to local hotel success and vulnerability of any changes to the sector,
such as the decline in trade shows hosted by the NEC and resulting lack of overnight guests. Little or no impact was felt from the proximity to BIA. Many now
rely on corporate accounts as a growing source of business, as a more profitable source of income. Conference facility provision is also a growth area, with
most hotels planning to upgrade facilities to keep ahead of the rising competition in the market.

All recognised the benefits Solihull can offer as a business location, but most felt it needs greater promotion to the international market if it is to stand out from
Birmingham and competition from other areas of the country.




3
  Solihull Annual Business Inquiry Data 2003-2005
4
  STEAM Tourism Economic Impact Model, 2006
5
  Solihull Business Tourism Survey 2006
Action Plan Vision: To encourage sustainability and growth within the tourism industry of Solihull, facilitating cross sector opportunities, promotion and
diversification


  Strategic                 Wider/                                       Actions                                 Outputs             Lead & Partners        Time-         Costs/
 Objectives            Regional Priorities                                                                                                                  scale        Funding
                                                                                                                                                                         Require-
                                                                                                                                                                          ments


Ensure             WMVES Instigation of a            Commission an investigation to form a               Production of Solihull     Business Investment    By Feb 08   AWM
sustainability &   programme of market/product       commercial forward plan for Solihull Tourism,       Tourism Commercial Plan.   & appointed
growth within      focused research , to fill key    including identifying key opportunities, links to                              Consultancy
the tourism        gaps in current regional          sub-regional Destination Management
sector             tourism intelligence              Partnerships and potential funding sources
                                                     and to position Solihull to respond and
                                                     strengthen the Regional Tourism offer.


                   WMVES Connect Town Centre         Form a Tourism Working Group to establish           Quarterly Tourism          Solihull Town Centre   By Mar 08   AWM/DMPs
                   Management functions with         links between Solihull town/retail centres          Working Group meetings     Partnership,
                   the visitor economy and sub       (Solihull, Shirley, Chelmsley Wood), visitor        established                Town Centre
                   regional DMPs                     gateways (National Exhibition Centre (NEC),                                    Managers, NEC, BIA,
                                                     BIA) and sub-regional partners – to facilitate                                 Coventry &
                                                     the infrastructure for Solihull to input into                                  Warwickshire/ B’ham
                                                     Regional tourism plans.                                                        Destination
                                                                                                                                    Management
                                                                                                                                    Partnerships (DMPs),
                                                                                                                                    AWM, Private Sector


                   Draft WMES Providing              Make referrals to relevant support groups in        Increased number of        Business Link          Ongoing     Partner
                   businesses with access to high    highlighted areas of need from Business             businesses supported by    (Regional Centre for               Organisations
                   quality, market-facing business   Investment Liaison programme (e.g.                  relevant agencies and      Tourism Business
                   support services                  accessibility, legislation) and participation in    participation in grading   Support)
                                                     Regional ‘Quality at Heart’ campaign                schemes
                  Draft WMES Raise employer         Form a Skills theme group within the Working     Increased number of           Business Link, LSC,     Ongoing     Partner
                  awareness of business case        Group to identify common issues and link to      businesses supported by       Private Sector                      Organisations
                  for training workforce and        appropriate support schemes/providers            relevant agencies and
                  stimulate employer                including Train to Gain.                         participation in Train to
                  engagement in training & skills                                                    Gain

                  WMVES Create opportunities
                  to upskill and enhance quality
                  of service

                  Draft WMES Improve                Lobby for investment and greater accessibility   Solihull involvement in       Transport &             Ongoing
                  accessibility, business           to area through key gateways (BIA, New           regional transport            Highways, BIA,
                  competitiveness and visitor       Street Station) through sector engagement        planning/policy making        Private Sector
                  perceptions through transport     and regular communication of transport
                  gateways                          issues/plans, via Business Investment Liaison    Regular e-bulletin
                                                    programme and e-communications to                communications detailing
                                                    encourage sector response                        appropriate information


