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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.”



For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672


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 ( the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities:




Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) and VisitEngland (VE) are holding a tourism industry presentation event entitled “The Big Tourism Ticket”, which will take place on Wednesday 22nd January at the Quay Arts Centre, Newport, Isle of Wight.   

Primarily intended to stimulate engagement and debate with the wider tourism industry on the Island, The Big Tourism Ticket will be used to update the industry about significant changes to, share UK and Island research, and announce new campaign themes for 2014.

The half-day event is free and takes place between 10am and 1pm and will be followed by a buffet lunch and networking opportunity.    There will be a number of short industry presentations, including “Ways to grow your business” and “Top social media tips and ideas” and a Q&A session.

In addition, VE will be there to share the latest UK visitor economy research data, while VIOW’s new Sustainable Transport Marketing Executive, Tom Ransom, will talk about a new “Cyclists Welcome” scheme.    John Allen, the Chairman of the Chamber’s tourism advisory board will also be presenting on the day.

Guests on the day will also hear how the heritage and arts & culture sectors are now working alongside tourism to grow the overall appeal of the UK’s number one holiday Island.

David Thornton, Visit Isle of Wight’s CEO, said: “At this event we will present a review of our first year and launch our 2014 marketing opportunities.

“It’s a great opportunity for anyone with a vested interest in visitors to meet the destination management stakeholders groupahead of the Chamber’s Tourism Workshop day in March, hear how we can work together to capitalise on the Island’s tourism brand and help us mould our plans for the future.”

Tickets are available on a first-come, first served basis and any industry members wishing to attend this event, should call Quay Arts on 01983 822490 to secure tickets for the event.


For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, tel. 01983 201048, e-mail


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 ( the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities:





An Isle of Wight tourism business has been awarded a regional accolade at this year’s Beautiful South Awards, hosted and organised by Tourism South East (TSE).

Corner Cottage, Nettlecombe Farm Holidays in Whitwell, has scooped the Gold award for Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year.  After months of anticipation, nearly 300 expectant guests from tourism businesses across the South East gathered at The Felbridge Hotel in West Sussex to hear the results and share in the winners’ success.

The Beautiful South awards, hosted and organised by TSE, recognise exceptional levels of customer service and dedication to raising standards in the tourism industry.  Now running for over twenty years, the awards celebrate the very best the South East has to offer for all types of tourism businesses including B&Bs, hotels, holiday parks, self-catering, visitor attractions as well as recognising those businesses that have gone the extra mile on accessibility, sustainability and great customer service.

Nettlecombe, which has been in the Morris family for over 100 years,is a working farm that offers luxurious self-catering holiday accommodation, coarse fishing, yoga retreats and function barn hire.

Proprietor, Jose Morris said: “We are delighted to have received this recognition for the Island.”

“Our motto at Nettlecombe is to continually improve our facilities and services for our guests to exceed their expectations. Receiving this award has not only given us a sense of pride but has also led to an influx of bookings for 2014.”

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to Nettlecombe Farm and look forward to seeing them on the national stage at the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence in April.

“Planning for next year has already begun and Visit Isle of Wight is keen to encourage our best local businesses to take part.  Details of how to get involved will be posted on our industry website ( in the New Year.”     

View all the winners and finalists at


For further information, please contact:   Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail:

Notes to editors:

Attached image of  Amy Shepherdly (Jose Morris’ youngest daughter), Nettlecombe Farm, receiving the Gold award for Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year at the awards ceremony held at The Felbridge Hotel in West Sussex on Wednesday evening, 27th November 2013.



TSE Chairman, Ken Robinson CBE

Managing Director, Tourism South East, Peter Colling

Nettlecombe Farm, Amy Shepherdly

Nettlecombe Farm, Carrie Wallis (friend of Amy Shepherdly)

Travel journalist and broadcaster Alison Rice


List of Finalists by Accolade

Business Tourism Award

Sponsored by Shopper Anonymous

Gold     Blenheim Palace

Silver   Marwell Hotel

Silver   Macdonald Windsor Hotel

Highly Commended     Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa


Access for All Tourism Award

Sponsored by Tourism for All

Gold Radisson Blu Edwardian Guildford Hotel

Gold Beaulieu Enterprises Limited

Highly Commended        Jurys Inn Brighton


Bed and Breakfast, Guest Accommodation of the Year

Sponsored by Barclaycard

Gold     Kester House Bed & Breakfast

Silver   Colliers Farm Bed and Breakfast

Highly Commended    The Old Vine

Highly Commended    Five Arrows Hotel


Tourism Experience of the Year

Gold     Weber Grill Academy

Silver   The Chapel Down Winery

Silver   Knights’ Glamping

Highly Commended    Bill Spectre’s Ghost Trails


Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Sponsored by Flagship Consulting

