Destination WIGAN by nyut545e2


									Destination WIGAN
A tourism strategy for Wigan Borough
2004 – 2009
  A place where people visit for an extended period of time and engage in
  multiple activities; Where activities exist for a range of target customer
groups; Where people will want to return in the anticipation of new things to
                                 do and see.

Destination WIGAN
A tourism strategy for Wigan Borough
2004 – 2009


1.0    Forward

2.0    Overview

3.0    Strategic Context

4.0    The Tourism Environment

       The Local Environment
       The Regional Environment
       The National Environment

5.0    Responding to the challenges

6.0    Tourism: a 5-year Vision

7.0    Strategic Aims and Objectives

       The Programmes;

       Branding and Communication
       Research and Product Development
       Visitor Experience
       Skills Development
       Tourism Infrastructure
       Cultural Attractions

8.0    Scrutiny and Control

Wigan Tourism Unit
The Piermaster’ Office
Wigan Pier

20th November 2003.

1.0    FORWARD

Only through partnership will the region grow and only then will Wigan grow’
‘                                                                          .

We take pleasure in jointly introducing the Destination Wigan Tourism Strategy.

The borough of Wigan is one of the fastest growing tourism destinations within the
sub-region of Greater Manchester, benefiting from nearly £200M of tourism revenue
each year. Wigan nurtures tourism as an industry - recognising the power of tourism
as an economic and social driver of change and improvement.

Wigan has achieved much as a destination, however there is much more work to be
done, work which is recognised within this strategy.

This strategy embraces two primary principles: Excellence and Winning.

The strategy encourages ‘                ,
                            Excellence’ motivating the local industry to improve
                                                quality’the byword of future
standards of facility and service and in making ‘

The strategy promotes ‘Winning’ and looks to encourage the local industry to
                                                       excellence’as a competitive
compete more effectively, improve productivity and use ‘

The borough’ tourism aspirations cannot be realised in isolation to regional and sub-
regional developments. We welcome that the Destination Wigan strategy dovetails
into the programmes that make up the recently published North West Tourism Vision
and the activities identified within the Greater Manchester Tourism Strategy.

Moreover, we welcome that Destination Wigan embraces the reality that future
tourism success requires a true and genuine partnership approach, working side by
side with local stakeholders, other destinations, the Regional Development Agency
and with Marketing Manchester as the Destination Management Organisation for
Greater Manchester. Only through partnership will the region grow and only then will
Wigan grow.

We look forward now to seeing the further development of the region and further
collaboration in growing the tourism potential of Wigan Borough.

                Ron Jones                          Andrew Stokes
                 Chairman                         Managing Director
            Wigan Tourism Forum                  Marketing Manchester

2. 0      OVERVIEW

2.1       Through the implementation of this strategy, we aim to position Wigan
          Borough as a popular and respected visitor destination within the North West
          region and the 4th most popular destination within the Greater Manchester

2.2                                                                      s
          The Destination Wigan Strategy looks to build on the borough’ inherent
          strengths and character and provide a clear focus for progressing tourism
          locally through until 2009.

2.3       Implementation of this strategy will require co-ordination and partnership
          working across a local and sub-regional (Greater Manchester) level with
          leadership provided by Wigan Tourism Unit.

2.4                                                            Excellence’and
          Underpinning this vision are 2 cross cutting themes: ‘
          ‘Winning’. Both have been extracted from the North West Tourism Vision
          which provides the framework for the development of this strategy.


      ?   To promote the value of excellence to all tourism services, facilities
          and partnerships.

      ?   To support only those tourism facilities and services which are of a
          standard which underpins our ambition to position the borough of
          Wigan as one of the most popular destinations within the North West

      ?   To encourage and support excellence by all those employed directly or
          indirectly in tourism within the borough of Wigan.


      ?   To encourage and support tourism facilities, services and partnerships
          to compete effectively.

      ?   To encourage a professional approach to tourism management,
          decision making and planning.

      3.0        STRATEGIC CONTEXT

      3.1        In developing the Destination Wigan Tourism Strategy we have taken
                 account of local tourism strengths and opportunities and wider environmental
                 influences and issues.

      3.2        Although developed to progress local tourism, the strategy takes its lead from
                 a number of national strategies and has been particularly influenced at a
                 regional level by the North West Development Agency Tourism Vision and the
                 Marketing Manchester sub - regional tourism development strategy.

                                         National Tourism Strategy
                                    VISIT BRITAIN (“Enabling Success”)

                                              North West

Association of               MARKETING MANCHESTER SUB-REGIONAL
GM Authorities                       TOURISM STRATEGY
  Strategy                       “FOR THE GREATER GOOD”

Wigan Borough
Wigan Cultural

                         2004/       2005/       2006/       2007/       2008/             Scrutiny
                           05          06          07          08          09

                                 ANNUAL TOURISM ACTION PLANS


4.1     The local environment.

4.1.1   The borough of Wigan is the largest of the 10 Greater Manchester boroughs
        by area (77 square miles) with over 75% of this area being countryside. Wigan
        borough is at the heart of the north west and mid way between Manchester
        and Liverpool.

