Tag Archives: Visit Isle of Wight

THE GRAND ESCAPE – WHY GRANDPARENTS SHOULD CHOOSE UK BREAKS TO MAKE LASTING MEMORIES WITH GRANDCHILDREN

IN TIME for National Grandparents Day (Sunday 01 October 2017) Parkdean Resorts has enlisted the support of five regional tourist boards to celebrate why the UK is great for multigenerational breaks.

‘3G’ groups were amongst the 500,000 holidaymakers the UK’s largest holiday park operator welcomed last year, giving families the chance to spend quality time together – the most common reason for multigenerational holidays according to a recent survey by Saga Travel Insurance*.

Parkdean Resorts has identified Cornwall, the Isle of Wight, Norfolk, Northumberland and Essex as increasingly popular regions for grandparents, parents and grandchildren to seek adventure during a break, away from the distractions of school, work and everyday routines.

Self-catering staycations can be a cost-effective option bookable all-year-round, with holiday parks home to spacious accommodation fitted with essentials, as well as a variety of facilities and activities all ages can appreciate – especially as grandparents are often enjoying more active retirements.

John Waterworth, chief executive of Parkdean Resorts, said: “Some of my best memories of my grandparents are from holidays altogether in Cornwall, as well as at the caravan they owned in the North East. We explored the local areas, spent endless days at the beach and played board games on the rare occasion it rained. It still makes me feel a great sense of happiness when I think of those fond memories to this day.

“Caravan holidays have changed a lot since then, but their appeal for multigenerational breaks remains the same. We’re keen to encourage families to holiday together and enjoy uninterrupted moments, and are pleased to have partnered with a number of the UK’s tourist boards who share the same values, highlighting some of the best regions for ‘3G’ breaks.”

Surrounding areas also have plenty to discover as highlighted by the five tourist boards, encouraging children and teens to ditch tech and engage in exciting experiences, making life-long memories with loved ones, from crabbing in Looe Harbour to paddle boarding on the Isle of Wight.

Visit Cornwall recommends families walk across the causeway to St Michael’s Mount, go to Pendennis Castle and play knights and kings, explore the streets and alleyways of St Ives, take a ferry trip out of Falmouth and tuck into some Cornish pasties.

Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, said: “Cornwall is a unique destination as it attracts the senior market, families and is loved by children, making it an ideal place for a holiday with three generations in tow.

“There’s nothing better than families holidaying altogether at the place where grandad and grandma used to take their children, seeing their grandkids play on the same beach. It is the ultimate nostalgia trip.”

Visit Isle of Wight recommends cycling along the family-friendly Red Squirrel Trail, trying out water sports from sailing to waterskiing, getting aboard the Isle of Wight Steam Railway and meeting dinosaurs at Dinosaur Isle.

David Thornton, chief executive of Visit Isle of Wight, said: “The Isle of Wight is packed with history and adventure from dinosaurs to pirates, making it a destination full of discovery that will excite thrill-seeking teenagers as much as mini explorers, parents and grandparents.

“The Island’s exciting natural environment is the perfect holiday playground, and is just four miles from the mainland. There really is something to keep the whole family happy come rain or shine.”

Visit Norfolk recommends going under the sea at Sea Life Great Yarmouth, animal spotting at Banham Zoo, going on a boat cruise on the Broads, playing hide and seek in Thetford Forest and heading out on a steam train on The Poppy Line.

 Pete Waters, manager of Visit Norfolk, said: “Norfolk is a great region for 3G breaks as its natural and built capital are ideal for all ages to enjoy, with accommodation providers increasingly catering for multiple generations holidaying together. Not only do 3G breaks help to spread the cost, but also provide an opportunity for quality time, sometimes not always easy to do with busy schedules or families living far apart.

“Regardless of the season, Norfolk’s 93 miles of coastline are always great to explore, as well as the variety of visitor attractions which have invested in weather-proofing their facilities in recent years to ensure a great day out irrespective of the weather.”

Northumberland Tourism recommends exploring nature and history at Belsay Hall Castle and Gardens, learning about the county’s Roman heritage at the Roman Army Museum next to one of the most complete sections of Hadrian’s Wall, and heading to Bamburgh Beach to build sandcastles or marvel in the beauty of Bamburgh Castle.

