Category Archives: Industry News

Isle of Wight goes big on Tiny Homes Holidays

Now open for business, Tiny Homes Holidays is a new, ethical way to take a break on the Isle of Wight.

The Tiny Homes Holiday concept is all about downsizing your space and upsizing your free time – and living simply in a smallholding environment.  It has been created by the people behind Vintage Vacations, the first Airstream caravan holidays in the UK.  Like Airstreams, the tiny house movement originated in the US, among people choosing to downsize and live more simply.  And the same ethos applies on the Isle of Wight site.

The three architect-designed Tiny Homes – Eilidh, Hygge and Silva – are set in a smallholding environment adjacent to the Parkhurst Forest, with walking trails, cycle routes and wildlife galore, including the Isle of Wight’s famous red squirrels.  Tranquil coastlines and the coastal town of Cowes are a cycle ride away.

The development incorporates many eco-friendly measures, including solar power, composting toilets, wood burning stoves and water recycling.

There will initially be three Tiny Homes on the site, eventually rising to six, but the aim it to purposefully keep it…tiny!

Should they wish, guests will be able to spend time working in the mandala gardens, and – if they do so – they will also be able to help themselves to the produce.  There will also be various workshops and events on offer in a separate studio that will reflect the philosophy of Tiny Homes.

The Isle of Wight Tiny Homes have been finished to the highest standards…making them truly tiny, but perfectly formed.  They have also been designed with holidaymakers in mind – featuring everything to make a stay here comfortably luxurious and with enough space for storage.  The idea, however, is to travel light and fit right in; and ingenious internal architecture is aimed at surprising guests at just how spacious Tiny can feel!

The Tiny Homes Holidays have also embraced the ‘Tourism for All’ concept: all of the first phase of homes have been thoughtfully designed to cater for all guests including those with hearing, visual or mental impairment, older guests and people with certain types of Dementia.  The aim is to offer a great holiday experience for these guests and their carers and families.

An adjacent Studio has begun to offer a schedule of workshops, courses and experiences.  Courses will range from pilates and yoga to painting and drawing, clothing upcycling and theatrical costumes, to life coaching, bread-making, and workshops for pregnant couples.

Further detail can be found at www.tinyhomesholidays.com.

Timed to coincide with the opening, Tiny Homes Holidays have also announced details of their “Tiny Winter Retreats”.  Prices for Winter breaks start from £175 (2 nights midweek).  Taking place in the on-site purpose-built studio, guests can learn how to make their own lingerie from a former Agent Provocateur designer, or come for a lovely weekend crafting unusual and nature-inspired Christmas decorations. “Knickers to the Weekend” break runs from November 10-13 – from £275 per person (3 night stay and 2 day course) http://www.tinyhomesholidays.com/event/knickers-to-the-weekend/; “Make Christmas”, meanwhile, runs from December 1-4 – from £224 per person (3 night stay and 2 x 3 hour workshops, 5 projects) http://www.tinyhomesholidays.com/event/make-christmas/.

For all further details about the Isle of Wight, visit  https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/inspiration/escape-to-adventure-island.

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

Sue Emmerson

Tel: 07766 705672

Email: sue@visitwight.org

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

Visit Isle of Wight’s Royal Resurgence Hits The Mark

The recent release of Victoria & Abdul is helping the Isle of Wight reach new markets across the world.

A coordinated campaign – with financial investment from Visit Isle of Wight – is making its way into national media, capitalizing on the success of the new movie from Universal – much of which was filmed at Osborne, the beloved East Cowes home of Queen Victoria.

Visit Isle of Wight has helped to put the Island back in to the hearts and minds of potential visitors, with coverage surrounding the film appearing in national newspapers The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun and The Sunday Mirror.

The launch of a dedicated heritage trail – Explore Victoria’s Island – is also attracting attention. An online article from Ireland’s 2nd largest tv broadcaster (TV3) shows the continued interest generated by Visit Isle of Wight’s campaign.

Visit Britain say the value of film tourism is huge:

“Research by VisitBritain shows that films are powerful motivators for travel with more than a third of all potential visitors to Britain wanting to visit places they have seen in movies or on TV. Films also shine the spotlight on less visited but equally inspiring destinations, boosting tourism across more of Britain.”

