Fun and frolics on the Isle of Wight this February half-term

The February half-term presents the ideal opportunity for taking the family away and a break on the Isle of Wight with its traditional seaside resorts and activities to suit toddlers through to teens, will give the whole family a holiday to remember.

Experience the great outdoors as you go in search of dinosaur remains, cycle the traffic-free Troll Trail, or build a snowman out of sand.

This half-term, you could also be one of the first to see rescued tiger Simi in her new Isle of Wight home, or swing by the award-winning Monkey Haven – a sanctuary for monkeys and other animals in need.  And if it should rain on the ‘sunshine isle’ you can always jump for joy at the Island’s new all-weather trampoline park with its 40 interconnecting trampolines, or set a new record at the Island’s all-weather karting track.

These and more great adventures can be enjoyed on the Island this February half-term:

Sandman Snowman Spectacular

Come to Small Hope Beach in Shanklin and build a sandman/snowman.    Past years have seen the beach populated by mermaids, dolphins, dogs, sandmen, sand ladies and a whole array of other characters.  There’ll be hot chocolate on hand to warm chilly fingers and the nice people from Gift to Nature will also provide the coal and carrots for your creations – you just need to bring a spade, the creative ideas and bags of enthusiasm.

Date:               21st February, 2-4pm.

Where:            Small Hope Beach, Shanklin, PO37 6EA.

Cost:                £2 per person – suitable for adults and children.

More:               Call 01983 201565 for more details.

http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/sandman-snowman-p1197861

Electric Woods: Spirit of the Orient

A stunning spectacle of Oriental themed light, sound and entertainment will mark the Chinese New Year at Robin Hill’s award-winning ‘electric woods’ during February half-term.  Visitors can enjoy a series of new sound ‘and light displays dispersed around the woodland and  children can join in the celebration by taking part in a fun and interactive dragon procession with a 12m long dragon costume.  There will also be an amazing falconry show in the amphitheatre, which includes the falcon, Baldric, showing off his new ‘head cam projection’ where visitors literally get a ‘bird’s eye view’ of the show.

Date:               February 13- 21, from 5pm to 9pm.

Where:            Robin Hill Adventure Park & Gardens, Downend, Near Arreton, Newport PO30 2NU.

Cost:                Tickets cost £10.95 per person (aged 4+) and are available to purchase in advance from the website: www.electricwoods.co.uk

More:                   http://robin-hill.com/events/february-2016-

Victorian Fun and Games at Osborne

Experience a range of fun games and pastimes played by children in Victorian England and learn how the royal children would have lived and played at Osborne.

Date:               15th to 19th February

Where:            Osborne, York Avenue, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO32 6JX.

Cost:                £10.50 (adult), £6.30 (age 5 to 15), £9.59 (concession) £27.50 (family).   Free for English Heritage members.

More:               http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/victorian-fun-and-games-Osb-15-02-2016/

Woodland event at Borthwood Copse, near Sandown.

Have fun exploring the ancient woodland at Borthwood Copse at this National Trust family event.  Find out more about the life of the Island’s native red squirrels, woodland trails, wild art and balancing poles. Have a go at creating your own squirrel dray and make a squirrel mask.  Bring a picnic lunch and wear trainers, or walking boots, with good grip for balancing on wooden poles.

Date:               February 17, 11am to 3pm

Where:            Meet at Borthwood Copse (SZ 566 844). Parking limited, Bus route No. 8

Cost:                Free – donations to cover cost of materials welcome.

More:               http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/50d545e4-0dfe-4161-80b0-0c3f3cd197d2/pages/details

Activity Days at Newport Roman Villa

The well-preserved remains at Newport Roman Villa provide a fascinating insight into country life in third century Britain. The villa has a superb bath suite with under floor heating and remnants of mosaic floors.  This February half-term families can get hands on at two fun activity days:  ‘Clay Day’ on February 15 and ‘Crafty Day’ on February 17.   Visitors can also find out more about the Roman occupation of the Isle of Wight by exploring the exhibition area, which displays artefacts found throughout the Island.

