Regional tourism destination organisations have received the news that their new collaborative arrangement, Cotswolds Plus, has today been awarded Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) status by VisitEngland. It will see Cotswolds Plus join the new national portfolio of high-performing LVEPs working to support and develop the visitor economy.
Chaired by Cotswolds National Landscape Board, the partners include Marketing Cheltenham, Visit Gloucester, Visit Dean Wye and Visit Gloucestershire with Cotswolds Tourism as the lead organisation. Cotswolds Plus will not be a consumer facing brand but will work ‘behind the scenes’ to shape and deliver national strategy and activities, as well as to bring a coordinated, strategic approach on key issues such as sustainability, business support and research.
LVEP status ensures increased support, training, and collaboration with VisitEngland and VisitBritain in core areas such as accessibility, business support and engagement with travel trade operators and event planners. Any future VisitEngland funding streams will also be channelled through the LVEPs.
The chair of the Cotswolds Plus management board, Andy Parsons, said:
“The Cotswolds welcomes over 23 million visitors a year, spending in excess of £1 billion and supporting 23,000 jobs - partnership working is vital to successfully manage the environmental and social impacts. Cotswolds Plus offers a real opportunity to make a difference for the region ensuring it is a vibrant year-round destination where tourism makes an increasing contribution to the local economy.”
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said:
“Local Visitor Economy Partnerships (LVEPs) are at the heart of transforming the visitor economy landscape in England and we are delighted to welcome “Cotswolds Plus” onto the programme.
“We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with “Cotswolds Plus” as the LVEP is established, providing ongoing support including a dedicated VisitEngland regional development lead.
“Having the right national and local infrastructure in place to grow our visitor economy, in an inclusive, accessible and sustainable way, will ensure England continues to be a compelling destination for both domestic and international visitors.”