Visit Isle of Wight CEO David Thornton said:

“In 2016 when our Churchill Trail made it onto Forbes online in front of 40million worldwide viewers, we started to realise the full potential of creating trails as a way of gaining powerful exposure for the Island in new markets. For a destination like the Island, where the landscapes and attractions are essentially the same year after year, we have to create new stories for journalists to write about, or we lose valuable digital and print space to competing destinations. New trails are an extremely cost-effective way of doing this.

“The Victoria’s Island Trail was launched to coincide with the Victoria and Abdul movie, and has already generated coverage in the Times, the Sun, The Telegraph, The Mirror, The Daily Star, specialist publications like Coast Magazine, in Press Association blogs and regional newspapers. If we had to buy this space to promote the Island it would be way beyond our advertising budget.

“Here on the Island, we’ve proved time and time again that these trails deliver fantastic value for money and grab the attention of prospective visitors in a media hungry world that’s always looking for the next new thing to write about. Associating ourselves with a new movie, and at the same time as series 2 of Victoria is airing on ITV, provides new reasons to visit the Island, and due to the timing, works to encourage autumn and winter visits. Extending the season and attracting new visitors from higher demographic groups were two of the principle aims the Industry asked us to concentrate on within the Wight BID plan this year”.

For more information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Tel: 07766 705672, Email: sue@visitwight.co.uk

ENDS

 

LINKS

Explore Victoria’s Trail – https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/victorias-island-trail

The Times article

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/follow-victorias-island-trail-zmcrjwg8t

The Daily Telegraph article  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/united-kingdom/england/isle-of-wight/articles/osborne-house-victoria-and-abdul/

TV3 – Ireland’s second most popular TV channel

https://www.tv3.ie/xpose/article/lifestyle/251785/Holiday-like-a-queen-on-the-Isle-of-Wight-star-of-new-film-Victoria–Abdul

Syndicated piece across 4 publications in North London and Hertfordshire

http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/15556631.Follow_in_Queen_Victoria___s_footsteps_on_the_beautiful_Isle_of_Wight/
Practical Motorhome

https://www.practicalmotorhome.com/blog/47739-6-reasons-to-tour-the-uk-this-autumn
Popular blog website

https://www.travelbeginsat40.com/news/visit-isle-of-wight-launches-new-victorias-island-trail/

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

Major refurbishment for Red Eagle

Red Funnel, the Isle of Wight specialist has confirmed that it is to spend £3m on a major refurbishment of its ro-pax ferry Red Eagle in the New Year.

The work will be similar to the new look given to Red Falcon and Red Osprey in 2014 and 2015 and will be carried out by local marine businesses. The main contract has been awarded to Trimline in Southampton, with aluminium fabrication work contracted to Wight Shipyard Ltd in East Cowes. The refit will be carried out in Southampton.

The refurbishment of Red Eagle, coupled with the order for Red Jet 7, already amounts to an investment of over £10m in Red Funnel’s cross Solent services by the consortium of UK and Canadian pension funds who acquired the business in July 2017. The decisions underpin the new owners’ commitment to growing the cross-Solent market and helping to stimulate the Isle of Wight’s economy.

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s CEO commented “We are delighted to make this exciting announcement so soon after ordering Red Jet 7. The refit of Red Eagle will bring the interior right up-to-date with a contemporary new look and a class-leading travel experience for customers which matches the best in the UK ferry industry. Once again we are particularly pleased to award the work to local suppliers, supporting jobs in both Southampton and in East Cowes on the Island.”

Work on Red Eagle will start in January 2018 and will be completed in time for the summer timetable which starts on 29 March. The project will see a significant increase in the number of internal seats for customers and involves a complete refit of B Deck including a state-of-the-art galley and new toilets. On A Deck, there will be a dedicated pet’s lounge and a purpose built Signature Lounge offering a premium club experience for discerning travellers.

Modern seating styles and tables, subtle colours and clever LED lighting will create spaces which are perfect for socialising, working or just relaxing. High-capacity Wi-Fi, USB charging points, air conditioning and digital entertainment are just a few of the features available to everyone on board. Outdoor space to soak up the sun will be available on A and AA Decks.