Jude Leitch, director at Northumberland Tourism, said: “We prefer the slower pace of life in Northumberland, making it the perfect place for an unforgettable multigenerational holiday – whatever the time of year. From the gardens of our stately homes and castles bursting into bloom in spring, to the darkest skies in Europe twinkling with thousands of stars in the winter, there’s something for all interests and ages.

“Generations have lived as part of the Northumberland landscape for centuries, creating a rich heritage and protecting a way of life together. We hope visitors to the county will discover the warmth of our welcome, and return time and time again to holiday together as a family unit.”

 Visit Essex recommends spending the day at Colchester Zoo, taking a trip to Osea Island to appreciate scenery that rivals overseas landscapes, exploring Dedham Vale – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and tucking into fish and chips and ice creams on a traditional day at the seaside at Southend-on-Sea, Clacton-on-Sea or Mersea Island.

Carol Jolly, tourism marketing & PR manager at Visit Essex, said: “In Essex we are extremely lucky to have a bit of everything – an amazing coastline, wonderful rolling countryside, quaint villages and inspiring towns, as well as over 450 visitor attractions ranging from beautiful historic houses to galleries, museums and theme parks.

“I believe visitors to Essex will be pleasantly surprised by what we have to offer and will enjoy the many different facets of our wonderful county whatever their age, making us a go-to destination for families enjoying holidays together.”

In line with National Grandparents Day, Parkdean Resorts is offering grandparents and families looking to book a multigenerational break a 10% saving on selected spring and early summer 2018 holidays at any of its holiday parks. The discount is available on bookings made between 01 October and 22 October 2017, by using code 3GHOL when booking online. Minimum price after offer is applied is £99 on breaks and £149 on seven night stays. Cannot be used with any other discount.

*https://www.saga.co.uk/newsroom/press-releases/2017/may/multi-generational-holidays-bring-families-together

For further information on Parkdean Resorts visit www.parkdeanresorts.co.uk or call 0330 123 4850.

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For all media enquiries, photography requests or more information please contact Kayleigh Hepburn or Sally Crossley by emailing kayleigh@opr.co.uk / sally@opr.co.uk or call 0191 232 5690.

Notes to editors:

Parkdean Resorts formed in November 2015 following the merger of Parkdean Holidays and Park Resorts. As a result the company is the largest holiday park operator in the UK with a combined total of 73 holiday parks stretching across the country. Vauxhall Holiday Park in Great Yarmouth was acquired by Parkdean Resorts as part of the first major acquisition since the company merged.

Holidaymakers have an unrivalled choice from one operator of holidays and short breaks across the UK with parks in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, East Anglia and Lincolnshire, Essex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent and Sussex, Lake District, Lancashire, Northumberland and County Durham, Yorkshire, Scotland and Wales.

A varied range of accommodation options are available on a break with Parkdean Resorts, including static caravans, lodges and glamping, as well as taking a touring or camping pitch. There’s also the option to own a caravan or lodge holiday home at 68 of the parks, meaning UK breaks can be enjoyed more frequently.

In December 2016, Parkdean Resorts was named Best UK Holiday Parks Operator, Best Camping & Mobile Holiday Company and Best Large Holiday Company for Customer Service at the British Travel Awards.

 

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

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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

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

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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

 

 

Visit Isle of Wight looks to the global tourism market to grow visitor numbers over the next five years

Today Visit Isle of Wight has announced plans to showcase the Island at the World Travel Market this November. This new initiative is one of the first activities funded by the newly established WIGHT BID, in which over 1000 tourism businesses are collectively funding projects to increase their returns from the visitor economy through a statutory investment arrangement introduced on the Island this September.

Staged annually, World Travel Market (WTM) is the leading global event for the travel industry and travel media, and takes place in London’s ExCel exhibition centre from 7th to 9th November. Around 50,000 travel industry professionals are expected to meet, network and conduct business at the show, which is attended by almost 200 countries from around the world.