Date:               February 15 (Clay Day) and February 17 (Crafty Day), 11am to 3pm

Where:            Newport Roman Villa, Cypress Road, PO30 1HA

Cost:               £1 per person to include entry to site and all activities – no booking required.

More:              For more information call 01983 823433 or e-mail museums@iow.gov.uk

Wildlife Activity Day at Freshwater Fruit Farm

Amphibians and reptiles are hibernating at this time of the year but there are red squirrels in the garden and a wide variety of birds.   So get out of doors and join members of the Wight Squirrel Project for a range of activities that include searching for wildlife around the farm, storytelling, plus homemade hotdogs for lunch.

Date:               February 16th, starting at 11am

Where:            Freshwater Fruit Farm, Wilmingham Lane, Freshwater, PO40 9UG.  Parking is available on site.

Cost:                £3 including lunch for children and £1.50 for refreshments (tea/coffee/biscuits) for adults.

More:               Please call 01983 753413 to book your place and for any queries.

Half-term fun at the Garlic Farm

There are lots of fun activities taking place throughout this February half term at the Island’s Garlic Farm.   So come along to the farm and learn all about garlic with regular talks and demonstrations.

Date:               13th to 21st February, 11am to 3pm

Where:            The Garlic Farm, Mersley Lane, Newchurch, PO36 0NR

Cost:                Entry to the farm is free and activities are individually priced – see website for more details.

More:               http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/halft-term-fun-at-the-garlic-farm-p1247201

 

For more fun and frolics this February half-term, go to http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/inspiration/february-half-term

VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT HOSTS TRAVEL TRADE FAM TRIP FROM NORWAY AND SWEDEN

Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) has hosted a destination familiarisation trip to the Island for a group of six tour operators from Norway and Sweden.

With the aim of enhancing knowledge about the South East and ultimately increasing bookings from these markets, the group visit was organised by Tourism South East in partnership with London and Partners with funding support from the GREAT UK Challenge Fund.

The familiarisation trip ran from 22 to 26 January and hosted product decision makers from a range of key Swedish and Norwegian excursions businesses on the programme.  The 5-day itinerary included visits to attractions in London, Brighton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.

The group were escorted by Nigel Smith, CEO, Tourism South East, and were met at Hovertravel in Ryde by Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight.

There followed a personal tour of Osborne by Michael Hunter, English Heritage Curator, in the course of which the group learned more about the links between the British and the Scandinavian Royal Families.  In particular Princess Alexandra of Denmark who in 1863 married the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Edward VII Prince of Wales.

The party then enjoyed a delicious lunch in Osborne’s Terrace Restaurant before returning to the mainland to continue their tour of other South East attractions.

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer for Visit Isle of Wight, said: “Despite the short time the tour operators were with us, we were able to give them a flavour of the Island. They were all very impressed with Osborne and were particularly intrigued by a display of old photographs and historic documents relating to members of their own Royal households.

“Fam trips are a great learning tool for tour operators and we would like to thank Hovertravel and English Heritage for their continued support in promoting the Island as a first-class tourism destination.”

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29, 07766 705672, sue@visitwight.org

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

Image attached – Scandinavian tour operators with Michael Hunter, English Heritage Curator at Osborne House.

The GREAT Britain campaign is the UK’s most ambitious international marketing campaign ever and showcases the very best of what the country has to offer in order to encourage more people to visit, study, invest in and do business with the UK.  GREAT has delivered a confirmed return for the UK economy of over £1.4 billion to date and is active in 144 countries.  It is the Government’s common brand for overseas promotion of the UK.  In addition, more than 400 businesses and high-profile individuals have supported the campaign.

The GREAT UK Challenge Fund supports new and innovative project ideas that use GREAT to promote the UK overseas and generate economic benefit at a local, regional or national level.  There is more information about the GREAT UK Challenge Fund here: www.greatukchallengefund.com.  More information about the GREAT Britain campaign is available from www.greatbritaincampaign.com.  Press enquiries about the campaign should go to 0207 008 3100.