                  WMVES Target 9% growth in         Promote employment of a local workforce          Increase in the               Employability, Access   Ongoing
                  tourism employment between        through Business Investment Liaison              percentage of local           to Employment
                  2002-10                           programme, referred through to tailored          workforce identified during   Group, Private Sector
                                                    recruitment packages and job specific training   annual tourism survey
                                                    packages ran by the Employability Team


Promote           WMVES Interlock tourism with      Incorporate key tourism messages into Solihull   Produce marketing             Business Investment     By Feb 08
national &        planning and inward               Business Investment Place Marketing and PR       materials and Press
international     investment                        Campaign through sub brand ‘Lifestyled for       Releases highlighting
awareness of                                        Success’ to raise awareness of the Solihull      ‘Lifestyled for Success’
Solihull as a     JIP Ensure Economic               tourism and conferencing offer and link to
tourism and       Development and Investment        related Creative Industry sector targeting
business          acts as a driver to increase                                                       Secure a tourism
destination and   levels of competitiveness,        Encourage participation in the Solihull          representative on
engagement in     productivity, enterprise and      Ambassador scheme, using key tourism and         Ambassadors programme
Regional and      prosperity in the City Region..   business representatives to promote Solihull
sub-regional                                        as a place to live, work and visit
campaigns                                                                                            Ensure at least 5 tourism
                                                    Supply printed place marketing materials         outlets for material
                                                    (Brochure, Economic Newsletter) to tourist       distribution
                                                    outlets for distribution to business community
WMVES Clarify marketing           Use Tourism Working Group to develop joint         Produce joint marketing       Solihull Town Centre   By Mar 08   AWM/DMPs
messages and importance of        Town Centre and Visitor Destination marketing      plan and secure funding       Partnership,
quality and pride of place.       and promotion opportunities as a place to live,    for activities                Town Centre
Marketing best done at sub-       work and visit                                                                   Managers, NEC, BIA,
regional level using strong                                                                                        Coventry &
destination ‘sub brands’          Ensure consistent with and feed back into                                        Warwickshire/ B’ham
                                  messaging for Regional and sub-regional                                          Destination
                                  Tourism marketing strategies                                                     Management
                                                                                                                   Partnerships (DMPs),
                                                                                                                   AWM, Private Sector


WMVES Prioritise events to        Ensure Solihull representation (including the      Attendance of WM              NEC, Marketing         Ongoing     AWM/DMPs
showcase identified business      NEC) in drives to raise the profile of the         Business Tourism Theme        B’ham, WM Business
clusters                          Regional and local conferencing facilities to      Group meetings and            Tourism Theme
                                  attract events and showcase local key              Solihull representation in    Group
Draft WMES Promote and            business sectors                                   conference materials
develop major business
tourism destinations and          Ensure Theme Group representation on the           Produce joint promotion
events that advantage the         WM Business Tourism Theme Group, provide           plans with Marketing
Region                            local materials for use in overseas marketing      B’ham and WM Business
                                  drives (at IMEX, Confex etc) and involvement       Tourism Theme Group
JIP Develop sporting facilities   in benchmarking research undertaken
and events on a collaborative                                                        Monitor progress of local
and connected basis               Ensure Theme Group representation on               conferencing through
                                  B’ham’s Conference Ambassador Programme            sector surveys