4.1.2   2001 STEAM tourism impact figures showed that the Wigan Borough is
        currently the 3rd most valuable and the fastest growing tourism destination
        within Greater Manchester (outside of the City of Manchester), reporting a year
        on year increase in tourism business of 22% to £193.65M.

4.1.3   It is predicted over the next 5 years, that growth will slowly level out and that
        the borough will fall in the Greater Manchester tourism league table, mainly
        due to increasing local competition by destinations, particularly within the
        Manchester city pride sub-region.

4.1.4   In the Wigan area, there are around 7,000 people employed in the tourism and
        culture sector. This is the equivalent of 6% of total employment. Between
        1995 and 2001 employment in the sector grew by 917 jobs (15%) and the
        local tourism sector is expected to grow by a further 800 jobs by 2011. If staff
        turnover in Wigan equals that in the North West as a whole (40%) then over
        the next 5 years, there will be a need to fill almost 3,000 local tourism jobs.

4.1.5   Within the Borough, tourism is an industry that the Council and its partners
        take seriously. The local authority in particular has put a great deal of
        dedication and investment into developing the tourism potential of the borough.
        This is exemplified by tourism developments such as Wigan Pier and Haigh
                                         Ambassadors’tourism training scheme and the
        Hall; in initiatives such as the ‘
        ‘                                                       Tourism for Tomorrow’
         Ariel’tourism careers project; and in their support of ‘
        the Wigan borough tourism strategy 1998 – 2003.

4.1.6   ‘                                      s
         Tourism for Tomorrow’was the borough’ first dedicated tourism strategy
        and focussed mainly in the development of the tourism infrastructure required
        to build a viable tourism destination.

4.1.7                           Tourism for Tomorrow’was the establishment of the
        A significant output of ‘
        Wigan Tourism Forum, the strategic public/private sector partnership now
        responsible for driving local tourism development.

4.1.8   The Wigan Borough Community Plan is focussed on improving: ‘        The place we
            ; the                                  ; our
        live’ ‘ lifestyle and local quality of life’ ‘ image so that local people feel
        positive about the borough and so it will be more attractive to outsiders’ The
        Council recognises the value that tourism has in such improvements.

4.1.9   The Wigan Unitary Development Plan (2004-2010) recognises the contribution
        tourism has on the ‘ongoing economic, social and physical regeneration and
        related urban renaissance of the Wigan Borough’ .

4.1.10 Local authority responsibility for tourism and destination management
       presently resides with the newly established Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust.
       Although new investment streams exist, the Trust still has to work with
       spending and investment constraints.

4.1.11 There is increasing pressure on the local authority and the Leisure and Culture
       Trust to respond to the legislative requirements of the Disability Discrimination
       Act 1996. Tourism facilities and services are now required to take reasonable
       steps to make services accessible to persons with disabilities.

4.1.12 Wigan is a popular day visitor destination with 45% of local tourism business
       relating to day visits. Existing attractions such as Wigan Pier and Haigh Hall
       will continue to consolidate this position, whilst new attractions including the
       proposed Wigan Grand Arcade shopping centre development, the Wigan Pier
       Quarter and Leigh Sports Village are expected to facilitate growth.

4.1.13 A recent North West Tourist Board benchmarking study highlighted a number
       of areas in which the borough and in particular Wigan Town Centre could look
       to improve. 13% of all Wigan tourism complaints related to the lack of
       adequate tourism information within the town centre.

4.1.14 Wigan Town Centre is well positioned strategically to benefit from the
       expected growth in rail and bus travel. The improvements to the Main West
       Coast Line and the expected integration and refurbishment of the town’ two
       railway stations will support and facilitate passenger growth. Such an
       opportunity is to be recognised when developing tourism plans for the

4.2     The regional environment

4.2.1   There has been a major restructuring of national tourism management
        complete with a re-apportionment of regional tourism responsibility to the
        North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA). At a national level, the
        primary aim of the restructure is the reduction in the tourism balance of
        payments, achieved through greater investment in marketing England as a
        destination. At a regional level, the RDA has taken on the ‘ lead role of
        developing a sustainable and prosperous tourism industry’     .

4.2.2   To facilitate regional tourism development, the RDA has published the North
        West Tourism Vision, a 10 year strategy for growing the regional tourism offer.
        It comprises 9 strategic programmes:

        ?   Focus on Star Brands
        ?   Winning Themes
        ?   Make it Easy
        ?   Excellence in Business Support
        ?   A region for Business
        ?   Excellent Events
        ?   Polishing Gems
        ?   Intelligence Led

        ?   Signature projects.

4.2.3 The Vision and its programmes will have a significant impact on sub-regional
      strategy and destination management planning. Delivery of the Vision and
      tourism development at a sub-regional level will become the responsibility of 5
      newly established Destination Management Organisations. Marketing
      Manchester will be the DMO for Greater Manchester. The North West Tourist
      Board will be dis-established from the 31st March 2004. Future tourism
      structural funding and development support will be made available through
      Marketing Manchester for those destinations and local authorities, whose plans
      embrace the NW Tourism Vision and it’ principles.