About Visit Isle of Wight

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

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

 

 

The 2016 Acoustic Isle music festival: sounds like a great time to book a short break on the Isle of Wight (February 24 to March 6)

Every short break deserves its own soundtrack.  And from Wednesday February 24 to Sunday March 6 (Mother’s Day), the Isle of Wight will be providing just that, with its Acoustic Isle music festival, aimed at anyone wanting to combine an out-of-season coastal escape with some top quality live music in a wide variety of intimate settings.

The festival itself will feature a host of live performances in a wide variety of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants right across the Island – as a lively local music scene and a vibrant arts community come together under the Acoustic Isle banner to produce an infectious mix of harmonies and rhythmic guitars.

The Island boasts two of the biggest events on the summer calendar in The Isle of Wight Festival which takes place from June 9th-12th in 2016, and Bestival scheduled for September 8th-11th in 2016.  Other music events scheduled for the Isle of Wight in 2016 include Newport Jazz Weekend, a Ukulele Festival and V-Dub Island.

Acoustic Isle gives those festival-goers and many others the chance to come back and enjoy the “unplugged” ambience of the Isle of Wight from the relaxed comfort of a bar stool.  The Island has some fabulous places to stay: a night in Keats Cottage in Shanklin throughout Acoustic Isle, for example, costs £85 per room (if booked directly).  Return car ferry crossing, meanwhile, starts from £64.50 (for two passengers): check out theRed Funnel and Wight Link websites for full details.

For full details, visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/acoustic-isle.

-ENDS-

For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight

07766 705672

sue@visitwight.co.uk

Notes to Editors

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

Top 10 reasons for visiting The Isle of Wight in 2016

1. Listen with Mother

This year’s Acoustic Isle takes place from February 24 to March 6 – which also happens to coincide with Mothering Sunday.  The Isle of Wight’s Acoustic Isle music festival now takes place each year and builds on the Island’s strong musical heritage and festival scene.  This “unplugged” music event features hundreds of musicians coming together to perform a series of relaxed gigs in Isle of Wight pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants…and even on board selected ferries.

2. Anchors aweigh

The Isle of Wight’s Festival of the Sea will once again be staged in 2016, from June 18th to July 3rd.  The Festival will coincide with the Round Island Yacht Race on July 2nd – an even bigger race than those held in Cowes Week which will be held from August 6th to 13th.  2016, meanwhile also marks the arrival of another major sailing spectacle on the Isle of Wight in late June – La Solitaire du Figaro .

3. Winston’s walk

An Isle of Wight “Churchill Trail” is scheduled to be launched this Easter.  Winston’s parents, Randolf and Jenny Jerome, met at a party on a yacht moored off of Cowes.  Randolf proposed to her two days later in the garden of an Island cottage on the seafront.  Local author Anthony Churchill has written an impressive coffee table book on the connections between the Churchill family and the Isle of Wight.  Based on that, the new trail visits the locations that have a connection to the family across the Island.

4. Squirrel away an E-bike

The Isle of Wight will launch an entirely new electric bike scheme from this Spring.  Red Squirrel Electric Bikes will feature 25 former French postal service bicycles, which can be hired online, or in person, and then picked-up on arrival at the Island from Visit Isle of Wight’s Visitor Centre at The Guildhall in Newport.  Hire cost is £35 per day (over 14s only), and will includes a map listing charge points at island pubs and cafes, plus cycle helmet and high-vis jacket.  The scheme will be rolled out to include other parts of the island in the near future.  For more information go to visitisleofwight.co.uk, or follow on Twitter @RedSquirrelBike.