For more information about the transformation of Red Eagle please visit redfunnel.co.uk/newlook

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Notes to editors

About Red Eagle

Red Eagle was the last of three Raptor Class ro-pax ferries ordered by Red Funnel from Ferguson Shipbuilders at Port Glasgow in the early 90’s. Replacing Netley Castle, Red Eagle entered service in 1996 and travels 45,500 miles every year between Southampton and East Cowes. To accommodate a strong growth in traffic, the ship was lengthened in 2005 by 9.6m and an additional through car deck was added with capacity for 70 cars or small vans. The work was carried out by Remontawa shipyard in Gdansk.

About Red Funnel

Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.

In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and two food & beverage brands, ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘ReFuel’.

The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Isle of Arts, The Red Funnel IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, Isle Walk Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a range of community and niche interest events.

Red Funnel’s 2017 Charity of the Year is Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

 

For further Red Funnel press information contact:

Isle of Wight/Hants
Amy Grinstead
Carswell Gould
redfunnel@carswellgould.co.uk
023 8023 8001
National
Sophie or Frances
Four Communications
redfunnel@fourcommunications.com
020 3697 4200

 

www.redfunnel.co.uk/media

 

The Isle of Wight is a Finalist in the Family Traveller Awards 2017

The Isle of Wight has been announced as a finalist in this year’s annual Family Traveller Awards in the “Best UK region for Families” category.

The public will have until 20th October 2017 to vote for the Island and every vote will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a holiday for a family of four to Malta, worth £4,000. The winners for each category will be decided on by the expert judging panel and the responses from the public, with the winners being announced by a celebrity host at a glamourous celebration in London this November.

Now in its third year, The Family Traveller Awards are dedicated to finding the best of the best in family travel and celebrating brands that work hard to make family holidays special.

New for the 2017 Awards is the Reader’s Choice Awards – where the winners will be selected based solely on the majority public vote, with no input from the judging panel. Kids will call the shots in the ‘Best UK Days Out for Families category’, while mum and dad can have their say on what they think is the ‘Best UK Region’ and the ‘Best UK City Break’ for families.

Vist Isle of Wight is the Destination Management Organisation for the Isle of Wight and work in partnership with Visit England, Visit Britain, Tourism South East and other tourism bodies to promote the Island to UK mainland and overseas audiences. Their top-ranking website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) receives over 2.4million visitors a year.

In 2015, the Isle of Wight was Highly Commended for “Best Domestic Destination for Families” while Wightlink were Highly Commended in the “Best Family Ferry Operator” category.   Last year, the Isle of Wight Festival won in the “Best Family Festival” category.

Included in the Family Traveller Awards finals this year are the Isle of Wight in the Best UK region for Families category, Wigwam (which has a location at Tapnell Farm) in the Best Holiday Rental category, Carisbrooke Castle (English Heritage) in the Best UK Day Out category, Kingswood Family Adventure, (which has a location in Bembridge) in the Best Activity Specialist category and the Isle of Wight Festival in the Best Family Festival category.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “The Family Traveller Awards give consumers the opportunity to reward travel and tourism enterprises for outstanding performance and it’s wonderful to see the Island and so many of its tourism businesses in the running for these prestigious awards.

“We’re up against some big industry names, so please do spread the word and encourage everyone you know to vote for the Isle of Wight and circulate the message “Pure Island Happiness” is what the whole world needs right now”.

Last year, the awards were met with huge support from the travel industry and public, with over 27,000 public votes received. This year there are 21 different categories, up from 18 in 2016, ranging from Best European Hotel for Families, to Best Family Festival and Best Activity Specialist for Families.

This year, the panel of judges will consist of a range of travel experts, including: Jane Anderson, editor of Family Traveller magazine; Simon Reeve, BBC presenter; Mariella Frostrup, BBC Radio 4 presenter; Sue Ward Davies, travel director of ELLE and Jane Knight, travel editor of The Times.