4.2.4 The North West is expected to benefit from 5% tourism growth over the next
      10 years with Greater Manchester consolidating its position as the UK’ third
                                                   s second city’
      most popular city destination and the country’ ’            .

4.2.5   Tourism in Greater Manchester is an increasingly significant industry
        contributing some £1.7 billion to the local economy and is responsible for
        motivating 81 million visits. Tourism in the region directly employs over 33,000
        people with the borough of Wigan accounting for 21% (7,000 employees) of
        this total.

4.2.6   The impressive regeneration of Manchester with its new attractions and the
        success of major events including the Commonwealth Games 2002 will mean
        an expected additional 300,000 annual visitors. It is important that this strategy
        recognises this opportunity.

4.2.7   The strategy must also recognise the opportunities provided by Liverpool as
        the European City of Culture in 2008.

4.3     The national environment.

4.3.1   Over the next 10 years there is expected to be a significant growth in both the
        Grey Market (over 55’ and Families (parents aged 35-54). By 2030 the Grey
        Market will outnumber young independent travellers by 20%. The Grey Market
        is tourism’ most lucrative future market with the highest amount of
        disposable tourism time and income and the highest yielding market in relation
        to future sales of short breaks and urban destination visits.

4.3.2   Families will account for 40% of all future tourism trips and are set to increase
        by 3% per annum until 2011.

4.3.3   The Visiting, Friends and Relatives (VFR) market has increased by 135% over
        the past 10 years and this growth will continue. Destinations that possess a
        large resident population (Wigan 311,000) and a high propensity of students,
        have the potential to benefit most.

4.3.4   Whilst long stays taken by the domestic market are set to fall, a 60% growth
        within the short break market is reported. Cultural, urban and sports themed
        activities, taken by the Grey, VFR and Independent Travel markets are
        becoming popular, all of which bode well for the Wigan borough.

4.3.5   Nationally, day visits are set to increase by 6% per annum. This is in part
        fuelled by the increase in Visiting Friends and Relatives. Popular themes for

        day visits will be countryside, shopping, sport, cultural events and the night
        time experience.

4.3.6   Cultural day visitor attractions including museums are expected to continue to
        see a decline in visitors, mainly due to the proliferation in competition over the
        past 10 years and changing consumer interests.

4.3.7   Cities and towns are now very much back in vogue with urban tourism
        accounting for 60% of domestic tourism visits. Staying visits to such
        destinations will, in the most part be made up of short trips of 3 nights; will be
        less seasonal; with visitors relying much more on public transport and in
        particular rail travel.

4.3.8   Rural tourism will account for 12 million trips annually. In order to benefit,
        destinations will be required to offer a variety of rural attractions and activities
        based around ‘ exploration’– walking or cycling.

4.3.9   Business tourism has been booming in line with the performance of the
        national economy and growth is expected to be sustained at 4% per year.
        Destinations to benefit will be those that cater for smaller and shorter

4.3.10 Sports tourism is increasing and is valued at £1.5b nationally. 35% of all
       sports tourism takes place in the North West of England.

4.3.11 Technology is making a radical impact on the way that independent, trade and
       business visitors source destination information and make bookings. Tourist
       Information Centres will be required to take up more of a pivotal destination
       management role and reposition themselves for the changing markets and


5.1     Wigan Borough stands tall and proud as a tourism destination. To date the
        borough has attracted an estimated 45 million people since 1986, when Wigan
        Pier – the borough’ first tourism development opened its doors.

5.2     It would be foolish however, to be complacent and assume future success is
        inevitable. Wigan will be required to build on its experience and achievements

          if it is to consolidate its position as one of the region’ top destinations and
          benefit from what is set to be a period of growth within the sub-region and the
          north west tourism region over the next 10 years.

5.3       Tourism for Tomorrow’was the borough’ first dedicated tourism
          ‘                                           s
          development strategy (1998 -2003). ‘   Tourism for Tommorrow’focussed on
          putting in place the infrastructure. Now in place, the focus of Destination
          Wigan is very much on marketing and product development.

5.4       Our day visitor product is excellent, however it must receive more support
          from the local industry and tourism stakeholders if it is to take advantage of the
          growing family and VFR markets.

5.5       The borough has a range of products that are attractive to the emerging and
          high yielding grey and business tourism markets. We must invest in
          packaging and marketing these products.

5.6       We must develop new products around our local strengths: Our countryside;
          our urban experience (nightlife and shopping); and our sporting attractions.

5.7       Our overall cultural offer is very colourful and rich. Our strategic events
          programme is however, weak and needs management investment.

5.8       Wigan Tourism Unit also requires further investment. It simply does not have
          adequate resources to underwrite this strategy. As destination managers, the
          unit will be required to procure structural funding, whilst through creative
          income generation, become more financially self-sufficient.

5.9       Liverpool and Manchester will lead the way as regional destinations. Wigan,
          like no other destination is best placed to take advantage of these ‘
          brands’ .

5.10      Manchester will be a major tourism catalyst. Wigan must work at exploiting
          this by piggy backing on its tourism plans and strengthening the borough’
          relationship with the city, its attractions and the new DMO.