5. A new moo-seum for the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is set to welcome a new all-weather family attraction, in Spring 2016.  Tapnell Farm Park (the full website will go live in March), near Yarmouth, will offer a range of new activities including animal encounters, an immersive “moo-seum”, a fun-packed indoor soft play barn, outdoor play areas with pedal go karts and a “Jumping Pillow”, farm tours, café and refreshment area, and gift shop.  Central to the new offering will be a host of interactive animal encounters allowing visitors to get up close and personal with a range of farm animals, as well as a friendly mob of wallabies.  The farm park will give visitors of all ages the opportunity to learn about cows with an interactive “moo-seum”, set in the working farm’s former milking parlour. The attraction will stand alongside the award winning Tom’s Eco Lodge and the popular Cow Co restaurant.

6. Oriental spirits set to rise in electric woods

A stunning spectacle of Oriental themed light, sound and entertainment will mark the Chinese New Year at Robin Hill’s award-winning electric woods during February half term.  From Saturday 13 to 21, visitors can experience the park’s mystical woodland illuminated with a Far Eastern twist to capture the spirit of one of the world’s most popular celebrations.  As dusk falls, the oriental theme will truly take effect as a dazzling array of coloured lanterns, flags and features bring the ancient woodland to life.  Visitors can enjoy a series of new sound and light displays dispersed around the woodland – each display taking on a different elemental theme of ‘earth’, ‘wind’ and ‘water’ with ‘fire’.  There will also be new lighting effects never seen before in the electric woods.  Chinese themed entertainment, refreshments based around an authentic oriental menu, and a traditional tea ceremony will complete the experience.  Open every evening from 5pm to 9pm during, tickets will cost £10.95 per person (aged 4+) and are available to purchase in advance from the website.

7. Isle of Wight hits the right note in 2016

The Island boasts two of the biggest events on the summer calendar in The Isle of Wight Festival which takes place from June 9th-12th in 2016, and Bestival scheduled for September 8th-11th in 2016.  Other music events scheduled for the Isle of Wight in 2016 include Newport Jazz Weekend and V-Dub Island.

8. The Year of the English Garden

Taking the tercentenary of Capability Brown as a starting point, VisitEngland has named 2016 The Year of the English Garden.  So what better time than now to promote The Isle of Wight as ‘The Garden Isle’?  Highlights of our horticultural year will once again spring up across the Island throughout the year.

9. Time for bed

North House – a country town house – set in the heart of Cowes old town is set to offer an ultimate getaway on the Isle of Wight.  In addition to 16 bedrooms North House will have a restaurant, bar, library, country garden and swimming pool.  Rooms will boast king-sized beds, well stocked in-room pantries, coffee machines, spacious bathrooms with roll top baths and walk in showers, fluffy bathrobes and slippers!  North House is scheduled to open late April 2016.  Another newcomer for 2016 is VIP Cottages.

10. Be arty on the Isle

The Ventnor Fringe is a celebration of the arts, showcasing emerging and established talent across every creative discipline on the Isle of Wight.  The Fringe will take place from August 9 to 14 in 2016.  Other arts events on the Island this year include Isle of Wight Arts Open Studios throughout July; The Isle of Wight Literary Festival from October 14 to 18; and Quay Arts throughout the year.

For all tourist information about the Isle of Wight, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

-ENDS-

For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight

07766 705672

sue@visitwight.co.uk

Notes to Editors

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

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

Seven Things You Never Knew About The Garden Isle

Taking the tercentenary of Capability Brown as a starting point, VisitEngland has named 2016 The Year of the English Garden.  So what better time than now to promote The Isle of Wight as ‘The Garden Isle’?  Here’s “seven things you never knew” – from the seasonal, to places with gardens where you can stay, or eat…

1. The Woman in Red and Capability Brown

The 18th century home of Worsley family, Appuldurcombe House – made famous recently by the BBC TV drama Woman in Red – is the only known Cabability Brown site on the Island.  A Study Day is set to take place here in October, and will feature talks, lunch, and tour of the grounds.

