Finance

Visit Gloucestershire salutes resilience of county’s hospitality industry

A partnership that brings together travel and tourism firms across Gloucestershire has praised the local hospitality industry for its resilience during lockdown.

Visit Gloucestershire is designed to encourage collaboration in one of the region’s biggest sectors, with the aim of turning good ideas into positive actions for the county.

Steve Gardner-Collins, one of the directors of Visit Gloucestershire, said: “It’s been a really tough few years for our hospitality industry, and local businesses really deserve recognition and support for their resilience and growth in the face of adversity.

“After overcoming the pandemic’s challenges, we can start to focus on the future.”

So it’s no surprise the partnership is putting its weight behind the Start-up Business of the Year category at the Gloucestershire Live Business Awards 2021.

Working collaboratively

Visit Gloucestershire was formed in February 2020 to offer a joined-up approach to address issues within the tourism landscape in Gloucestershire.

Steve explained: “At that stage, everything was very fragmented with six districts with six different strategies.

“So we realised it made sense to work collaboratively and create a shared agenda for tourism, taking a responsible approach and a more holistic look at what tourism meant for the county.

“We provide all partners, including consumers, trade, attractions, accommodation providers, tour guides, retailers, restauranteurs, venues and any organisations that have a stake in Gloucestershire tourism, with one overarching Destination Management Organisation (DMO).”

Green for go

Part of this ‘responsible approach’ is its support for commitments to halving global emissions over the next decade. Indeed, it was the first regional DMO in the whole of Europe to declare a climate emergency.

Steve said: “We have a vision for the future of responsible tourism in Gloucestershire and how sustainability, inclusivity and communities will be our priorities.

“The issue for businesses, however, is that economic recovery will be at the forefront of their minds so we hope that by integrating environmental protection into our Covid recovery strategy, there is more chance of businesses being able to commit too.

“If global action is not taken, the climate emergency will quickly supersede the Covid crisis.

“We want to be part of the solution and inspire others in the process because a robust and resilient county will be one that considered climate protection as a priority.”

Proactive approach

Backed by the county council and supported by the GFirst LEP, borough and district councils, and destination marketing organisations, the team at Visit Gloucestershire is already hard at work, making sure the county’s visitor economy is well-positioned to thrive in the years ahead.

Steve said: “The challenges of 2020 have certainly continued well into 2021 so we are busy supporting all tourism businesses across the county.

“To do this we are taking a really proactive approach to tourism in Gloucestershire, providing access to valuable information and resources, for recovery and the future.

“We’re offering a non-competitive platform for leaders to share ideas, build relationships and work together.”

Find out more?

A business partnership with Visit Gloucestershire offers expert peer-to-peer business support, events, specialist programmes, funding and much more. For further information, see the website.

The Gloucestershire Live Business Awards take place on Wednesday, September 15. For more details, see the website.

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