Aerial Reconnaissance & the First World War – Photographic Exhibition: 11th January – 26th February 2014

Dimbola Museum and Galleries, the Island’s home for photography, is launching a remarkable exhibition of World War I aerial photography, bringing together a collection of cameras, photographs and maps to show how these were used by soldiers fighting on the Western Front.  Most have been loaned by descendants currently resident on the Isle of Wight.

World War One saw photo-reconnaissance come of age.  For the first time photographs were taken from immediately above the field of battle and behind enemy lines, giving commanders in the field a unique and accurate picture of terrain and enemy dispositions as they planned operations.

Many of the photographs come from an extraordinary album collected by Lt Frank Vans Agnew, who enlisted into the British Army in 1914 at the age of 46, although at the time he pretended he was 40.

Frank served under the Canadian Cavalry Brigade, led by Islander General Jack Seely, who lived in Brook.

Include in the collection are original reconnaissance photographs and maps covering the 1917 battles of Messines and the third battle of Ypres, otherwise known as Passchendaele.

Frank was wounded at Messines and awarded the Military Cross for gallantry.  He was wounded a second time and captured during the 1st battle of Cambrai in Nov 1917.  He saw out the end of the war in Prisoner of War camps.

Prior to his enlistment, adventurer Frank had worked as an orange farmer in Florida, a copper miner in what is now Kazakhstan, and had served with an US Cavalry Regiment in the Spanish-American War.

IoW Cllr Bob Seely, whose great, great uncle commander the brigade in which Frank served, said:

“These photographs and maps are unique insight into how, 100 years ago, modern aerial reconnaissance developed.

“By 1917 when Lt Vans Agnew was a junior tank commander, the British Army was beginning to use tactics and planning which today’s soldiers would recognise; such as the use of aerial photography to develop imint – imagery intelligence – to understand and plot enemy positions and give commanders battle-winning information.

Imint, combined with combined arms tactics linking artillery, air, infantry, cavalry and the new-fangled tanks, helped turn the British Army into an increasing formidable and mobile machine.”

Invitation to contribute to Dimbola’s 2018 First World War Centenary Exhibition

Dimbola is interested in hearing from Islanders who may have photographs from the First World War taken by their friends or relatives. If you are interested in contributing to an exhibition to mark the centenary of the Armistice in Autumn 2018 please contact rachel.flynn@dimbola.co.uk.

Exhibition Open Evening

An Open Evening view of this exhibition will be held on Friday 17th January, 6-8pm. There will be hot and cold drinks available from a fully-licensed cash bar and an opportunity to view the Isle of Wight Photographer of the Year exhibition (11th Jan-30th Mar). All welcome, please RSVP to rachel.flynn@dimbola.co.uk.

Exhibition Talk

On Thursday 13th February at 6pm John Evans, one of the exhibition organisers, will be providing a fascinating insight into this historically-significant technology and the way in which it was used during the First World War. The talk will be followed by a reception and the opportunity to see the exhibition with hot and cold drinks available from a fully-licensed cash bar. Tickets are £4 and are available from Dimbola or by calling 01983 756814.

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NOTES TO EDITORS

Information on Dimbola Museum and Galleries

The former home of the pioneering Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron now houses permanent display of Cameron’s photographs and an historic camera collection.  As well as hosting a programme of regularly changing contemporary exhibitions Dimbola is also home to a permanent display on the history of the Isle of Wight Festival.

For further information, please contact the Exhibitions & Collections Coordinator Rachel Flynn on: 01983 756 814 / rachel.flynn@dimbola.co.uk / www.dimbola.co.uk

 

Galleries, Museum and Tearooms Open Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays 10am-4pm

 (November to March) and 7 Days a week from 10am-5pm (April to October)

Adults £5 (Gift Aid Admission), Concessions £4 (Gift Aid Admission), Friends of the JMCT, Artfund and Children under 16 years FREE

VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT TO LAUNCH NEW MUSIC EVENT

Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) has announced it will be launching a brand new islandwide music-event-cum-visitor-experience next year.

