EXCITING plans to boost tourism across the Malvern Hills have been revealed by the district council.
Showcasing The Malverns to international visitors and supporting investment in new tourist attractions forms part of a the new Visitor Economy Action Plan which was unveiled to businesses last Wednesday at an event at the Bank House Hotel in Bransford.
The document sets out the vision for the district up until 2020 and the focus is on working more closely with different organisations to generate new reasons to visit the area and increase promotion as a way of driving up visitor numbers.
The Malverns already attracts more than 3.4million tourists a year, who spend more than £105million a year between them, supporting 2,500 jobs.
However, Visit Britain estimates the UK’s exit from the European Union in 2019 and the fall in the value of the pound will encourage more people to holiday at home and visitors from overseas, providing an ideal opportunity to increase that figure further.
Key parts of the plan include marketing The Malverns at major tourist destinations in the region including Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre and Birmingham International Railway Station.
Consideration is also being given to a targeted international marketing campaign and across London.
Tourism businesses will also be encouraged to offer joint promotions and visitor packages while the council will support companies to identify funding for investment in new attractions and to help train staff to fill skills gaps.
The Elgar Trail will be revamped and opportunities to link the district’s three towns with the countryside to encourage visitors to see more of the area will also be explored.
Coun Jeremy Owenson, portfolio holder with responsibility for tourism on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “We haven’t created this plan alone but with input from our tourism businesses and partners and their support is going to be crucial in ensuring we achieve our aims.
“It’s not only about providing an enhanced visitor experience but supporting businesses in the sector to grow and create jobs which benefits our local economy.
“We have a wonderfully diverse district and a lot to shout about.
“This plan provides a fresh opportunity to promote how the area is viewed and everything we have to offer.”
Neighbouring Wychavon District and Tewkesbury Borough Councils will also be approached to consider joint promotion of the riverside towns in each area.
The meeting also heard about the initial thinking behind plans to develop The Malverns brand and replicate the record tourism growth seen in areas like the Cotswolds.