Destinations that are well managed will be more likely to generate `wise growth’ in their visitor economy, and are more likely to maximise the benefits of that growth in long term, additional income and jobs. The best managed destinations are also likely to excel in attracting new investment, in keeping value-added jobs, in bringing in new talent and in stimulating innovation. Great destinations are great places to live and work as well as to visit.
No one destination is the same as another. The challenges and opportunities for growth will be different and the stakeholders present, their willingness, capability and skill will vary. As such it is not appropriate to suggest that a one size fits all for destination management. A common strand amongst organisations that are involved in the management of the visitor economy in a destination can be the strategic vision and joint plan. How they achieve this will, however, differ.
According to Visit England “A Destination Management Plan (DMP) is a shared statement of intent to manage, develop and promote a destination over a stated period of time. It articulates both the roles of the different stakeholders, identifies clear actions that they will undertake and the resources they will allocate.”
Canterbury’s plan was drawn up last autumn and a number of BID levy paying organisations both funded and helped to create it. Now it needs to be delivered. The key priority areas are as follows:
- Collaborative Marketing
- Using the shared story which provides strong themes and concepts to use in marketing communications
- Joining up the offer by collecting content, curating it and distributing it to incentivise target groups
- City-wide marketing communications to include proactive consumer PR to increase spend per head
- Place Management
- Develop a way finding & information strategy
- Curating and managing spaces
- A welcome programme for visitors
- Cultural Activity
- Coordinating the cultural experience
- Taking a themed approach
- Developing an events and festivals calendar