2. Blooming July

The flowers of the famous Giant Waterlily at Ventnor Botanic Garden Ventnor Botanic Garden will come into bloom this July.  With leaves up to 3-metres in diameter, this rare lily usually flowers after midnight.  Special evening openings will be arranged – although they are not easy to predict, as the Waterlily decides when it will flower only on the afternoon immediately before!

3. By Royal Appointment

Sovereign’s Gate Osborne are two holiday cottages that have been developed in this iconic building. The holiday cottages have their own private garden where guests can relax and soak up the grandeur of Osborne; and once the public have left, guests have Osborne’s extensive grounds and private beach to themselves.

4. A garden on the beach

Appley Park in Ryde forms a component of the grounds of St John’s House which was believed to have been landscaped by Humphry Repton – the man widely regarded as Capability Brown’s successor – in around 1798.  Enough remains of the ancient coastal woodland and original features to give the site a fascinating historic perspective.  A garden on the beach, there are plenty of places to eat and activities for all the family.

5. A model garden tearoom

An unexpected place to find such an ornate garden, Godshill Model Village features 3,000 specimens of conifers and shrubs, many of which have been carefully pruned using the ‘niwaki approach’.  The gardens at Godshill Model Village are in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Partner Garden Scheme for 2016.  On fine days, Nammet Hut opens for refreshments.

Step onto the Island to see bluebells in April

Borthwood Copse, in Sandown is a remarkable area of ancient woodland, which was once a medieval hunting ground.  Mottistone Manor’s pathway on the walk to the Longstones is also covered in bluebells, which sometimes flower from April due to the Island’s favourable climate.   Mottistone Gardens itself – considered by some to be the finest of all the gardens on island – will be hosting a highly original murder mystery set in the 1920s within its grounds on July 2nd and 30th this year.

7. Botanic splendour in historic setting

The 15-acre Northcourt Gardens are nationally recognised by Historic England and placed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, developed over the last 400 years around one of the Island’s oldest manor houses.  The garden includes a serpentine mount and walks, spring-fed stream, woodland and ornamental borders.  The special microclimate and soil conditions support over 4,000 different plant varieties from around the world.  The gardens are privately owned but open for charity on the afternoons of May 8 and June 18.  There will also be a tour of the gardens on May 18 at 14.00.

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29, 07766 705672, sue@visitwight.org

Image of the gardens at Osborne attached:  please credit English Heritage

VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT TRAVEL AMBASSADOR NEEDS YOUR VOTE TO BECOME A SUPERSTAR!

A Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) Travel Ambassador needs your vote if he is to become a national award winner in the Visit England Tourism Superstar Awards 2016.

Aaron Orman is one of only eleven candidates from across the country to be nominated for the prestigious award which seeks to find those working within the local tourism industry who “go that extra mile” to ensure their customers receive a warm welcome and excellent service.

Tourism Superstar was launched in 2012 by VisitEngland and is supported by the Daily Mirror, who will host an online public vote from today, 15th January.   The awards form part of English Tourism Week (this year running from 5 to 13 March) and each finalist – from Cumbria to Cornwall – has made their case to the public in a short film now featured on the Mirror website, http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/travel/british-breaks/holiday-hero-finalists-tourism-superstar-7092729

Aaron was nominated by LSTF Project Manager for Visit Isle of Wight, Zoe Stroud, for his can-do attitude and commitment to giving the warmest of welcomes to visitors to the Isle of Wight.

Zoe said: “Since the Guildhall Visitor Centre in Newport first opened its doors in June 2015, Aaron has proved himself to be a hardworking, talented and dedicated individual. He now needs people across the Island to cast their vote and make him England’s Tourism Superstar.”

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “I’m delighted that Aaron has been shortlisted.   This is a huge credit to both him and the team at the Guildhall who do a wonderful job in helping visitors to get the best out of their holiday. I would urge everyone on the Island to get behind him by voting.”

To vote for Aaron, please go to http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/travel/british-breaks/vote-now-visitengland-tourism-superstar-7164018    There will also be a news piece in print in tomorrow’s Mirror.