5.11      Our tourism ambition can only be achieved through effective partnership
          working. The Wigan Tourism Forum is already an effective lead development
          partnership, however it will require restructuring.

5.12      Ultimately, Destination Wigan will be required to adopt and be fully committed
          to the North West Tourism Vision and its cross cutting principles of winning
          and excellence. It is these two elements that will enable the borough to stand
          out in what is a highly competitive however, potentially high yielding


6.1       To work in genuine partnership in the creation of:
      ?   A tourism offer that is innovative and attractive to the marketplace.
      ?   A tourism sector that is highly competitive, efficient and professional.
      ?   A tourism industry that is successful, sustainable and ultimately

          We will achieve this through:

6.2       Improving our Branding and Communication
          Investing in Research and Product Development
          Investing in Technologies
          Encouraging Skills Development
          Developing our Tourism Infrastructure
          Enhancing the Visitor Experience
          Encouraging Sustainability
          Developing our Cultural Attractions


      By the start of 2009 we will achieve:

      ?   1.4 Million tourism visits per annum.
      ?   £225.5M visitor spend per annum.
      ?   7400 people directly employed in local tourism.


          Key Requirement:

      ?   To position the borough as a modern, varied and colourful destination,
          one that attracts external visitors, generates income and creates local

   ?    To react to market needs and aspirations and develop the tourism
        potential of Wigan borough with high quality and innovative

   ?    To generate goodwill and an understanding of tourism and its benefits,
        between the tourism sector and local stakeholders.


7.1.2   It is vital that Wigan borough and its tourism sector recognise the growth of
        Manchester as a tourism destination and as a catalyst for motivating national
        and international visits to the sub-region. As such we will be looking to
        consolidate our existing relationship with the city and the city pride partners.

7.1.3   We will embrace the core marketing principles of the North West Tourism
        Vision; positioning Wigan (and its component attractions), as a ‘Slipstream
        Brand’supporting Manchester to develop its potential as an ‘ Attack Brand’.
        Clearly, this must be a two-way programme with the City proactively looking to
        disperse visitors and spend across the region and in particular the borough of
        Wigan. This coupling is to be formulated within a 3-year marketing
        communication plan.

7.1.4   Within the plan the destination of Wigan will increase its profile and presence
        within the city and City Pride destinations.

7.1.5   The marketing communication plan will focus on developing innovative
        campaigns targeting the;
   ?    Short breaks market.
   ?    Meetings, Incentives and Conference Market.
   ?    Family and VFR market.

7.1.6   We will place more emphasis upon themes. Future campaigns will target the
        aforementioned target markets, adopting one or more of the following themes
                                                          Winning Themes’
        (as identified within the regional tourism vision ‘              ):
        Countryside and on the waterfront; Fantastic food and night time nirvana;
        Sports Mecca; Powerhouse and family fun.

7.1.7   All tourism development activity (including Wigan Tourism Unit) is to be re-
        branded as ‘                     ,
                     Destination Wigan’ characterising a colourful, vibrant and varied
                                                        Manchester’typeface and
        destination. The branding is to incorporate the ‘
        imagery, thus creating visual consistency across marketing activity and
        between Greater Manchester destinations.

7.1.8   Wigan Tourism Unit is to lead on a cross sector review of existing and future
        borough positioning. Working in partnership with council and economic
        development partners, Wigan Tourism Unit is to develop and introduce a
        unified identity and image charter for the borough.

7.1.9   The Destination Wigan image charter is to be introduced across all local
        sectors. Partners are to be encouraged to embrace new branding and
        positioning. Branding Packs are to be made available.

7.1.10 The re-branding of Wigan is to be supported by the establishment of an image
       bank. This is to be made available in electronic library formats.

7.1.11 We will develop and implement an internal stakeholder promotional campaign:
       Raising awareness of the work of the Tourism Unit and its services and
       promoting the benefits of tourism as an industry, as an employer, as a career,
       and as a catalyst for improving the local community.

7.2.12 We will gain a better understanding of the available technology and look to
       utilise the technology to improve our marketing and commercial capability.
       This will include developing the full potential of the destination Wigan web site.

7.2.13 Wigan Tourism Unit is to work in partnership with Wigan Leisure and Culture
       Trust in maximising usage of the newly established Customer Relationship
       Model and technology.

7.1.14 We will look to increase our profile and attract visitors by developing ‘
       back’promotional opportunities, primarily with Marketing Manchester, but also
       with the Merseyside DMO and look to exploit the increasing number of visitors
       expected in Liverpool as a result of being crowned European Capital of Culture

7.1.15 The day visitor market is our tourism mainstay and as such we will look to put
       together an innovative day visitor marketing campaign. This is to be developed
       across two levels. Locally Attractions including Wigan Pier and Haigh Hall are
       to be encouraged to work more as a marketing partnership. Whilst at a sub
       regional level local attractions will be encouraged to form and benefit from
       thematic marketing activity.

7.1.16 Wigan TIC is to take increasing responsibility for the management of
       campaign activity and in particular and fulfilment of all enquiries. This is to be
       recognised within the TIC Development Plan. Wigan TIC will invest in
       marketing its own services and facilities.

