Visitor Economy: Growing the New Forests Tourism Businesses – Update from event

NFBP were very proud to hold a Business Briefing at The White Hart in Lymington, finalists of The Hampshire County Council Award for Contribution to the New Forest Community at the Brilliance in Business Awards 2018/19.

The White Hart is an integral part of the local community hosting parties, games and other events such as live music. The pub receives a mixture of customers and so it is important that there is something there for everyone.

Go New Forest were the guest speakers this week to talk about the New Forest’s Visitor Economy. Anthony Climpson, Chief Executive of Go New Forest, stressed that tourism doesn’t just come from the local theme and activity parks but also the local accommodation, retail shops and restaurants all play a part in attracting tourists to the area.

Businesses commented on the brilliant Easter bank holiday weekend they had just experienced. Helped by the glorious weather it brought visitors out in their hundreds to the New Forest. Although now all in need of a well-deserved break, business owners were thrilled to see the area do so incredibly well. Anthony Climpson commented on how nice it was to be reminded of how popular the New Forest is as a holiday destination.

However what do tourism businesses do outside of the holiday season? How do they survive during the off peak months? This was the topic of conversation at this briefing.

Anthony split attendees into groups to discuss ways in which businesses can encourage locals to enjoy what they have to offer outside of the busy months. Some of the ideas that were fed back to the group were about improving on initiatives which already exist, for example it was agreed that events are a brilliant way to encourage people to get out to their local towns and villages. All the ideas from the groups were given to Anthony Climpson who was keen to take them away and incorporate them into Go New Forest’s future projects.

A huge thank you to Mike, Laura and the staff at The White Hart for hosting us and for a delicious breakfast!

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