 

“Acoustic Isle” will run from 13 to 23 March 2014 and will build on the Island’s musical heritage and encourage more out of season visitors in the 30+ age range.  During the 11-day event, there will be hundreds of performances given by Island musicians, who will come together under the Acoustic Isle banner with a series of intimate gigs in Island pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants.

 

Seen as a fantastic opportunity for Island businesses to benefit and increase sales at a traditionally quiet time of year, Acoustic Isle will also provide an efficient platform for local musicians to increase and maximise connection and interaction.

David Thornton, CEO Visit Isle of Wight, said:  “The Isle of Wight is a hotbed of musical talent and we believe that hosting a music event at this time of the year will give people considering an out of season break the extra encouragement they may need to choose us rather than Devon, Cornwall or Dorset”.

Another new event set up by VIOW in 2013, the Festival of the Sea will be moved to 19th to 23rd June to coincide with the annual J.P Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club and which takes place on 21st June 2014.

David Thornton said: “We are in discussion with the Island Sailing Club and the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race management team to consider opportunities to work together and explore ideas that will further enhance the overall competitor and visitor experience during the Race weekend”.

Visit Isle of Wight – the destination management organisation (DMO) working hard to establish the Isle of Wight as one of the UK’s leading holiday destinations – has also pledged its support to a range of festival and events in 2014.  These include the IW Walking Festival (3 to 18 May),  Newport Isle of Wight Jazz Festival  (18 to 20 July) Bestival (4 to 7 September), IW Cycling Festival (13 to 28th September) IW Literary Festival (date tbc) and Isle of Fright (18 October to 2nd November).

Any venue owner wishing to get involved and take advantage of this great marketing opportunity should register their interest at www.visitwight.org

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For further information, please contact:   Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to editors:

Image attached – Chief Executive of Visit Isle of Wight LTD, David Thornton (second from left) meets with some of the talented local musicians playing in the forthcoming Acoustic Isle Festival.

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org

 

Anchors Aweigh! Isle of Wight launches a new “Festival of the Sea”

The Isle of Wight is planning to ride the crest of a wave as it celebrates its maritime history, heritage and holiday appeal during a lively, nine-day “Festival of the Sea” across the whole of the Island – lasting from Saturday, September 14th to Sunday, September 22nd.

Aimed at giving the out-of-season visitor more things to see and do during a September stay on the Isle of Wight, it is also expected to attract additional day visitors, as well as family groups during two especially action-packed ‘shoulder’ weekends.

The Festival was announced on July 9th and the full programme of events – due to be revealed early next month – will include everything from sea shanties, beach art displays, fishing, cookery displays and food-tastings, through to opportunities to charter boats, sailing lessons, kite festivals, talks…and even organised cycle rides that end-up with fish’n’chips on the beach! 

Another “first” for The Isle of Wight, The Festival of the Sea is now expected to become an annual event capable of washing-up an extra 40,000 visitors to the Island.  For the time being, however, ambitions are being set to a more realistic figure of around 10,000 additional “crew members” for the inaugural Festival.

The Isle of Wight’s Festival of the Sea will be anchored by headline events such as The Sea Shanty at the Spyglass Inn Ventnor, a Beach Arts Festival in Fishbourne, the Red Funnel Food Show in Cowes, and a new competitive Fishing Festival. 

All other events and promotional activities on the same theme are then being brought under the Festival banner to ensure that this and all future years will include a lively mix of events to draw in the crowds.

The Festival of the Sea is the first of several new themed weeks and festivals being rolled-out by Visit Isle of Wight in the coming months to attract more visitors to the Island during other out-of-season periods – including an “Isle of Fright” campaign around Halloween and Bonfire Night, and an “ILOVEWight Festival” around Valentines Day.

