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Visitor Plan for Plymouth 2012-2026

Plymouth’s plans to entice thousands more visitors to the city and to bring in an extra £63 million a year into the local economy have been unveiled.

In the wake of America’s Cup success, which saw over 115,000 visitors to the city and a million hits on Youtube showing the city’s waterfront and Hoe at its most spectacular, the plan sets out a framework for how the city will build on this by creating an exciting events programme as well as targeted marketing to put Plymouth firmly on the tourist map.

Cabinet today (15 November) approved Destination Plymouth’s Visitor Plan which sets out how the public and private sector will work together to bring £315m into the city and 2,800 new jobs in the visitor economy by 2020.

Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration and Economic Development Councillor Ted Fry said: “The plan sets out clearly what this city has to offer the visitor, what sort of new visitor we can attract and how we plan to do this.

“Put simply – Plymouth is a great location and this plan will help us all work to make the most of the city’s assets, its incredible history and to pitch Plymouth to people who may not have considered the city as a place to visit before.”

The plan identifies ‘star projects’ that will inspire visitors to come, get Plymouth talked about and enrich the city’s distinctiveness. It includes

* A new annual marine festival leading to the proposed Mayflower 2020 celebrations.

* Sail Fest – a programme of sailing events and onshore activities which appeal to the whole family

* British Firework Championships – expanding and developing this already highly successful event.

Councillor Fry said: “Events are helping to bring people to Plymouth. We are getting between 5,000 and 8,000 visits a month to British Art Show venues and many of them are spending money on food and drink while they are here. We need to build on this.”

In April 2010 the Council approved the Place Management Strategy, which gave Destination Plymouth responsibility for driving Plymouth’s visitor economy.

Destination Plymouth, a not-for-profit company, commissioned consultants Blue Sail to prepare the plan following consultations with key businesses and stakeholders. As well as the star projects, the plan goals are to:

* Raise the national profile of Plymouth as a waterfront city – through targeted PR, new events and activities.

* Strengthen Plymouth’s position as the regional centre for Devon and Cornwall – by creating a great day out and evening destination.

* Raise the profile of Plymouth and its positioning as a place to visit and invest - particularly focusing on its outstanding marine credentials.

* Encourage new business by generating demand for more places to eat and drink, distinctive independent shops, quality places to stay and an exceptional cultural offer that local people and visitors can enjoy.

* Create opportunities to lever in more private sector sponsorship to support visitor marketing activity and for major and signature events.

Other star projects include using existing waterfront sites to entice visitors and investors including working with Urban Splash to raise the profile and develop Royal William Yard as a mini-destination.

Councillor Fry added: “This is already happening. Hugh Fernley Whittingstall is coming to the Royal William Yard. Urban Splash agreed to host the British Art Show in one of its buildings in the yard, which has attracted more visitors to that location and we are talking to the company about creating a cultural hub in the Cooperage building, which could house our city’s archives and bring in new visitors.”

Duncan Currall, chair of Destination Plymouth said: “The public and private sector have taken a long hard look at the tourism sector in the city and this plan helps us see where we need to play more to our strengths, look at attracting a new type of visitor and work together to encourage more short break visitors to come to Plymouth.“

The plan will spell out what markets will be targeted and how including the expanding the higher value UK short break markets. In the longer-term this will also include building on the city’s special relationship and associations with the East Coast US market.

The Visitor Plan for Plymouth can be downloaded here

[click for pdf]

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