New Destination Management Plan

New Destination Management Plan

A new plan to make Torbay the UK’s premier visitor destination and help boost the local economy has now been adopted by Torbay Council.

The Destination Management Plan sets out the interventions that can help propel the English Riviera forward, building on the strengths of the destination and the opportunities to achieve a more sustainable and resilient destination. The objectives for the life of the plan are:

  • Recover – to return to 2019 spend and visitor levels by 2024.
  • Grow – achieve an additional £75m of tourism spend and 1,500 new jobs by 2030.
  • Rebalance – achieve more sustainable visits all year round with 40% from October to March.

The objectives will be achieved by the following priorities:

  • Markets, positioning and branding – attracting new and existing visitor markets and an improved reputation and profile for the destination.
  • Destination development – new product investment and developments of the existing offer
  • Destination management – better destination management and visitor welcome  
  • Organisation and delivery – clear delivery arrangements

Four priority themes are identified in the new Plan, which are Food and Drink; On and in the Water; UNESCO Global Geopark; and Culture and Events.

The Plan has four target growth markets which are:

•              Fun by the Sea Families

•              Young Actives

•              Cultural Explorers

•              Business Tourism and Events

A six-week consultation on the proposed English Riviera Destination Management Plan 2022-30 was carried out earlier this year with a survey aimed at local businesses, residents and other stakeholders. There were more than 100 public responses to the online survey and the majority of the respondents to the consultation (84%) agreed with the draft Destination Management Plan’s objectives and overall direction of travel.

Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council, said: “We are delighted to have been able to adopt our new Destination Management Plan, which received high levels of support during the different stages of consultation. We want Torbay to be the premier resort in the UK, with a vibrant arts and cultural offer for our residents and visitors to enjoy; where our built and natural environment is celebrated and where we play our part in addressing the climate change emergency.”

Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, said: “The new Destination Management Plan takes a holistic view of what needs to happen in the Bay to achieve its objectives, with seven main areas identified including those public services (including open spaces); visitor accommodation; towns, public realm and their connectivity; sustainable tourism; skills and careers; research and insight (continually monitoring views of businesses and visitors); and growing business tourism – including rebuilding and growing the opportunities for regional/national association conferences.”

You can read the new Destination Management Plan here:

Kevin Foster on tourism in Westminster

NCTA – Impact of Covid-19 on Tourism Businesses

NCTA – Impact of Covid-19 on Tourism Businesses

The NCTA have been surveying businesses around the coast to help assess and understand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on coastal tourism businesses in England. The survey will be repeated in different waves throughout 2021, the results of which will be published on this page.

So far we have results from Wave 1, the survey was live between 18th January – 7th February 2021.

Headlines from Wave 1 of the business barometer survey below:

  • 86.7% of businesses saw a decrease in turnover in 2020 with 54.2% of all businesses seeing decrease of more than half their annual turnover and the average decrease in turnover -54%
  • 84.65% say ongoing government support “will make a significant difference between survival and collapse” – with grants, and extensions to the Business Rates relief, Job Retention scheme and VAT reduction most popular requests
  • 53.71% of businesses say it will take more than a year before they return to a profit.
  • 55% have decreased staffing levels
  • Prior to the latest lockdown two thirds of businesses were operating at less than 75% capacity
  • The vast majority of businesses (over two thirds) say less than 25% of capacity is booked across all seasons – Summer 2021 is the most booked season
  • 59% of businesses are planning to rethink their product or marketing to aid recovery, of which: 57% want to target new audience; 44.7% want to create new experiences for visitors and 34% want to alter the existing consumer experience
  • Targeting new audiences, improving digital presence and increasing repeat visits were top areas of business support requested by businesses, in terms of specific digital support improving social media was the most popular request

Download the PDF of business survey results here

MP in call for support for tourism and hospitality sector

MP in call for support for tourism and hospitality sector

MP Anthony Mangnall is calling on the hospitality industry to be given the support it needs to recover after the Covid-19 pandemic.

A petition arrived at the House of Commons on January 11 calling for the creation of a Minister for Hospitality in UK Government, following the petition gaining more than 200,000 signatures – including over 320 from the Totnes constituency.

Mr Mangnall, MP for Totnes and South Devon, had hoped to have the opportunity to speak in this debate given the prevalence of this industry across the region. However, owing to Coronavirus restrictions, he was unable to do so.

In December, Mr Mangnall emailed tourism and hospitality businesses across the constituency requesting their participation in a short survey he had put together. 

The survey was aimed at compiling feedback on the Governments support for their industry since March 2020, as well as gaining an insight into what further steps they feel should be taken.