7.1.17 We will look to raise the profile of the Wigan Tourism Forum and its sub
       groups including the Wigan Hoteliers Network.


          Key Requirement:

      ?   To improve tourism management decision making within the borough
          through the provision of reliable market information.

   ?                           s
        To improve the borough’ standing as a destination through the
        development and marketing of innovative and attractive tourism
        services and products.

   ?    To continually look to improve our tourism products and services;
        achieved through continual market appraisal and internal scrutiny.


7.2.1   The Leisure and Culture Trust are no longer required to participate within the
        Best Value review process. We will however, as a means of best practise,
        continue to embrace the Best Value principles and; Compete, Compare,
        Consult and Challenge.

7.2.3   As a destination, we will monitor our performance via subscription to the
        National Tourism Best Value Management Group and the Regional Tourist
        Board Destination Benchmarking Study (given that the latter is incorporated
        within DMO or RDA responsibilities). Participation in the benchmarking study
        will be in 2004, 2006 and 2008.

7.2.4   As a destination, we will continue to support the STEAM Tourism Economic
        Impact Model in collaboration with our partner districts within the Greater
        Manchester Districts Tourism Forum. We will look to converge future STEAM
        studies into a local Tourism Satellite Account.

7.2.5   Wigan TIC will challenge its service delivery, through participation within an
        annual TIC Benchmarking Study.

7.2.6   Wigan Tourism Unit will invest in the following primary research activities:

   ?    Day Visitor segmentation and market profiling. (In partnership with GM DMO or
   ?    TIC Visitor feedback.

7.2.7   Wigan Tourism Unit will invest in the following secondary research activities:

   ?    Short break segmentation and market profiling.

7.2.8   We will continue to search and collect other secondary data that may
        contribute to the future development of Wigan as a destination. All information
        collected will be made available within a tourism management research library
        and disseminated electronically (See E-tourism Centre). The library is to be
        marketed to managers and managers provided with appropriate access

7.2.9   Product development is to take place around the following specific growth
        market segments:

   ?    Short breaks market.
   ?    Meetings, Incentives and Conference Market.
   ?    Family and VFR market.

7.2.10 A secondary target market worth exploring, if only for political goodwill, will be
       our twin town of Angers.

7.2.11 We will work with operators in the development and marketing of attractive
       Wigan short break experiences. Short break experiences will embrace the
       winning themes of either: Countryside and on the waterfront; Fantastic food
       and night-time nirvana; Sports Mecca.

7.2.12 Developing business tourism is now a top priority. We are to work towards
       establishing the borough as a business centre of regional significance. The
       area’ many new and unique conference and meeting products are to work
       together in targeting the smaller and shorter meetings sector. The emphasis
       is very much on establishing a high quality niche meetings and conference

7.2.13 The Tourism Unit will continue to develop the travel trade market and invest
                                               Coaches Welcome’programme.
       further in marketing and developing the ‘

7.2.14 All products and services are to be developed around the principles of
       ‘                        .
        Winning and Excellence’ Quality, innovation and creativity are to be the
       bywords of our product development programme. Mediocrity and non-market
       focussed developments will not be supported by this strategy or by Wigan
       Tourism Unit and its partners.


          Key requirement;

      ?   To enhance the quality of the service and facilities available to all
          visitors; before, during and after a visit to the borough and its

   ?    To re-develop, re-position and re-invigorate the services and facilities
        of Wigan Tourist Information Centre.


7.3.1   The development of Wigan TIC is central to any aspirations to improve visitor
        experiences. It is therefore a priority to re-position and re-develop the facilities
        and services provided at the centre. Our vision is to provide a ground breaking
        – one stop tourism shop. A facility that will support Wigan Tourism Unit and
        service the needs of not just tourism visitors but the local community, tourism
        students, tourism managers and developers.

7.3.2   Such ambition will only be realised with the relocation of Wigan TIC into Wigan
        Town Centre. Accordingly, a Wigan TIC development plan and business plan
        is to be written to underpin the relocation and the centre’ sustainability.

7.3.3   We will work to win the support of our local stakeholders for our proposals,
        persuading those outside of the Trust that Wigan TIC is a shop window on the

7.3.4   Wigan Tourism Forum is to take the lead in the re-introduction of a Taxi
        Ambassador Programme. The Forum will be required to develop the initiative
        in partnership with the Council’ Licensing Department and attempt to
        integrate Ambassadors within the taxi licensing and plate application process.

7.3.5   Visitors require a breadth of choice of accommodation and quality of overall
        experience – especially service. Many local accommodation providers have
        embraced the Wigan Hotel Network Code of Conduct and are for the first time
        working to minimum standards of facility and service. It was the intention that
        the Code of Conduct was only a ‘   stepping stone’for establishments to
        participate within the national Quality Assurance Standards Scheme. Work is
        to be done to converge the two schemes.

7.3.6   We will work with our partners within the Wigan Hotel Network to ensure that
        front of house staff have an accurate knowledge of the local tourism offer.

7.3.7   The local tourism industry must positively respond to the requirements of the
        Disability Discrimination Act (1996). We will introduce a programme of positive
        actions including:

   ?                                                                   Welcome All’
        DDA, disability and equality awareness training (Incorporating ‘          ).

