A new plan to make Torbay the UK’s premier visitor destination and help boost the local economy will be considered by Torbay Council’s cabinet later this month.

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, and the new Plan and the findings from the consultation will be presented to Cabinet for approval.

The new 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 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

In total there were more than 100 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 pleased to see high levels of support in the survey for the proposed new Destination Management Plan. 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: “It is important that we move with the times and 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.”

Cabinet is recommended to approve the new Destination Management Plan at its meeting on 30 August. You can review the Plan and report that is going to Cabinet in the latest cabinet papers here

The Vision of the English Riviera Destination Management Plan:

It is time to refresh and reposition the English Riviera as the UK’s premier holiday resort of the future. With a unique heritage, encompassing three towns, each offering a different coastal experience, set within an exceptional natural environment, the English Riviera is so much more than the sum of its parts.

Combining tradition and contemporary, we have a bright future. The English Riviera can offer the best of the seaside, outstanding seafood, exciting activities on and off the water, authentic cultural events and experiences, and a globally significant UNESCO Global Geopark designation that runs like a golden thread through the entire visitor experience.

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