David Thornton, the Chief Executive for VIOW said: “Currently only 5% of our annual visitors originate overseas, and this number has remained stubbornly low for many years. To grow our overseas volume, we need to team up with travel agencies and inbound operator partners who can sell holidays to the Isle of Wight across the counter in other parts of the World. Being at this show, alongside Visit Britain, and many of the UK’s established inbound carriers, is essential if we are to increase our share of this global tourism market in years to come.”

The Isle of Wight stand (stand number UKI166) will promote the Island’s heritage, stressing connections with internationally recognised names including Victoria and Albert, Tennyson, Churchill and the Isle of Wight festival. A new destination manual will list all WIGHT BID levy payer businesses and provide maps, local information and new itineraries that tour operators and travel agents can use to promote the Island and build marketing programmes to support consumer sales.

Visit Isle of Wight will be joined by the newly formed Destination Cowes partnership, who are co-investors in the exhibition, with the aim of attracting more Cruise ship business and new events to Cowes.

Capt. Stuart McIntosh, Cowes Harbour Master, said: “There is real potential to establish Cowes as a popular cruise ship destination and with its central south coast location, it is an ideally situated port-of-call for cruise ship operators catering to the northern European luxury cruise market.”

The Destination Cowes partnership will also be launched at the show: a collective made up of Cowes Town Council, Visit Isle of i, the Cowes Harbour Commission, Red Funnel, Cowes Yacht Haven, English Heritage, and Cowes and East Cowes Business Associations.

£5,500 of the WIGHT BID fund is being invested in the World Travel Market exhibition this year. So far Visit Isle of Wight has committed £35,000 of the annual levy fund in early projects to grow the visitor economy on the Island. Full details of the 2017 plan will be revealed at a Marketing Briefing for all levy payers to be held at Shanklin Theatre on the 1st of November. More details here: https://isleofwightbid.com/events/

Just over 1,000 WIGHT BID levy payers will receive their annual bill this week. The documentation, sent by Isle of Wight Council on behalf of the BID company, lists key activities planned over the next six months. Visit Isle of Wight is urging tourism providers to pay their bill promptly so that funds can be committed to new marketing campaigns aimed at increasing the number of first time visitors to the Island next year.

ENDS

For further information, please contact Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd 01983 521555 (ext 29), sue@visitwight.org

Notes to Editors

Accompanying image taken at Osborne on the Isle of Wight attached (LtoR): David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, Bryn Jones, Marketing Manager, English Heritage, Charlotte Clark from Chale Bay Farm – a member of the WIGHT BID governance transition panel – and Mark McNeill, the Chairman of Destination Cowes.

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.visitwightpro.com
Our Wightpress site brings you all the latest news and views from the Isle of Wight: http://visitwightpress.com/
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

For more information about World Travel Market, please visit http://www.wtmlondon.com/

 

Red squirrels with wheels? It’s enough to make you go Twizy…

Already famous for being one of the few places in the UK where it’s possible to catch glimpse of a red squirrel, the Isle of Wight can promise a lot more sightings from Spring, 2016.

The only difference is that this particular colony has wheels, rather than big fluffy tails…and will have much more in common with the French postal service, than a cute species of squirrel.

New, “Red Squirrel Electric Bikes” are already available for hire on the Isle of Wight.

The same make and model of electric bike as used by the French postal service, they are fitted with a small battery-powered motor, giving a subtle power boost which makes riding into wind feel like a gentle breeze, and hills like a gentle slope.

In a nut shell, they will allow visitors to “Bicycle Island” the opportunity to cover much more ground and have more time exploring the hidden corners of the Isle of Wight than they would on a conventional bicycle.

The bikes offer a range of up to 60 miles on a single charge, and the front wheel motor provides three levels of assistance on speeds up to 15.5 mph, as well as a ‘walk assist’ mode which is useful for pushing the bike up steeper inclines.

With a lightweight aluminum frame and front suspension fork, the Red Squirrel Electric Bike comes fully equipped with a sprung comfort saddle, full mudguards to prevent clothes being affected by oil, lights, a useful rear pannier, and even a handlebar mounted USB charging point handy to boost your mobile phone or music player!  Braking is taken care of by powerful alloy V-brakes with a battery cut off for efficient stopping in all conditions.  There are charging locations across the Island.