   ?    Introduce accommodation providers to the Accessibility Standards Scheme
        and support providers in acquiring accreditation.

   ?    Improve information within tourism marketing communication of local
        accessible attractions, facilities and services.

   ?    Work with the Ariel (tourism careers development) programme to identify
        opportunities that will seek to improve access to tourism employment for
        those with disabilities or problems of social exclusion.

7.3.8     Through the ‘Ariel’tourism careers initiative, we will continue to promote and
          support the Welcome to Excellence Programme of training and skills
          development. (See Skills Development).

7.3.9     We will look to enhance the service provided for visitors and include our local
          community in our tourism programmes with the introduction of a community
          guides and ambassadors’initiative – namely ‘  Buddies’  .

7.3.10 Visitor information is to be reviewed and where required improved. Such a
       review will examine the effectiveness and relevance of all existing printed and
       electronic visitor information and future customer needs. Consideration is to
       be given to sub-regional activity with the aim of avoiding overlapping visitor

7.3.11 Much work has been done to improve the information provided at ‘     welcome
       points’such a hotels and public transport stations. We will continue to service
       these points. In addition, we will examine the potential for widening our
       ‘welcome points’to selected regional gateways (e.g. regional transport hubs,
       attractions and hotels).

7.3.12 Excellence is to be encouraged. Visitor experience will ultimately only be
       improved and Wigan provided with a genuine competitive advantage when the
                    Excellence’is translated into all customer services and facilities.
       principle of ‘

7.3.10 Wigan Tourism Unit and Wigan Tourist Information Centre will look to improve
       and make more effective its customer service and customer service systems.
       When ready, Charter Mark accreditation will be applied for as recognition of
       practices, policies and procedures.


          Key requirement;

      ?   To support the regional ambition: Bringing together stakeholders to
          raise the profile of tourism as a first choice career and to address the
          labour shortages the industry is facing.

      ?   To remove barriers to tourism career participation.

      ?   To raise awareness of the benefit of tourism as a career and promote
          the local opportunities within the tourism sector.

      ?   To support the development and delivery of tourism skills and


7.4.1     This element of the strategy will underpin the strategic aims introduced within
          the previous Visitor Experience programme. The existing ‘   Ariel’(tourism
          careers development) Programme sits at the heart of this strategic
          programme. ‘   Ariel’is to be supported by the Destination Wigan strategy
          through until its completion in December 2004. The aims of Ariel are shared
          with this strategy:

      ?   Raising awareness of tourism and the benefits of tourism as a career.
      ?   Facilitating tourism career opportunities.
      ?   Reducing local tourism skills gaps.
      ?   Reducing local tourism employment shortages.
      ?   Providing for a rewarding, secure and safe tourism career.

7.4.2                              Ariel’as the regional ‘
          We will look to position ‘                               .
                                                         blue print’ We will consolidate
          our relationship with the North West Regional Tourism Skills Network and
          exploit new public and private sector relationships at a local level.

7.4.3     We will consider and develop an appropriate and workable legacy for the Ariel
          programme, post 2004.

7.4.4     We will launch a tourism training portfolio comprising two core training
          modules: Customer Care and Information and Communication Technology.
          The customer care element will be built around the ‘ Welcome to Excellence’
          series of training courses and include ‘Welcome All’and DDA 1996
          awareness training.

7.4.5     We will audit existing recruitment practices with the aim of improving
          procedure, achieving economies of scale and support recruitment policies that
          encourage the right calibre of person into the local sector.

7.4.6     Ultimately we will look to invest in a quality tourism workforce and utilise
          improved tourism skills to develop Wigan’ competitive advantage. We will
          promote our destination’ outstanding skills and outstanding people within all
          marketing and communication activity.


          Key requirement:

      ?   To develop innovative uses of information technology and telematics
          which will strengthen and expand the tourism sector of the local

      ?   To utilise information technologies in the provision of efficient and
          effective visitor services.


7.5.1     The existing Destination Wigan website is to be further developed and
          exploited. This is to be the main destination management site for Wigan. All
          enquiries and visitor traffic is to be channelled through this site. We will invest
          in the site and make it more interactive and responsive to customer

7.5.2     We will look to utilise the site for the benefit of collecting and disseminating
          visitor and market data.

7.5.3     There is a greater reliance on income generation. We will work with our
          partners across the region and in particular Marketing Manchester to explore
          the commercial opportunities available through the Destination Wigan site.

7.5.4     Wigan Tourist Information Centre is to also explore electronic commercial
          development opportunities. This is to include electronic marketing, the further
          development of its on-line services and merchandising.

7.5.5     As part of the TIC Development Plan we aim to develop an E-tourism Centre.
          The establishment of such a facility is vital if we are to position Wigan TIC as a
          ground breaking and unique service. The E-tourism Centre will provide
          tourism students with learning support; leisure and tourism managers with
          decision making support; visitors with improved access to tourism information
          and services. The establishment of the e-tourism centre will be a catalyst for
          increasing usage at the TIC.

7.5.6     Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust is to invest in the provision and management
          of a customer relationship system. Wigan Tourism Unit is to dovetail into
          central plans and exploit the potential of such a system.