The winner will be announced during English Tourism Week and will be invited to accept their title at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence which is being held during English Tourism Week.

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29, 07766 705672, sue@visitwight.org

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

An image of Aaron Orman is attached.

About Visit Isle of Wight

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

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

About VisitEngland
VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board. We work in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors. Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on www.visitengland.org/insight-statistics. For corporate information see www.visitengland.org and for consumer information see www.visitengland.com.

About Tourism Superstar
This initiative provides destination management organisations with the opportunity to participate for free in a national campaign which guarantees national media coverage.  The campaign champions careers in tourism (for people of all ages) and promotes quality, customer service and excellence within England’s tourism industry.  It importantly acknowledges that the industry is a people-facing, people-focused industry.

About English Tourism Week
English Tourism Week is led by the national tourist board, VisitEngland, and is an industry-wide initiative designed to shine a light on the importance of tourism in England. The industry as a whole is worth £106billion to the UK economy and supports 2.6 million jobs. Hundreds of tourism organisations and businesses will be putting on events to celebrate English Tourism Week this year. For more information about English Tourism Week see www.englishtourismweek.co.uk

 

 

Simi the ex-circus tiger to finally arrive at the Isle of Wight Zoo

The Isle of Wight Zoo are excitedly getting ready to welcome Simi, the ex-circus tiger, this weekend. Simi was seized, two years ago, from a German circus on welfare grounds; since when she has been living in a rescue facility in Belgium.

Following months of bureaucratic challenges to import Simi, she became the centre of a media circus when her plight was bought to the attention of David Cameron, via Isle of Wight MP, Andrew Turner, during Prime Ministers Questions in the House of Commons in September 2015.

This weekend a team from the Isle of Wight Zoo will finally set out to bring 8 year old Simi back to the Island where she will have a lifelong home.

Zoo director Charlotte Corney said “We are over the moon to be in a position to meet Simi and settle her into her new home. At long last she will have the opportunity to put down her roots and we are really looking forward to providing her with the specialist care and attention she deserves”.

The zoo carried out negotiations with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for a rabies waiver to allow the animal to be imported into the UK. A spokeswoman for the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) said: “Quarantine waivers are strictly controlled and only issued if certain criteria can be met by the premises of origin and destination.

APHA has work with the Isle of Wight Zoo to ensure that the correct procedures have been followed.

The Isle of Wight Zoo prides itself on its first class animal care and has given refuge to a number of big cats in its 40 years operating as a specialist centre.

-ENDS-

Media enquiries: Karen-Jane Dudley, Marketing & Events Manager , Isle of Wight Zoo
marketing@isleofwightzoo.com  01983 403883 http://www.isleofwightzoo.com

Notes to editors:

The Isle of Wight Zoo aims to promote the survival of endangered species through first class educational and recreational experiences, exemplary animal management, conservation and research. The zoo is best known for its work with exotic cats and is currently home to 4 tigers, 3 lions and 1 jaguar. It acts as a centre for surplus and rescued animals that come to the zoo at different stages of their lives from a variety of backgrounds.

 

VIP COTTAGES – ISLE OF WIGHT’S FIRST QUALITY IN TOURISM ACCREDITED AGENCY

VIP Cottages is delighted to announce it has just become the first Island-based Holiday Letting Agency to be awarded the internationally recognised marque of Quality in Tourism – Quality Accredited Agency.

VIP Cottages Limited is a fresh and contemporary holiday letting agency based in Newport on the Isle of Wight.

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive this as recognition of our commitment to offering our property owners and guests alike the highest levels of personal care and our experience,” said Debs Murphy-Latham, Managing Director of VIP Cottages.

“We have a very strong team, passionate about delivering a great holiday experience on the Island, and this recognition of our consistent approach to providing quality holiday accommodation is great news for the Island,” Debs added.