Most recently, the Isle of Wight has also launched its “Walking with Dinosaurs” experience.  The new, augmented reality App celebrates the popular UK holiday destination’s remarkable prehistoric heritage, which caused it to be named “Dinosaur Capital of Britain” earlier this year, as well as its links to Walking with Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie – which is set for global release in December.

The new App is based on the ancestral links between the characters in the film and the dinosaurs on the Isle of Wight.  And it gives visitors to the Island the chance to be seen standing alongside dinosaurs in the very place they were discovered.  Further details about “Dinosaur Island” are at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/dinosaur-island/dinosaur-island-trail.

For full details of all events and activities on the Island, visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

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For further information, and images, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672      E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

 

 

From tree climbing, to Elton John – Visit Isle of Wight at The 50+ Show

Visit Isle of Wight is aiming to position itself as one of the UK’s top holiday destinations for O50s at London Olympia this July.

The 50+ Show gives Visit Isle of Wight and its partners the chance to promote the Island to around 20,000 potential visitors over three-days.

And one of the things it will be keenest to stress is the incredible range of events and activities which are especially well-suited to this particular market – from Tree Climbing and Vintage Vacations, to Bestival and Elton John.

Goodleaf Tree Climbing, in particular, will be highlighting the special memories which can be created with family and friends by taking a short break that somehow manages to combine camping in the American Airstream trailers operated by Vintage Vacations, with climbing into the canopy of a 200 year old Oak tree (ropes and harness provided!).  Prices for the two-nights break range from £100 to £275 per person for up to 4 people, tree climbing costs from £37 per person (group discounts available).

Bestival, meanwhile, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a UK festival exclusive from Sir Elton and his band on the closing night.  The star is celebrating his own anniversary in 2013, as he marks 40 years since the release of the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album, and he’s promised: “You can expect to hear several tracks from that album.”

Organiser of the Bestival festival, Rob da Bank, added: “After partying at the original IOW Festival as a young musician in 1969, we’re very proud that Elton finally gets to perform on the Isle of Wight at Bestival 2013.  With more than 30 albums and over 60 UK chart hit singles to his name, Sunday night is guaranteed to be full-on sing-along good times.  We’ve already started stockpiling the platform boots, feather boas and glitter.  It’s going to be a proper party – for all ages.”

An ideal destination for youthful and active O50s, The Isle of Wight will be bringing many other reasons for would-be visitors to book a short-break on the Island.

The Walking Festival Weekend, for example, offers the prefect excuse for couples and – with its ‘Speed Dating Walk’ on Sunday, October 27th – singles to book a visit this Autumn.

And other top activities for 2013 include the chance to tour the Island in VW Campervans; watch Punch & Judy at Osborne House; ride a steam railway or vintage bus; have a cup of tea in the new Mad Hatters Café at Dimbola Lodge; or simply enjoy a good old-fashioned seaside holiday filled with ice creams, beach huts, deck chairs and saucy postcards.

All of this, of course, comes on top of the Isle of Wight’s “Year of the Dinosaur”, which is currently grabbing the headlines world-wide thanks, largely, to a new App which allow visitors to the Island to be photographed walking with dinosaurs at six separate locations around the Island – all of which are connected by a new bus service along the south coast of the Island.

For full details of all events and activities on the Island, visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

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For further information, and images, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672   E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

Welcome to Easter Island

The holiday season is set to get under way on the Isle of Wight during March and April, as the Island gears-up for an action-packed Easter of family fun.

And for those in search of space (of the “final frontier” variety), this is definitely the place to head to this Easter!

Fort Victoria Country Park will set the scene on March 30th with a family friendly Space Discovery Day from 10.30am to 2pm (£5 adults, £3 children), which will focus on the solar system and its effects on Earth: http://www.islandastronomy.co.uk/spacediscoveryday.html.

A Victorian Fort located on north shore of the Isle of Wight, Fort Victoria today is a fascinating attraction in its own right, and it will be hosting two more out-of-this-world experiences over Easter.