7.5.7     We will work with regional agencies and the Greater Manchester Districts
          Tourism Forum in investigating and developing a regional network of virtual
          tourism information points (satellite kiosks).

7.5.8     We will work with regional agencies and establish local networks in order to
          put in place a programme of business support (potentially grant aid) targeting
          the local accommodation sector (SME and micro businesses) and developing
          its ICT capabilities.

7.5.9     All ICT development will be supported with appropriate training. ICT training
          has duly been identified as a core element within our training portfolio.


          Key requirements;

   ?    To ensure that the systems, policies, networks and relationships are in
        place and working, in order to facilitate the development of tourism
        within the borough.

   ?    To influence those agencies and decision-makers who themselves
        have influence over the borough - its future direction and wider


7.6.1   This element of the strategy is very much about consolidating and establishing
        effective tourism partnerships at both a local and regional level.

7.6.2   Wigan Tourism Forum is already the lead local tourism development
        partnership however, it requires more bite. We will review the role and
        responsibilities of the Forum and make it more streamlined, responsive and
        responsible. The Forum should have real input into wider borough
        development activities that have or have the potential to impact on tourism.

7.6.3   In an attempt to be more responsive, we will establish a number of local
        private sector led networks, each of which will have representation on the
        Forum (see 7.6.9). Plus invite to the Forum, senior representatives of the
        appropriate council, development and regeneration agencies.

7.6.4   Future tourism development will require structural funding. We will establish a
        hard working procurement network to investigate funding streams and procure
        funding for tourism development activity.

7.6.5   Wigan Tourism Unit will in addition, investigate how it can become more
        financially self sufficient and generate income in order to fund its own
        development and sustainability.

7.6.6   Sub regional partnerships are vital. We will look to exploit partnerships with
        regional agencies including the North West Development Agency and the
        Greater Manchester Districts Tourism Forum. In particular we are to
        strengthen ties with Marketing Manchester, recognising the influence that the
        regional tourism management restructure has provided the agency.

7.6.7                 s
        The borough’ tourism aspirations and strategy are to influence wider borough
        planning and policy making. This is to include the local Unitary Development
        Plan, ensuring that tourism is both recognised and that the emphasis of future
        tourism, leisure and cultural planning and developments is on sustaining and
        adding quality rather than mere quantity.

7.6.8   Over the lifetime of the strategy we will focus support on three local
        infrastructure developments:

   ?    Wigan Pier Quarter.
   ?    Wigan Town Centre: Incorporating Grand Arcade. The Strategic Railway Hub
        and King Street developments

      ?   Leigh Sports Village.

7.6 9     We will invest and increase our support of local tourism SMEs and Micro
          businesses. This must be done in partnership with North Manchester
          Chamber of Commerce and Business Link. Business support will take the
          form of:

      ?   A programme of focussed business and management training and skills,
          based around: ICT; Business Development and Sustainability; DDA (1996)
          and Access. .

      ?   Improved personal guidance and advice, again focusing on the areas
          highlighted above.

      ?   The dissemination of management information and market data.
          (documentary and on-line support).

      ?   Through the establishment of Wigan Tourism Forum connected Sector

          Accommodation Sector
          Retail Sector.
          Sporting Attractions Sector.
          Hospitality and dining sector.
          Visitor Attractions sector.


          Key Requirement;

   ?                                                     s
        To manage visitor impact on the local destination’ community, natural
        environment and economy.


7.7.1   This strategy recognises the importance of sustainable tourism development
        and has developed this programme to be consistent with the aims of the
        Wigan Community and Agenda 21 Plans. Importantly, when we refer to
        sustainable development, we do not exclusively mean the wise growth of the
        natural environment, but also the wise growth of the local economic

        Environmental sustainability

7.7.2   We will encourage local tourism businesses to be environmentally and
        socially responsible by introducing an initiative namely ‘            .
                                                                  wise growth’ The
        programme will provide: Audit kits; business support and advice; information
        on sustainable initiatives and practices; training and skills development. This is
        to be supported at a local level by Wigan and Leigh Groundwork Trust.

7.7.3   We will look to reduce the use by visitors of private transport and encourage
        the use of public transport by:

   ?    Promoting public transport links to and within the destination in all main visitor

   ?    Creating more tourism opportunities for people to enjoy the local countryside
        and wetlands.

   ?    Promote alternative transport means including canal travel, walking and

7.7.4   It is important that tourism is socially sustainable. We will look to ensure that
        local tourism development is in balance with the interests of the local
        community and helps improve the local quality of life. Accordingly, we will
        support a small number of ‘                           .
                                      community clean ups’ Targeting those landmark
        areas that will come into contact with visitors. This is to be in partnership with
        the People and Places Programme

        Economic sustainability

7.7.6   The north west region has experienced a proliferation of new visitor attractions
        opening over the past 5 years. This competition and the introduction of many
        government sponsored ‘   free admission’attractions has resulted in many
        attractions now struggling to survive

7.7.7   We will look to introduce these issues to regional government whilst also
        influencing local planners and economic developers, promoting through the
        Unitary Development Plan, guidance policies which look to manage over
        supply and which consider and protect the long term interests of tourism

7.7.8   Through the Ariel Programme we will encourage local labour recruitment.

7.7.9   We will investigate the potential for developing a programme that encourages
        local purchasing.

7.7.10 We will support local inward investment agencies and North Manchester
       Business Link in providing an advisory service for new tourism businesses
       entering the borough.