The Quality in Tourism Accreditation process rigorously assesses the policies, practices and procedures of agencies, which provide self-catering properties to customers.  The Quality Accredited Agency Scheme highlights agencies that are providing a quality customer service and who focus on the customers’ needs.

VIP Cottages has a rapidly growing portfolio of quality accommodation across the Isle of Wight which is now also listed on the Visit England Self-Catering Accommodation Guide, as well as the Visit Isle of Wight website to name but a few.

Debs Murphy-Latham and business partner Karen Anderson have many years combined experience in tourism and believe their attention to detail, excellent personal customer service and the properties we offer include many cottages, houses and apartments, all inspected for quality assurance.

“We pride ourselves on the service we give to our holidaymakers and endeavour to give a far more personal level of service than can be offered by the big national companies,” said Karen.  She added “We operate very much as a team, and our friendly and helpful staff are very familiar with the local area and have visited all of the properties. You can be certain that we will give you the best advice to help you find the right holiday property for you.”

VIP Cottages has an easy to use website offering holiday accommodation, discounted ferry travel and a range of guest experiences to make your holiday a truly better experience.

Contact:

Debs Murphy-Latham

debs@vipcottages.com

VIP Cottages Limited

11 Daish Way, Newport PO30 5XJ

01983 619 720

07429 278 375

Visit Isle of Wight Travel Ambassador nominated for Visit England award

2016 started with extra celebrations at Visit Isle of Wight with the announcement that one of their Travel Ambassadors, Aaron Orman, has been short-listed in the Visit England Tourism Superstar awards 2016.

One of eleven candidates from across the country, Aaron was nominated by LSTF Project Manager for Visit Isle of Wight, Zoe Stroud for his can-do attitude and commitment to giving the warmest of welcomes to visitors to the Isle of Wight.

Visit England’s Tourism Superstar 2016 campaign recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry, and is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have an unforgettable experience.

David Thornton CEO of Visit Isle of Wight commented: “I am absolutely delighted for Aaron who, in the short time he has been working for Visit Isle of Wight has shown himself to be an enthusiastic and committed member of the team.  We are enormously proud of him.”

Aaron said: “It was totally unexpected but amazing.  I just do my job like the other Travel Ambassadors and try to do my best. This award raises the profile of the Island, which is good for everyone who works in tourism”.

CEO of VisitEngland, James Berresford said: “This award recognises the people on the ground who meet and greet visitors on a daily basis, and whose consistent vision and dedication ensures that visitors to England have an memorable and fulfilling experience.”

The tribute to tourism star players, was launched in 2012 as part of English Tourism Week (this year running from 5th – 13th March) and is supported by the Daily Mirror who will host an online public vote from 16th January which shows a short film of all Tourism Superstar nominees. Readers will be able to vote for their favourite on www.mirror.co.uk

The winner will be announced during English Tourism Week and will be invited to accept their title at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence which is being held during English Tourism Week.

-Ends-

For further information, please contact: Abi Fox, abi@visitwight.org, 01983 521555 ext 28

Notes to Editors

About Visit Isle of Wight
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

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

About VisitEngland
VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board. We work in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors. Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on www.visitengland.org/insight-statistics. For corporate information see www.visitengland.org and for consumer information see www.visitengland.com.

About Tourism Superstar
This initiative provides destination management organisations with the opportunity to participate for free in a national campaign which guarantees national media coverage.  The campaign champions careers in tourism (for people of all ages) and promotes quality, customer service and excellence within England’s tourism industry.  It importantly acknowledges that the industry is a people-facing, people-focused industry.

About English Tourism Week
English Tourism Week is led by the national tourist board, VisitEngland, and is an industry-wide initiative designed to shine a light on the importance of tourism in England. The industry as whole is worth £106billion to the UK economy and supports 2.6 million jobs. Hundreds of tourism organisations and businesses will be putting on events to celebrate English Tourism Week this year. For more information about English Tourism Week see www.englishtourismweek.co.uk