“We Are Aliens” features a fascinating 30-minutes show, which seeks to find the evidence of alien life in our galaxy (http://wearealiens.com/); and “Cell! Cell! Cell!” a 25-minute character-driven story suitable for 13-year-olds-plus which explains how we are all made of 70 trillion living cells.  They work.  They talk.  They think.  They are what make you alive.  This is the story – via a series of bizarre contraptions to look inside cells and explore the human body – of how they do it.  Discover the mystery of DNA and find out how we all started as a single cell (http://cell-cell-cell.com/) 

There is even a series of Isle of Wight Star Parties (on the nights of March 7th-11th), taking full advantage of the Island’s dark skies: http://www.iowstarparty.org/IOWSP/Home.html.

Slightly more in keeping with Easter itself, the Yarmouth annual Duck Race will be held at 4.30pm on Easter Sunday, when 1,000 bright yellow plastic ducks will be released into the River Yar: http://www.islandpulse.co.uk/b2/duck-race-on-the-river-yar-10404/.

Three of the Island’s major attractions have also lined-up special Easter treats for their visitors: Blackgang Chine is holding an Eggstravaganza http://www.blackgangchine.com/events/easter-eggstravaganza; The Isle of Wight Steam Railway has a kids-go-free deal http://www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/special-events/april/easter-kids-go-free/details/6-easter-fun-kids-go-free.html; and as well as welcoming mad Professor Huxley Humbug http://www.theneedles.co.uk/whats_on.php throughout the Easter holidays, The Needles will also be launching its new 4D Cinema experience.

Other Easteregg trails on the Island, meanwhile, include one at Mottistone Manor Garden on March 31st, from 11am to 4pm; and one at Newtown Nature Reserve on Monday, April 1st from 10am to 1pm.

For further details about the Isle of Wight, visit http://www.visitwight.co.uk.

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For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Press Manager, Visit Isle of Wight

Tel: 01983-201048

E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

Autumn comes to the Isle of Wight

 Autumn comes to the Isle of Wight

Visitors to The Isle of Wight this autumn will be able to enjoy a bumper crop of seasonal colours, courses and activities throughout the months of October and November.

One of the best ways of enjoying the Island’s famous autumn colours along both its coast and countryside is to sign-up to one of the 100-plus walks in the line-up of walks during the Autumn Walking Weekend, which is this year set to run from Friday, October 25th to Monday, October 28th.  Following in the footsteps of everything from alpacas to dinosaurs, the Autumn Walking Weekend is a spin-off from the ever-popular annual Isle of Wight Walking Festival, which has taken place on the Island for the last 15 years and is now widely recognised as the biggest Walking Festival in the UK.  For more details, visit http://www.isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk/. 

Another option is to stay a night on The Isle of Fright to enjoy some seasonal japes between October 19th and November 3rd.  Coinciding with the school half-term holidays, when it will be possible for overnight visitors to pick-up some out-of-season accommodation deals, The Isle of Fright’s full schedule of events are on a special section of the Visit Isle of Wight website, and draws on a spooky seafaring history and dark Victoriana heritage.  And while “The Apocalypse is Coming” (to Puckpool Park, from October 30th to November 3rd) there’s now a complete listing and further details on how to get here, and where to stay, at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/isle-of-fright.

Bonfire Night will once again be celebrated in traditional style at Yarmouth’s historic harbour on Tuesday, November 5th.  A Torchlight Parade and Firework Display has been held here for many years now.  It all starts with a party in the Square, followed by a parade to the Common that provides a grandstand for the firework display offshore.  For more details, visit http://www.yarmouthcarnival.org.uk/events-coverage-photos/guy-fawkes-fireworks/.

Another seasonal occasion on the Island these days is Farmer Jack’s Pumpkin Day on Saturday, October 26th when visitors can take their decorated and carved pumpkins along to Farmer Jack’s farm shop for a bit of Halloween fun.  Opportunities to cook, or carve, a pumpkin from scratch, meanwhile, are also available between October 26th, and 31st.  For more details, visit http://www.farmerjacks.co.uk/events/.