7.7.11 We will work in partnership with town centre management and inward
       investors to encourage existing and new businesses to take advantage of
       development opportunities within Wigan Town Centre, Leigh Sports Village
       and in particular supporting cultural industries to take advantage of the Wigan
       Pier Quarter development.


        Key requirements;

   ?                            s
        To further develop Wigan’ position as a cultural destination.

   ?                                                       s
        To support the continued development of the borough’ cultural assets
        and fully exploit their tourism potential.


7.8.1                                                          Polishing Gems’
        This strategic aim supports the RDA Vision programme – ‘             .

7.8.2   Events play a crucial role in tourism development and contribute towards the
        creation of a positive image and increased profile of a destination. Wigan
        possesses an exciting and popular events programme, however one which in
        the main, attracts local audiences. In partnership with Wigan Leisure and
        Culture Trust, local event managers and the local industry, we will look to put
        together a select programme of events that will be highly marketable and of
        regional significance.

7.8.3   At the centre of our programme will be the existing Wigan International Jazz
        Festival. This event has much potential as a catalyst for attracting national and
        international staying visitors and as such should be supported more. We will
        also support the festival in lobbying internal stakeholders and the community
        to invest in its growth.

7.8.4   Our programme of events will look to dovetail into sub-regional plans for
        annual or core programme themes, thus benefiting from greater consistency
        and marketing economies of scale.

7.8.5   We will also look to translate our local cultural strengths and aspirations into
        our pre selected ‘  winning themes’(See Branding and Communication). In
        particular, look to encourage and support partnerships that are able to develop
        events around; ‘  fantastic food and night time nirvana’and ‘sporting Mecca’  .

7.8.6   Wigan Pier and Haigh Hall and Country Park are our two main cultural gems.
        Both are mature attractions in what is a very competitive and dynamic
        marketplace. We will focus on enhancing both attractions positioning them in
        order that they benefit from the growth in VFR and family visits to Greater

7.8.7                                                         cultural gem’ We will
        Wigan Pier is a national icon and will be our primary ‘            .
        work more closely with Wigan Pier to strengthen its profile and attract more
        business. The site has already been identified as a development quarter and
        we will support it accordingly.

7.8.8   We will attempt to encourage the Regional Development Agency to accept
        Wigan Pier as a ‘             ,
                         regional gem’ worth polishing and worth future structural
        support and funding.

7.8.9   More will be done to exploit the potential of Haigh Hall and Country Park,
        particularly within countryside and sporting themed activities.

7.8.10 We will re-introduce the Wigan Attraction Managers sub-group and promote
       closer working between local day visitor attractions. We will also look for the
       group to have a greater role within Wigan Tourism Forum.

7.8.11 We will work with our partners across Greater Manchester in developing
       sub-regional thematic partnerships, promotional consortia and joint working,
       making sure that both Wigan Pier and Haigh Hall are involved and benefit.

7.8.12 The quality of the local nightlife experience merits greater marketing
       investment. We will develop a campaign that promotes Wigan Town Centre
            Night time Nirvana’
       as a ‘                    .

7.8.13 We will continue with our efforts to promote the borough as a film/TV
       production location (Boomtown Initiative) and work to exploit selected tourism
       markets. Boomtown ceases in March 2005 and we will develop a legacy
       programme that will look to enable the borough to further benefit.

7.8.14 Wigan Tourism Unit will through this strategy support the borough’ wider
       cultural ambition. We will dovetail our tourism development activities into the
       Northern Soul cultural strategy and formalise closer working with the Cultural


8.1    The measurement of this strategy is important not only to monitor progress
       but also to help identify areas for future action.

8.2   Ultimately this strategy will be measured against those core tourism targets
      identified in our Tourism Vision (Section 6):

      By the start of 2009 we will achieve:

      ?   1.4 Million tourism visits per annum.
      ?   £225.5M visitor spend per annum.
      ?   7400 people directly employed in local tourism.

8.3   These targets will represent the tourism aspirations of the borough and Wigan
      Tourism Unit within all strategic planning activity. Accordingly these targets
      have been exported into the Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust 5-year
      Performance Plan and at a corporate level within Wigan Council’     s
      Performance Plus schedule.

8.4   Supporting the core tourism targets is a series of performance measures
      identified under and driving each of the eight priorities for action within the
      Destination Wigan strategy. These will be published within the annual Wigan
      Tourism Unit Action Plans that should be read in conjunction with this strategy.

8.5   All performance measures will comprise the joint Audit Commission/IdeA
      Library of Local Tourism Indicators and indicators established and endorsed at
      a local level through the Wigan Tourism Forum.

8.6   The Tourism Strategy will be monitored on an on-going basis. Evaluation of
      this strategy’ performance will be the responsibility of the Wigan Tourism


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