The new colony of Red Squirrels are based at the Guildhall Visitor Information Centre in Newport, on the Isle of Wight, where a friendly team of Travel Ambassadors will always be on hand to offer ideas on places to go, and things to see.

Alternatively, details of several well-marked bicycle trails around the Island can be found at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/inspiration/bicycle-island.  And everyone hiring a bike will receive a Bicycle Island Isle of Wight Cycle Map, featuring 12 routes from a gentle 5-miles route to Sandown, to a 16-miles run out to Cowes.  A separate 66-miles ‘Taste the Island’ route is one of the other trails available to keener cyclists.

Once named in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 World Cycling Destinations, the Isle of Wight is a year round cyclist’s paradise – with over 500 miles of cycle and bridleways weaving their way through dramatic and contrasting Island landscapes.

The Peugeot EC03 200 bikes make light work of some of the Isle of Wight’s hilly terrain, and offer visitors a great new way of exploring the Island.  As the new website address says: you’d be “nuts not to”.

For further details, visit http://www.nutsnotto.co.uk.

Hire charges range from £20 per bike for one person for half a day, to the value-for-money £120 full day hire for four bikes.

Not satisfied with already introducing this eco-friendly means of touring the Island, the Isle of Wight also plans to launch a similar opportunity from the seat of an electric powered Renault Twizy, from March 15th.  Further details will be announced shortly.

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

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29/07766 705672

sue@visitwight.co.uk

 

FROM ISLAND TO MOVIE-LAND: VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT SEEKS BOOST IN FILM TOURISM

Earlier this month, Visit Isle of Wight took soundings from one of the South’s premier film-making events to get a better understanding of what production companies are looking for in a location, in a bid to attracting new filmmakers to the Island.

Film Expo brings together a range of key decision makers and great contacts including directors, producers, future filmmakers, writers, make-up artists, production companies and more.  It also allows exhibitors to forge valuable new relationships, identify potential collaborators and to hear about new sector opportunities

A one-stop shop for all things to do with movies, the event was held at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on February 4th.   More than 40 Hollywood speakers were booked to appear, including John Glen, who has directed five James Bond movies and editor on three others in the hit franchise.

Screen tourism is seen as a growing phenomenon with more and more locations across the UK benefitting from a booming screen industry. From period drama to dark, contemporary stories, family fare to fantasy and sci-fi, screen exposure can help drive tourists to UK regions.

Visit Isle of Wight believes that the Island is well placed to encourage all kinds of film production and has partnered with English Heritage and Wight Media Services to set up a new venture – the Visit Isle of Wight Film TV Services Network – to smooth the way for film and television companies by offering a pool of expertise and resources – from locations advice and facilities hire to sourcing accommodation and theatrical services.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “From themed visitor experiences and activities to accommodation both for visitors attracted through screen tourism and for crews filming on location, there a number of ways that tourism businesses can capitalise on television and film production.

“Whether it be a fashion ad looking for a retro-style backdrop, a TV drama searching for country house interiors or even a Hollywood blockbuster looking for the drama of a ‘Jurassic’ forest, the new Visit Isle of Wight Film TV Services Network is keen to see the Island’s scene-stealing scenery cast in a leading role – and in doing so, generate a broad range of economic benefits for the local Island economy”.

The Visit Isle of Wight Film TV Services Network is now looking for expressions of interest from Island businesses.   Those wishing to get involved in any upcoming projects should e-mail (one) high-res image and a description of the property to sue@visitwight.org

A new Isle of Wight guide, which includes a movie map of the Island will be produced to lure more movie-makers, TV and commercial production teams to the Island.  A dedicated webpage “Filming on the Isle of Wight” is also available on the VIOW website: www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/filming

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

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29/07766 705672

sue@visitwight.co.uk

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Notes to Editors

Image attached:

Katie Jones, Events Manager, Visit Isle of Wight, and Dave Russell, Wight Media Services, attending Film Expo South at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on February 4th.