JIP Capitalise on the impact of   Ensure tourism interests are represented in        A number of tourism           SMBC 2012 Steering     Ongoing
the 2012 Olympics…and a           the SMBC 2012 Steering Group Plans and             initiatives included in the   Group (Community
post Olympiad enthusiasm for      wider WM 2012 Plans, to maximise the               SMBC 2012 Action Plan         Services)
sport and physical activity       benefits of increased visitor traffic, pre Games                                 WM Advisory and
                                  training camp occupancy and raised media           A number of tourism           Leadership Group,
                                  awareness of the Region during the Games           promotion activities          DMPs, Private Sector
                                                                                     included in the 2012
                                  Develop a communications plan to maximise          Communications Plan
                                  promotion of key assets (BIA, NEC) to capture
                                  tourism benefits for the Region
                  WMVES Strengthen                   Ensure rural representation in Solihull tourism    Establish regular            Coventry, Solihull &   Ongoing
                  connections between the rural      plans to promote cross working and                 communication with the       Warwickshire Rural
                  and urban offer                    diversification opportunities                      Rural Forum and rural        Forum
                                                                                                        representation on the
                                                     Ensure rural representation in the Tourism         Working Group
                                                     Working Group (detailed above)
                                                                                                        Produce a tourism/rural
                                                     Ensure tourism engagement with the                 events calendar and
                                                     Coventry, Solihull & Warwickshire Rural Forum      secure funding

                                                     Investigate funding opportunities for and
                                                     establish/promote a joint tourism and rural
                                                     events calendar


Encourage         JIP Creation of common             Establish linkages with cultural organisations     Produce a joint cultural     Community Services     Ongoing   ?
Tourism’s         cultural and tourism priorities    (arts, libraries, museums and associations)        and tourism programme of     City Region Cultural
contribution to   and objectives                     and programmes within Solihull to develop and      events                       Partnership, MLA,
generate wider                                       promote combined cultural and tourism                                           Arts Council
benefits for      WMVES Co-ordination of             events/packages                                    Produce a regular cultural
Solihull and      regional festivals and events                                                         bulletin to tourism
wider Region      incorporating cultural, sports     Investigate funding opportunities and              businesses
                  and faith events                   programmes as part of the City Region Quality
                                                     of Life Joint Investment Plan                      Ensure Solihull tourism
                                                                                                        representation on the City
                                                                                                        Region Cultural
                                                                                                        Partnership


                  JIP Raise profile if City          Promote linkages between tourism and sport         Regular communication of     Coventry &             Ongoing   ?
                  Region’s cultural and sporting     through staging of events and conferencing         activities identified in     Warwickshire/B’ham
                  offer and lobby for stronger       resulting from the 2012 Games                      ‘Welcome Legacy’ paper       Olympic Task Forces,
                  cultural and sporting facilities                                                      to businesses                NEC,
                  to compete with the best in        Identify opportunities from the DCMS                                            2012 SMBC Steering
                  Europe                             ‘Welcome Legacy’ paper and ensuring                Tourism initiatives          Group (Community
                                                     dedicated Tourism activities in the SMBC 2012      included in SMBC 2012        Services), Tourism
                                                     Action Plan                                        Action Plan                  West Midlands

                                                     Ensure Solihull involvement in B’ham 2012
                                                     Task Force plans to attract major sport events,
                                                     enhance sporting facilities and attract Regional
                                                     media attention.
Maximise the    JIP Develop ‘food tourism’        Encourage local supply chain development         Establish and run a         Community Services,    By Jun 08   AWM?
economic        aspect                            through establishment of a sector networking/    Solihull networking event   Tourism West
benefits of                                       ‘Meet The Buyer’ events (food & drink and        attended by a range of      Midlands
Solihull’s      WMVES Facilitation of local       related industries) and participation in local   tourism sub-sector
tourism         business clusters and             food groups and awards (E.g. Heart of            businesses
economy         collaborative networks to share   England Fine Foods)
                best practice


                WMVES WM Regional                 Encourage participation in Corporate Social      Increase number of          ‘Footprint’ Steering   By Mar 08
                Sustainable Development           Responsibility and local community               tourism businesses signed   Group
                Framework – encourage the         involvement through the SMBC ‘Footprint’         up to ‘Footprint’
                development of ‘sustainable       programme                                        programme
                tourism’


Ensure                                            Respond to policy consultation at local,         N/A                         Business Investment    Ongoing
Solihull’s                                        regional and national levels, including that
Tourism                                           associated with Planning, 2012 Olympics and
agenda is                                         transport issues
represented
within policy

								
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