Anthony has written to the Chancellor outlining the key findings of the survey in the hope that they will be taken into consideration at the Spring Spending Review.

Tourism and hospitality are a key part of South Devon’s local economy and nationally employ close to three million people. 

It is essential that these sectors see the support they need to recover post pandemic, said Mr Mangnall.

He said: ‘’Since the start of the pandemic, I have been working closely with this industry that plays such a vital role in South Devon.

“I lead the campaign to lower the rate of VAT to five per cent and to then have it extended and I continue to push for further support for these two sectors.

“The findings of the survey have identified both positive and negative aspects to the support available and I am working to see what further action we can take to help those individuals and businesses through this difficult time.

“The Chancellor has received my letter regarding the tourism and hospitality sector, and I hope the points raised will be taken into account in the Spring Spending Review.’’

Original story on Torbay Weekly

Tourism businesses can re-open from 4th July

Tourism businesses can re-open from 4th July

On the 4th July we hope that many of our local Tourism and Hospitality businesses will re-open having been shut since March 23rd. This moment has been patiently waited for with Tourism and Hospitality Businesses the first to be closed by Government and the last to be re-opened, pending a final decision by the Government.  We know that there is concern particularly from residents about the re-opening of the resort. We want to reassure residents that we will be acting responsibly, and we would like to share with you what measures local businesses will be taking to operate as safely as possible.

Last week draft Government Guidelines were circulated to our local businesses detailing a whole range of COVID – Secure ‘Controls’ that must be introduced before any business can re-open, along with a Risk Assessment. These ‘Controls’ focus on the safety of employers, employees and customers with businesses that are hoping to re-open, adapting their businesses to accommodate these COVID-Secure ‘Controls.’  You can find these Draft Government Guidelines here:

Trying to salvage some of the summer income is really important now with many local businesses closed since October 2019. Without any summer income our local tourism businesses will have to endure, in affect ‘three winters’ and could stay permanently closed. We remain a seasonal destination and for this reason, it is critical that we get some of Tourism and Hospitality businesses open, hopefully from the 4th July and welcome back ‘Responsible Tourists.’

Summer 2020 will be very different. Many businesses will sadly not be able to meet the guidelines and will have to stay closed for the time being, because the 2 metre Social Distancing rule cannot be accommodated. It is those businesses that we are particularly concerned about and we will continue to lobby for continued financial support as we have done with our South West Tourism colleagues since the start of lockdown.

Please be assured that we know that we need to be cautious. We want to work with residents, businesses and partners together to safely re-open the English Riviera, one of the UK’s Leading Seaside Resorts.

We all need ‘Responsible Tourists’ to return so that we can begin our Road to Recovery.

We understand the Government will be making their final decision regarding the re-opening of Tourism and Hospitality Businesses on June 18th.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the planned re-opening of the resort.

Kind Regards
Carolyn Custerson, Chief Executive Officer
English Riviera BID Company Ltd
5 Vaughan Parade, Torquay, Devon, TQ2 5JG

ERBID Tourism Exhibition 2020 Cancelled

ERBID Tourism Exhibition 2020 Cancelled

Update Statement from the ERBID Company

It is with regret that I am contacting you to advise that the ERBID Company has made the decision further to developments over the weekend to postpone the Tourism Exhibition (due to take place on 18th March) until the Autumn.
We feel it is our responsibility to protect and support our Tourism Operators and help ensure that you all stay ‘fit and well’ and best placed to focus on your own businesses to minimise the impact of COVID19.  
We will be announcing a new date for the exhibition in the Autumn and will advise you soonest.
In the meantime please share all the beautiful images and videos that you have of the English Riviera on your Social Media Channels with the message that the English Riviera is Open for Business and Everyone is Welcome.


On Wednesday 18th March the ERBID will be staging the 2020 Tourism Exhibition at the Riviera International Conference Centre.

Brixham Chamber will once again be taking a stand to promote Brixham as a tourist destination and to launch our Brixham Guide for 2020.

The guide, which is produced under the “Love Brixham” brand is very popular with guest house owners across the bay, who recommend a visit to Brixham to their guests, but also to the numerous tour operators that attended the show. They are interested in Brixham both as a destination and as one of the excursions that they include with their holidays.

Attending the exhibition is very worthwhile and gives us the opportunity chance to shout about the good things that Brixham has to offer.

Pre-register for free entry and free lunch

The Exhibition is now open for Delegate Registration.

A free lunch is provided for those who register their attendance in advance – please register here.

The 2019 Tourism Exhibition Slides are available here.