Tuesday, 8 June 2010

First meeting of Cornwall's tourism panel

Everyone knows that tourism is a vital part of Cornwall's economy. As such, it is the responsibility of one of Cornwall Council's cabinet members. Carolyn Rule looks after the Visit Cornwall team - headed by Malcolm Bell - and the work that it does through the tourist information centres, providing information to visitors in Cornwall and promoting more visits.

Carolyn has just set up a new panel of councillors from all parties and all parts of Cornwall to help with this work and today was its first meeting.

As with any new group, the first meeting was more of run through of the activities of Visit Cornwall and a chance to build up ideas about the challenges that face us.

Should Cornwall be seeking to promote bucket and spade holidays, surfing, arts holidays, seek more visitors from overseas, extend the season or simply concentrate on those who spend the most money whilst they are here? And how should it be going about reaching the target audiences? If money were limitless, then of course we would be doing all of the above in every possible way. But we cannot do everything we would like and Visit Cornwall needs to make sure that its spending is tightly controlled and targeted where it is likely to have the best effect.

One of the reasons that I wanted to join the panel was because I think that we need to remember that not all of Cornwall is seen as being a tourist area. There are many parts (including Launceston) which, although they have some wonderful attractions, do not feature in any of the marketing and are ignored by many visitors. How can the Council and Visit Cornwall help these areas to develop new attractions and to get more visitors to come to them.

The panel is going to meet on a monthly basis and I hope that we will be able to come up with some good ideas and steer the work of the tourism team. Many thanks to Carolyn Rule for organising the meeting.

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