Other autumn activities scheduled for October and November on the Island this year include Stargazing Weekends at the Island Planetarium (http://www.islandastronomy.co.uk/stargazingweekends.html) and a Fungus Foray at Newtown National Nature Reserve, October 19th at 10am (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/local-to-you/london-and-south-east/things-to-see-and-do/isle-of-wight/). 

For some guaranteed autumn colours, it’s best to head to the Electric Woods Autumn Aurora where, from October 18th to November 2nd, Robin Hill’s stunning ancient woodland will be brought to life by creative lighting, sound and special effects (http://www.robin-hill.com/events).

Last, but by no means least, the Isle of Wight Literary Festival takes centre stage from October 18th-20th this autumn, with tickets costing from just £4.00 per talk, to £13.50 per day; or £34 for a full weekend pass.  Speakers this year include Westminster wit Simon Hoggart, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Penelope Keith.  For a full schedule, visit www.isleofwightliteraryfestival.org.

All tourist information relating to the Isle of Wight can be found at www.visitisleofwight.co.uk

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For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672

E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

Isle of Wight Dinosaur arrives at Westminster Palace this Thursday

Isle of Wight Dinosaur arrives at Westminster Palace this Thursday

A baby T REX left the Isle of Wight today En route for the palace of Westminster and will be grazing around parliament tomorrow, the 17th of October 2013 between 9.30am and 12.30pm.

The prehistoric creature has become one of the top attractions at the Island’s Blackgang Chine Fantasy Theme Park, also celebrating its 175th birthday as the oldest theme park in the UK this year.

The park’s owners have joined forces with other tourist attractions, food producers and industry representatives to host an “Isle of Wight Day” in Westminster Palace in association with the Island’s MP, Andrew Turner, and the Island’s newly formed Destination Management Organisation, Visit Isle of Wight LTD.

Earlier this year, the Isle of Wight was named the Dinosaur Capital of the UK by the Natural History Museum, noted for the number of fossils found on the Island over the years. This summer the Island teamed up with Twentieth Century Fox and the BBC to create a walking with dinosaur trail where walkers can download augmented reality dinosaurs on their mobile devices and smart phones when visiting the Island 

The Isle of Wight Day officially starts at 10.30am in the Jubilee Room at Westminster Palace and runs until 4pm. The Blackgang Dinosaur will be taking in the local scenery at 9.30am, and hanging about to have a quick bite with the new Tourism Minister, Helen Grant MP when she pops in to hear all about the Island at 12.30pm.Ends

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672 E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

Learn more about the Dinosaur Island phone app, Blackgang Chine and all things Isle of Wight at www.visitisleofwight.co.uk

Dinosaur Capital Gets Stamp of Approval

 

Dinosaur Capital Gets Stamp Of Approval

 The Isle of Wight’s reputation as the Dinosaur Capital of Britain has been further enhanced thanks to the announcement that the Royal Mail is set to bring unveil ten commemorative dinosaur stamps – each featuring drawings by internationally famous Isle of Wight artist, John Sibbick.

The stamps depict ten ‘British’ dinosaurs, of which fossils from seven of the ten featured on the stamps have been previously found on the Isle of Wight.  Many of these fossils are on display at Dinosaur Isle in Sandown on The Isle of Wight.

To coincide with the launch of the Royal Mail’s special issue of stamps, on October 10th, the museum will be hosting an exhibition telling the story of the creation of the work by John Sibbick.

He said: “I always knew that designing and illustrating stamps was a rigorous and painstaking process.  To get the opportunity was a dream come true, especially depicting the world famous dinosaurs found on the Isle of Wight.  To get such access to fossil dinosaur bones, tracks and the plants in their environment on the Isle of Wight makes the reconstruction process a much more vivid experience.”