To vote, go to  www.familytraveller.com/awards      

Everyone who votes will be automatically entered into a competition to in a £4,000 family holiday to Malta https://familytraveller.com/travel-competitions/family-traveller-awards-2017-malta/

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Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Tel: 07766 705672, Email: sue@visitwight.co.uk

 

About Family Traveller:

Family Traveller is the UK’s premier media brand focusing on all things related to family centric travel. Family Traveller has a monthly reach of over 500,000 affluent UK families with a specific target audience of 30-50-year-old mothers with an ABC1 demographic. Family Traveller magazine is available at Waitrose stores nationwide and selected independent retailers. Our social media following is 100,000+ and the website has over 350,000 monthly unique visitors. The Family Traveller awards received 2,600 nominations in 2016 with a public vote recorded at 27,000.

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

 

Wightlink’s £45million investment in the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route improves punctuality

Statistics from August 2017 – the busiest month of the year – show Wightlink’s terminal improvements have made a significant difference to punctuality on the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route.

The numbers of sailings arriving on time this August on Wightlink’s busiest service increased by more than a third, compared to August 2016 levels. This is because staff can load and unload its flagship St Clare more quickly using new double deck boarding ramps. Cars and small vans embark and disembark on the upper deck while lorries, coaches and other large vehicles use the lower deck. The new system has reduced the turnaround time to around 15 minutes.

Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield says: “We thank our customers and neighbours for their patience during our construction work at both Portsmouth and Fishbourne. The temporary disruption to our services has been worth it because punctuality has improved. We are delighted that the majority of our sailings are now running on time, even on some of the busiest days during the holiday season, and will welcome our new ship Victoria of Wight in summer 2018.”

Isle of Wight CounciI Leader Councillor Dave Stewart says: “I have followed with interest the progress of Wightlink’s £45million investment in the Portsmouth route since it gained planning permission last year. I am pleased the new two-tier boarding ramps at Fishbourne and Portsmouth are now working well and helping to make the service more efficient. We look forward to the new ship arriving next year.

“The investment by Wightlink is an important part of our ambition to regenerate the Island’s economy as we move forward.”

More improvements to the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route lie ahead. Plans have been unveiled for a new terminal entrance at Fishbourne to reduce queuing and Wightlink’s new customer building in Portsmouth is nearing completion.

For more information, contact Karen Woods 07775 694266 karen@karenwoods.biz<mailto:karen@karenwoods.biz>

Karen Woods, Communications, Wightlink, Isle of Wight Ferries, Portsmouth Harbour, Portsmouth, PO1 3PS

M: 07775 694266

E: karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk<mailto:karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk>

 

Wightlink reveals the name of its new flagship

Wightlink’s new £30million environmentally friendly car ferry for the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route will be named Victoria of Wight.

The name was chosen by a panel of staff who considered 186 suggestions from 73 members of staff.

Work is well underway on the new ship at the Cemre shipyard in Yalova, Turkey and Victoria of Wight will be officially handed over to Wightlink early in 2018. It has not yet been decided when she will enter service.

The new ship is part of a £45million investment in the route. New two-tier boarding ramps are already in use at Portsmouth and Fishbourne and have made loading and unloading of the ferry St Clare faster and more efficient.

Victoria of Wight will be a hybrid vessel, powered by batteries as well as low sulphur marine gas oil. Environmentally friendly features will include the recycling of hot water from the engines to heat the passenger areas and low energy LED lighting. There will be a Costa Coffee store on board as well as a shop selling high quality Isle of Wight produce.

Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield comments: “Victoria was clearly a popular choice among staff. We were very happy to endorse their selection and feel Queen Victoria, as a regular visitor to the Isle of Wight, would have been amused.”

Five staff members submitted the winning suggestion for the naming. They have all won a trip to the Cemre shipyard to watch the launch of Victoria of Wight later in 2017.

The new ship will be launched at the end of 2017 and arrive in the Solent next summer.

For more information, contact Karen Woods 07775 694266 karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk

 

Hearts for tigers fundraising campaign launched

Help The Wildheart Trust provide safe sanctuary on the Isle of Wight for a rescued tiger 

“We can’t change the world for every tiger in need but together we can make the world of difference for this one. Every penny will all add up to provide a much richer life for this animal.” Chris Packham – broadcaster, author and trustee of The Wildheart Trust.