Gold     Chiltern Open Air Museum

Silver   Shepherd Neame Visitor Centre

Highly Commended    Didcot Railway Centre

Highly Commended    Go Ape Black Park


Tourism Event of the Year

Gold     Beaulieu International Autojumble

Silver   The Hampshire Food Festival

Silver   Wallingford Food Festival

Highly Commended    Lingfield Park Resort – Hooves & Grooves


Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year

Sponsored by Tozers Solicitors

Gold     Hoburne Bashley

Silver   Crowhurst Park

Highly Commended    Away Resorts Ltd

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Sponsored by Take One Media

Gold     Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Silver   Marwell Zoo

Silver   Spinnaker Tower

Highly Commended    The Beaney, House of Art and Knowledge


Tourism Pub of the Year

Sponsored by OBC The Accountants

Gold     The Feathered Nest

Silver   The Old Drum

Highly Commended    The Farm @ Friday Street

Large Hotel of the Year

Sponsored by Quality in Tourism

Gold     Coworth Park

Silver   Lainston House Hotel

Silver   Aviator – a hotel by TAG

Highly Commended    Tylney Hall Hotel


Outstanding Customer Service Award

Sponsored by Welcome to Excellence

Gold     West Marden Farm Accommodation – Carole Edney

Silver   Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa – Colin Parkes

Highly Commended    The Feathered Nest – Carl Morgan

Highly Commended    Tony Read Kent Life


Sustainable Tourism Award

Sponsored by Shepherd Neame

Gold     Jurys Inn Brighton

Gold     Oakley Court Hotel

Silver   Mapledurham Estate

Highly Commended    Burford Visitor Information Centre


Small Hotel of the Year

Gold     The Montagu Arms Hotel

Silver   Fallowfields Hotel and Restaurant

Silver   Pelham House

Silver   The White Horse Hotel and Brasserie

Highly Commended    Cloud Hotel


Self Catering Holiday Provider of the Year

Sponsored by Anytime Booking

Gold     West Marden Farm Accommodation

Gold     Corner Cottage, Nettlecombe Farm Holidays

Silver   South Winchester Lodges


Flavour of the South East

Sponsored by Whitstable Bay

Gold     The Feathered Nest

Silver   Aviator – a hotel by TAG

Highly Commended    The Old Dunnings Mill


Visitor Information Provider of the Year

Sponsored by Tourist Network

Gold     Maidstone Visitor Information at Maidstone Museum

Silver   Guildford Tourist Information Centre

Highly Commended    Kingstonfirst


VisitEngland Awards

In addition to winning in the South East, the top four businesses from most categories have been selected as the Beautiful South’s representatives in the national VisitEngland awards and will be asked to submit a new and different entry form for the VisitEngland awards (


Title sponsors:  Shepherd Neame

Sponsors and Partners:  Tozers Solicitors, Tasty Marketing, Shopper Anonymous, Barclaycard, Tourist Network, obc the accountants, Take One Media, Flagship Consulting, Quality in Tourism, Welcome to Excellence, Anytime Booking, Whitstable Bay, Tourism for All, Pyramid Audio Visual, The Felbridge Hotel.


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 ( the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities:

Tourism Briefings for the Isle of Wight

Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) announces five days of ‘Tourism Briefings’ across the Island


Visit Isle of Wight Ltd Team

Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the new Destination Management Organisation (DMO) for the Isle of Wight has today announced that it will run a week-long programme of tourism briefings across the Island, starting on Monday, November 19th at the Quay Arts Centre in Newport.

All tourism businesses are invited to drop-in to one of the five venues throughout the week to meet the Visit Isle of Wight operations team and to discuss plans to attract more visitors over the coming years.

David Thornton, the recently appointed Chief Executive of the newly formed DMO hopes that such events will become a regular feature of VIOW’s work.

“These events allow us an opportunity to hold one-to-one conversations with tourism operators where the flow of information and ideas can run in both directions. We are keen to share our thoughts for future themes and advertising campaigns whilst explaining how our islandbreaks website – – and other selling tools are going to be developed,” he says.

“We are hoping to meet as many tourism providers as possible over the five days. Drop in at any time during the day, tell us your key concerns and hear how we are planning to develop the Island’s tourism economy”.

The VIOW operational team will be joined by representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, who will be able to offer advice on a range of additional tourism services and by Mark Buckett of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), who will be on hand to discuss the “Our Land” initiative designed to help tourism businesses use the landscape to enhance their own appeal.

Tourism providers are invited to drop-in at any time between 10am and 4pm at the following venues, to meet the team and to discuss any tourism issue in a relaxed and informal settingQuay Arts Centrein Newport, on Monday November 19th; Yelf’s Hotelin Ryde, November 20th; Wednesday 21st November Freshwater Bay House Hotelin Freshwater Bay, on November 21st; Brading Roman Villain Brading, on November 22nd; and the Royal Hotel,in Ventnor, on November 23rd.