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

In 2013, Visit Isle of Wight worked with Twentieth Century Fox (Walking with Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie), in 2014 with Paramount Studios (Transformers: Age of Extinction) and again with Paramount (Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension) in 2015.

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

For more info about FilmExpoSouth, please visit www.filmexposouth.co.uk

http://www.filmexposouth.co.uk/all-under-one-roof—all-in-one-day/visit-isle-of-wight

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.

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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

 

VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT SEEKS ACOUSTIC ISLE EVENTS

Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) is now promoting the 3rd annual Acoustic Isle music festival, taking place February 24th to March 6th 2016.

Venues who have planned live entertainment during the promotional period are now invited to let VIOW know so that the Tourist Board can publicise locations and artists.   There is no cost to be featured in the promotion.

The Acoustic Isle campaign was founded by Visit Isle of Wight to grow the early-season visitor economy.    The festival focuses on places to stay and eat, the unique peaceful atmosphere of the Island at that time and its thriving live music scene.

Since it started in 2014, Acoustic Isle has featured hundreds of performances given by Island musicians who come together under the Acoustic Isle banner with a series of intimate gigs in Island pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants, hotels and attractions.

From folk to funk, blues to jazz, the Acoustic Isle line-up features a blend of emerging artists and current performers with a mix of free and ticketed shows all over the Island for a twelve day festival experience.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “There’s so much to see and do on the Island at this time of the year, from wonderful walks and cycle rides to great attractions and eating out at fabulous restaurants and pubs – and then in the evening enjoy fantastic live acoustic acts and artists who come together and perform in our Acoustic Isle season.”

The campaign to encourage visitors to travel to the Isle of Wight and enjoy a tranquil break in early spring will be promoted on VIOW’s award-winning website, in a social media campaign and in a gig guide listing all the venues and artists performing.

Submissions are accepted online http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/event-submission-form  from venues hosting ‘Acoustic Isle’ music events of all types.  VIOW are also by keen to know about any accommodation offers and special deals running at this time.   Please e-mail jill@visitisleofwight.org

An Acoustic Isle industry toolkit providing a range of resources to support the campaign is available www.visitwight.org

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For further information, please contact:   Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 521555 ext 29, 07766 705672, E-mail: 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 SELLS NATIONAL EXPRESS TICKETS

Visit Isle of Wight has joined forces with National Express to sell tickets at its Visitor Centre, based at The Guildhall in Newport.

Funded by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) and the IW Council through a successful grant application from central government, the Isle of Wight Visitor Information Centre first opened to the public in June this year.

Since then, a team of friendly Travel Ambassadors – who work both in the Guildhall and across the Island to inspire visitors to truly explore the Island – have welcomed thousands of visitors and local residents through the doors.

Brimming with leaflets about local attractions, maps and books, the tourist information centre also stocks a choice of high-quality souvenirs and a range of local produce.   In the New Year, the centre will also be offering tickets and bookings for events as well as activities like bike hire.

Developed as part of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) project, the Travel Ambassadors play a vital role in encouraging visitors to use sustainable transport options during their stay on the Island.   The addition of coach ticket sales from the UK’s largest coach operator is seen as a natural extension to the broad range of ‘car-free” opportunities already offered by the Visitor Centre.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said:  “The Guildhall is a fixture of Newport and we are thrilled that people can now pop in and purchase their coach tickets from one of our professional travel ambassadors”.

Recently awarded Gold (first prize) in the Visitor Information Provider of the Year category at the Beautiful South Awards 2015, Visit Isle of Wight’s Newport Visitor Centre and Travel Ambassador Scheme are now entered into the VisitEngland Tourism Excellence Awards taking place during English Tourism Week in March 2016.

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

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Notes to Editors

The image attached shows the VIOW Travel Ambassadors at the Visitor Centre, based at the Guildhall in Newport.

The Visitor Information Centre in Newport is open six days a week from Monday to Saturday, 10.30am to 3.30pm (subject to change dependant on season and later on special event nights).

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

For more information about Tourism South East’s Beautiful South Awards: http://www.beautifulsouthawards.co.uk/

For more information about Visit England’s Tourism Excellence Awards: http://www.visitenglandawards.org/

 

17.12.15/SE