The Wildheart Trust is based at the Isle of Wight Zoo. The zoo has long been known and respected for its provision of lifelong refuge for unwanted, confiscated and mistreated big cats and is committed to the care and conservation of these wonderful animals. During the Isle of Wight Zoo’s 40 year lifetime more than 60 big cats have been given safe haven here. From tigers to lions and jaguars, the dedicated specialised team have worked tirelessly to ensure they have had a safe, loving and enriching place to call home. Currently the zoo’s big cat family totals 8 individuals who have come from a variety of unfortunate backgrounds.

Every year countless big cats end up in temporary rescue centres across Europe, all with a tragic story to tell. Whether they have been abandoned by private owners (who no longer want them after they outgrow the cute and cuddly phase) or have been subjected to cruelty or bad welfare in circuses, they all need a permanent home. Until they find one, other desperate animals must wait their turn to be saved.

In March of this year the zoo sadly lost one of its beloved tigers, Lola, an elderly ex-circus cat. Lola left behind her good friend Simi, also an ex-circus tiger. In many ways Lola’s loss was bittersweet, because as much as she is still missed, there is now space to rescue another tiger. However, in order to facilitate this major re-development of the old outdoor enclosure complex, work must be undertaken to ensure it meets the highest standards for this next era of rescue work. Unfortunately, at this time the zoo does not have the funds in its operating budget to cover the cost of this renovation work and therefore must fundraise.

A dedicated crowdfunder page has been set up to assist the zoo in raising the vital funds and donations are now starting to roll in ,every donation made will take the zoo one step closer to reaching its goal.

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/heartsfortigers

Message from CEO and trustee of The Wildheart Trust – Charlotte Corney

“Without the support of our friends we would never have evolved into the specialist centre that we are today. Once we have completed the renovation, the team will be ready and waiting to welcome another tiger into The Wildheart family where he or she will be provided with exemplary day to day care”

How much will the project cost?  

The project will be undertaken in two phases and will cost a total £50,000.

Phase 1 (£38,000) will include:

  • Demolition and removal of old enclosure
  • Replacement of exterior fencing
  • Construction of a new dividing fence
  • Planting and soft landscaping
  • Creation of two ponds
  • Building of resting platforms

Phase 2 (£12,000) will include:

  • Building of two heated rocks with caves

In the unlikely event that the project should come in under budget we will ensure that any surplus funds raised be put into a ‘Tiger Pension Plan’ for the rescued tiger. These funds would help towards the future care of the individual cat. 

The aim is for Phase 1 of the work to be completed by the end of the summer, with sufficient funds raised to enable the zoo to embark on Phase 2 by the autumn of 2017. The sooner the facility is completed, the sooner the zoo can welcome a tiger into its care.

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Media enquiries: Karen-Jane Dudley, Marketing & Events Officer, Isle of Wight Zoo
marketing@isleofwightzoo.com  01983 403883 http://www.isleofwightzoo.comNotes 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. As a centre for surplus or rescued big cats, all have come to the Zoo at different stages of their lives and from a variety of backgrounds. The Isle of Wight Zoo is currently home to 4 tigers, 3 lions and 1 jaguar

Wightlink’s £45million investment in the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route reaches another milestone

The first vehicles have embarked and disembarked Wightlink’s flagship St Clare using the company’s new two-tier upper and lower boarding ramps at Portsmouth and Fishbourne.

From now on, cars and small vans will use the upper ramp and lorries, coaches and other larger vehicles will use the lower ramp.

The two ramps allow staff to load and unload the ship faster and more efficiently, they will also be used on Wightlink’s new vessel when she comes into service in 2018. Wightlink’s other car ferries on the route, St Faith, St Cecilia and Wight Sun will continue to use the lower ramp only.

Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield was among the first people to drive on board St Clare using the upper ramp and joined customers and staff on board.

“This marks a milestone for Wightlink Ferries as the first stage of our £45million investment in future services. Our new port redevelopment will offer customers better facilities and smoother crossings to and from the Isle of Wight,” says Keith.

The first customers to board the 11:00 sailing in Portsmouth using the upper ramp were Ian and Brigitte Park from West Malling, Kent. They were on their way to Ventnor for the weekend to celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary. “We’re very excited to be making history as part of Wightlink’s new development, it has been an amazing start to our holiday on the Isle of Wight,” says Ian.