The stamps feature some of the UK’s most famous dinosaurs, including pterosaurs and marine reptiles.  Among the dinosaurs discovered on the Isle of Wight were: Baryonyx, which was the biggest UK meat eater of the time; and the Hypsilophodon, which was a small plant eater.

Dinosaur Isle’s general manager, Peter Pusey, said: “Only last year we were delighted to receive the donation of an impressive Baryonyx tooth discovered here on a local beach.  We are now thrilled to display this specimen alongside the stamps that capture this period of pre-history and bring it back to life.”

The exhibition will be on display in the museum from October 10th, until Christmas.  More details can be found at www.dinosaurisle.com.

Confirmed as the “Dinosaur Capital of Great Britain” by the Natural History Museum of London at the start of this year, and now offering all visitors an App which allows them to be photographed while walking with dinosaurs, the Isle of Wight is also linked with a major new film WALKING WITH DINOSAURS: THE 3D MOVIE due for launch in December.  For more details, visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/dinosaur-island.Ends

For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672      E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

Isle of Wight turns back the clocks 100 million years

Isle of Wight turns back the clocks 100 million years

The Isle of Wight is celebrating “The Year of the Dinosaur” in a new 2013 Events Guide – which, as well as being available on board all ferries crossing to and from the Island, will also feature the chance to win two tickets to the Gala screening of Walking with Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie ahead of its launch in cinemas world-wide this December.

Full details of the competition can be found at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/competitions.  The prize itself includes return transport with Hovertravel, an overnight stay in The Seaview Hotel, transfers with Ryde Taxis, and two VIP tickets to the Gala screening of the new movie.

Tickets to see Walking with Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie at local Cineworld cinemas are also on offer as runners-up prizes.

The dinosaurs that used to roam the Island are the forebears of the characters that star in the major new blockbuster movie presented by Twentieth Century Fox and Reliance Entertainment in association with IM Global.  A BBC Earth and Evergreen production in association with Animal Logic, the film is set for global release in December 2013. 

A new Dinosaur Island app launched earlier this summer, meanwhile, brings the incredible history of these creatures to life, giving visitors to the Isle of Wight the chance to see the dinosaurs roaming the sites where they were discovered and to take pictures and video of themselves right beside them.

Available to download free from anywhere in the world, it is only be triggered into life at six locations on the Isle of Wight (Yaverland, Blackgang Chine, Bonchurch Landslip, Ventnor, The Needles Viewpoint and Hanover Point) – making this possibly the only place in the world where it is possible to take photographs of family and friends actually “walking with dinosaurs”. 

And, as if to prove the point, Visit Isle if Wight has just launched the following video to help explain exactly how the new App works: http://vimeo.com/70559951

The Isle of Wight itself was designated “Dinosaur Capital of the UK” by the Natural History Museum at the start of this year and it was this fact, combined with the launch of the new movie, and the creation of the new App which has led to this becoming The Year of the Dinosaur for the Island.

Visitors to the Isle of Wight this summer have been greeted by everything from special posters and branding, to a host of specially themed dinosaur events and exhibitions – including Dinofest Days, Bran-o-saurus Saturdays and Dinosaur Discovery Days at Blackgang Chine.  There are also opportunities to go climbing with dinosaurs, walking with dinosaurs and to take part in special Dinosaur Sand Sculpture and Footprint competitions.  Even the annual Autumn Walking Festival has been given a dinosaur theme for 2013.

For full details, visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/dinosaur-island.

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For further information, and images, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672      E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

Visit Isle of Wight generates £1.8m worth of media coverage

Visit Isle of Wight generates £1.8m worth of media coverage

Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) – the destination management organisation working hard to establish the Isle of Wight as one of the UK’s leading holiday destinations – has been able to generate around £1.8m worth of positive media coverage around the globe since it was launched in November 2012.

