November 17, 2005
Tourism bosses unveil plans for 2006 holiday season promotional push

Tourism bosses from Burnham-On-Sea, Berrow and Brean gathered together to look back at a busy summer holiday season and discuss plans to further promote the area during 2006.

Speaking in front of a packed audience at the annual general meeting of Sedgemoor Tourism Association on Tuesday November 15th, chairman Bob Nicholson (pictured) said: “2005 hasn’t been a bad year.”

“We’ve seen lots of people visiting our area and accommodation bookings have generally been good. Only the retail spend has been down on previous years.”

His comments were backed by new figures – highlighted at the meeting – which show tourism is rapidly growing in the area. Of 6,500 tourism jobs across Sedgemoor, 1,500 of these are based along the coastal strip between Burnham-On-Sea and Brean.

A number of activities overseen by the group during 2005 helped to promote Burnham, Brean and Berrow to potential holidaymakers – and more are planned for next year. A brochure called ‘Somerset 2005’ was hailed as a great success which would be repeated.

John Denbee, chairman of Sedgemoor District Council, at the AGM of Sedgemoor Tourism AssociationMr Nicholson said: “With a print run of 100,000 copies, the brochure was distributed nationwide and attracted a good deal of attention.”

The association also attended holiday fairs in Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham, and worked with local councils to publish promotional material.

During 2006, the Sedgemoor Tourism Association will revamp its Web site, attend more holiday trade fairs across the UK, and host a major three-day holiday trade show at Brean Leisure Centre.

To be held on March 7th, 8th and 9th, the event will allow holiday and travel companies to promote themselves, discuss tourism issues, and give away literature.

John Denbee, chairman of Sedgemoor District Council, pictured above, pledged his support to the group, saying: “We understand your business is very important to this area and we’ll do our very best to support you.”

Graham Mottram, Director of the Fleet Air Arm MuseumGraham Mottram, Director of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, pictured right, also welcomed the plans, but sounded a warning about promoting the name ‘Sedgemoor’.

He said: “Somerset is a wonderful county, we’ve just got to tell this to those outside the county.

“We need to understand, though, that areas like the Mendips and Sedgemoor often mean nothing to people scanning through the holiday adverts in national papers like the Daily Mail. If we don’t effectively promote our area, we risk losing out to the likes of Cornwall and Devon,” he said.

The event concluded with praise for the Association’s work from Paul Buchanan, SDC’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, who said the group was “flying the flag for Sedgemoor,” and Anne Fraser, SDC’s Portfolio Holder for Tourism, who called it “incredibly refreshing”.

Tourism and council bosses pictured at the 2005 annual general meeting of Sedgemoor Tourism Association

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