The first customers to board the return 12:00 sailing in Fishbourne were John Stewart, Susan Ford and 15 year old Emily Ford, 15, from Billericay, Essex. The family had been on the Isle of Wight for a six day break staying with friends who had recently moved to the Island. John says: “We had a great time – the Island is a lovely place and we will certainly come back again.” Before driving the first car on the new ramp, John adds: “We knew that the facilities here were new but not quite that new!”

Work began on the new boarding ramps in September 2016 as part of Wightlink’s £45million investment in future services.

For more information please contact Karen Woods 07775 694266 karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk<mailto:karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk

M: 07775 694266

 

New Web content to boost Cowes tourism

Visit Isle of Wight and Destination Cowes have collaborated to replace the single “Cowes” page on the official tourist boards top ranking site (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) with a whole new collection of detailed pages designed to showcase Cowes and East Cowes and everything it has to offer.

At the same time, the old Cowes.co.uk site, which was quite out of date, has been removed, and the domain now points to the new pages on the Island’s tourist board site.

David Thornton explains: We wanted to have the best of both worlds: to use the popularity of Visit Isle of Wight’s website, which now attracts over 2.4million visitors a year, but retain the link “Cowes.co.uk” as a trusted source of local information about Cowes, East Cowes and the surrounding area. By combining our resources and content like this, we’ve created a whole new platform for Cowes, with new social media plug ins to complement activities.

The creation of the official tourism site builds on the development of the Destination Cowes brand – a partnership formed by Red Funnel, English Heritage, Cowes Town Council, Visit Isle of Wight, Cowes Harbour Commission, Cowes Yacht Haven and both the Cowes and East Cowes business associations to help market the area.

Cowes.co.uk provides a wide-ranging guide to the town. Visitors will be able to find advice about cultural sites, activities and attractions, what’s on, as well as information about where to stay, eat, drink and shop.

Destination Cowes believes the new website will play a significant role in increasing the appeal of the Cowes and East Cowes to visitors and ultimately lead to more people visiting the towns and the wider Island. The new site includes a range of features including increased social media integration and blog and video content.

Stephen Brooks, the Chairman of Destination Cowes, said: “Our target is to reach 1 million people through the site. This, plus our social media, will show potential visitors what Cowes and East Cowes have to offer. Attracting more visitors will help our local businesses grow, creating jobs, facilities and prosperity for local people.”

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “As the maritime gateway to the Island with a wealth of places to visit and explore, Cowes offers an exceptional visitor experience.

“The Cowes.co.uk address signifies a new energy and collaboration to really get Cowes on the map and we hope that local businesses will get behind it by supplying great, relevant content from interesting blogs and special offers to fantastic images and video content.”

Visit Isle of Wight confirmed that this pilot project to upgrade individual town and area content online through closer partnership with resorts across the Island is something they would like to do more of in the future.

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

Sue Emmerson, Tel: 07766 705672, Email: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to Editors

Attached image taken in Cowes High Street LtoR:  Mark McNeill, Cowes Town Council, Stephen Brooks, Chairman, Destination Cowes, Simon Dabell, Chairman, Visit Isle of Wight, Ryan Stoffell, Red Funnel, Gina Baldwin, Red Funnel and Karl Love, Councillor for East Cowes.

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

 

Visit Isle of Wight launches 2017 Wight in Bloom Competition

Isle of Wight gardeners are invited to celebrate their work and take part in this year’s Wight in Bloom competition launched yesterday (8th May 2017) in the The Chelsea Garden at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Newport, Isle of Wight.

Wight in Bloom is an annual community-based competition that celebrates the Island’s diverse range of gardens – from the small space to the large tourist attraction.

Sponsored by Red Funnel and organised by Visit Isle of Wight, the competition encourages gardeners to create colourful floral displays that will make the Island a brighter place to live and visit.

This year there will be 11 categories including:  Best Small Front Garden, Best Large Front Garden, Best Commercial Garden, Best Senior Citizen Complex, Best Young People Initiative, Best Community Floral Project, Best Small Tourist Attraction Garden, Best Large Tourist Attraction Garden, Best Creative Use of a Small Space, Best Edible Garden and New for 2017 Best Water Feature.

Gardens can be entered into the competition from 19th May until the closing date of 30th June.  Judging will take place from 3rd to 30th July when a team of local horticultural experts will visit the gardens to decide the first, second, highly commended and overall winner of The Peggy Jarman Trophy.

