Monday's debate - new 1066 tourism strategy
A PROPOSED new 1066 tourism strategy would only be effective if it was endorsed by all key stakeholders, Rother cabinet will be warned today, Monday.
Regeneration agency Sea Space commissioned a 'destination management strategy' from consultants Locum in March 2005.
It was financed through the Area Investment Framework and Hastings Borough Council and developed in partnership with Rother District Council and the 1066 Country Marketing Partnership.
Rother director of services Tony Leonard says more work needs to be done if effective measures are to be in place by 2016.
He says: "The study was commissioned in order to guide future activity to ensure that 1066 Country, as a destination, has the opportunity to realise its economic growth potential."
A steering group comprising Rother, Hastings, Sea Space and Tourism South East officers plus the private sector was formed to oversee development of the strategy.
During the summer of 2005, Locum staff held interviews with key stakeholders, along with workshops for hoteliers, council officers and businesses providing attractions.
Mr Leonard says: "The strategy seeks to maximise visitor spend to support the economic regeneration process and encourage private sector investment."
The strategy goes beyond the remit of the existing 1066 Country Tourism strategy, which was last revised in 2004.
He concludes: "It is significant that the strateg acknowledges the strength of the 1066 Country brand and the effectiveness of the 1066 Country Marketing Group as bringing together private and public sector interests for mutual benefit.
"The key principle underlying the strategy is that destination management is about more than tourism marketing; it is about ensuring that visitors, businesses and residents have a positive experience and a postive perception of a particular area.
"However, a significant major criticism of the draft destination management strategy is that it is too general in its approach, and its recommendations could equally be applied to any destination in the UK.
"It has not made any specific recommendations regarding the future development of 1066 Country as a visitor destination, (such as whether there is a need for additional accommodation or a change in the number or mix and type of accommodation).
"Many of the recommended actions are either already in train or planned."
Mr Leonards is recommending that the cabinet approves the draft strategy and that officers be authorised to continue to develop the actions set out in the accompanying action plan with appropriate partners.