During the past year, VIOW has been able to forge strong links with VisitEngland’s press office, with VisitBritain PR Managers world-wide and with some of the UK’s leading travel writers to help promote the Island as one of the nation’s most popular tourist destinations.

VIOW has been able to introduce a wide variety of innovative marketing campaigns during 2013 – from The Year of the Dinosaur and The Festival of the Sea, to Adventure Island and The Isle of Fright.  And to complement this marketing activity, the DMO press office has also been providing a range of services to the travel media – from writing and distributing press releases, to hosting 65 regional, national and international press visits, plus another 10 who attended last month’s Isle of Wight Day at Westminster.  Reactively, the press office is also on the receiving end of countless enquiries from journalists on deadline, and in need of further information or suggestions for round-ups.

VIOW’s relationship with the VisitEngland press office, meanwhile, has helped to identify new trends and opportunities to promote the very best of the Island to the national and international media.

As a result, the Island is currently generating a steady flow of positive print and broadcast coverage, as well as a significant amount of online exposure.

Some of the highlights for the last year have included the following pieces of coverage:

December 2012 The Sun (Hotel review – The Royal Hotel, Ventnor).

February 2013:  The Independent on Sunday (Walk of the Month).

March 2013: MSN Travel (Top 10 round up of amazing places to see in Britain); Express & Star (Easter breaks); Camping & Caravanning magazine (Garlic Festival); La Derniere Heure, Belgium (travel feature).

April 2013:  BBC TV South (Daisy Morris, VIOW ambassador).

May 2013: New York Times (Walking with Dinosaurs); Woman magazine (Albert Cottage), Group Leisure magazine (Royal Island).

July 2013: Sunday Express (Dinosaurs, Ventnor Botanic Gardens and Queen Victoria); Chat magazine (family holiday feature); Point de Vue magazine, France (Osborne House); ITV Daybreak (Richard Arnold visit); Yorkshire Press (holiday feature).

August 2013: The Daily Telegraph (4 best British farm stays – Nettlecombe Farm); The Times (Priory Bay/glamping); Men’s Journal USA (Cowes Week).

September 2013: Discover Your History magazine (Festival of the Sea); Global Travel USA (Dimbola Lodge).

October 2013: Country Walking (Speed-dating walk); Town & Country Magazine (walking festival).

November 2013: Sunday Express (Isle of Wight Dinosaurs); Kent Messenger (holiday feature); Britain magazine (A little paradise); BBC South Today (new tourist information point).

David Thornton, the Chief Executive Officer for VIOW said: “Our PR campaign has been far-reaching, focused, and extremely sophisticated.  A number of our partners already run very effective PR campaigns, and between us we’re not only putting the Island back on the radar, but also back in the headlines.

“We’ve been very effective in encouraging and hosting press familiarisation trips – with itineraries based on journalists’ requirements and special interests.  And we’re very grateful for the support we’ve received from the ferry operators, accommodation providers, attractions, pubs and restaurants during the course of the year.

“Buying advertising space in news media can be very costly, but a travel article – because of its unbiased third party nature and its ability to draw the reader in – can be up to three times more valuable than an ad of the same size.

This fantastic coverage has helped to further increase public awareness and visibility of the Island to the rest of the world.  But we can’t stand still and the hunt for great press and PR continues”.

Sue Emmerson, VIOW Press Officer, added: “Social media, press releases, articles and editorial are a superb way to get the word out about the Island and we’d obviously be absolutely be delighted to hear from anyone else out there who thinks they have a new or unusual story to tell, or who would like to be involved with some of our press visits in the future.”

 

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For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672

E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

Notes to Editors

Publicity value: 

October to December: £22,500

January to March:  £68,000

April to June:  £867,000 

July to September: £436,000

International coverage: £248,000

Conservative estimate of on-line coverage: £160,000

Festival of the Sea PR campaign publicity value: £5,000

Total: £1.8M

Visit Isle of Wight Ltd 

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (VisitIsleofWight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org