Wight in Bloom are supporting the Earl Mountbatten Hospice by purchasing EMH sunflower seed packets to give to entrants of this year’s Wight in Bloom competition. It is hoped that these will be grown across the Island during the summer to support the EMH 35th Anniversary and to brighten up gardens and open spaces.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “Wight in Bloom is hugely important; it remind us all that a great deal of the Island is on constant show, and we need to look our best all the time. There are many green-fingered experts living on the Isle of Wight, from TV celebrities to groups of eager school children, all of whom help to make the Island look terrific. This annual competition is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on our “Garden Isle” heritage for the benefit of tourists and Island residents alike.”

Entry forms with full details of the categories can be found at the Visitor Centre, The Guildhall, Newport, the Red Funnel website www.redfunnel.co.uk/wightinbloom  Visit Isle of Wight website www.visitwight.pro , the IW County Press Shop and all main Island garden centres.

Wight in Bloom Patron Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL will present the Awards at a garden party ceremony in September.

Wight in Bloom has over the past two years worked with schools to encourage participation into the competition. It has recently developed an initiative to deliver a pilot mentor scheme for new School Garden Coordinators.

Working in collaboration with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening project, Wight in Bloom will assist a team of experienced school garden coordinators and local horticultural experts to provide support to enable less experienced schools to set up a garden project. For further information on how to join the scheme please contact the Wight in Bloom Co-coordinator at bloom@visitwight.org.

Claire Matthews, RHS Campaign for School Gardening said “The RHS Campaign for School Gardening inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development. The direct benefits of gardening for children are wide ranging. Registration to the Campaign is free and you can join by logging on to https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/register”.

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s CEO commented “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the ever popular Wight in Bloom. The annual competition is a great opportunity for first-time and seasoned gardeners to showcase their skills with categories designed to encourage young people and community groups to take part”.

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

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

The image shows LtoR:   Nigel Hartley, CEO of Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Tom Madge, Head of Marketing at Red Funnel, David Thornton CEO of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd and Nicola Bell and Mel, both volunteer gardeners at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.

Categories for the competition are:

  1. BEST SMALL FRONT GARDEN (Under 15 metre frontage)
  2. BEST LARGE FRONT GARDEN (Over 15 metre frontage)
  3. BEST COMMERCIAL GARDEN (Public House, Restaurant, Shops, Café, Business, Hotel/Guest Accommodation/Self Catering/ Caravan sites)
  4. BEST SENIOR CITIZEN COMPLEX (Private and Public Sector, Healing and Meditative gardens)
  5. BEST YOUNG PEOPLE PROJECT (Schools/youth groups)
  6. BEST COMMUNITY FLORAL PROJECT (Community Groups, Parish or town councils, High Streets, Church Grounds)
  7. BEST SMALL TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)
  8. BEST LARGE TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)
  9. BEST CREATIVE USE OF A SMALL SPACE (window box, balcony, hanging basket, recycled objects for containers, vertical planting)
  10. BEST WATER FEATURE (Includes area directly surrounding pond/water feature/fountain only) NEW for 2017
  11. BEST EDIBLE GARDEN (mix of flowers, vegetables and herbs, can be a source of food and a decorative display).

+  Overall Winner of the The Peggy Jarman Trophy

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

About Red Funnel

Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.

In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and two food & beverage brands, ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘ReFuel’.

The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Isle of Arts, IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a wide range of community and niche interest events.

Red Funnel’s 2017 Charity of the Year is Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

For further Red Funnel press information contact:

Isle of Wight/Hants
Amy Grinstead
Carswell Gould
redfunnel@carswellgould.co.uk
023 8023 8001
 

About RHS Campaign for School Gardening

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development.

RHS Campaign for School Gardening work with schools has shown that the direct benefits of gardening for children are wide ranging:

  • Improves physical and mental well-being
  • Builds life skills such as confidence, teamwork and communication
  • Enhances literacy, numeracy and oracy skills
  • Enriches the entire curriculum from science, maths and geography, to art, design and languages
  • Encourages a better and healthier lifestyle
  • Teaches about the environment and sustainability
  • Helps young people engage with their surroundings better and develop a sense of responsibility