New ' bid' to keep tourism industry working together for future

Picture of ERBID Company chairman Tim Godfrey

'A lot at stake' - Tim Godfrey - Credit: Submitted

Torbay’s tourism and hospitality businesses are being urged to stick together in the battle to recover from the devastating pandemic - and for the future of the industry. 

And the main way to do just that is by backing a second term for the English Riviera BID Company. 

The company has put the English Riviera firmly on the map regionally and nationally since it was first formed in 2017, generating millions of pounds business for the resort. 

Now it needs the support of its levy payers to secure a further £3.5 million to promote the English Riviera for a further five years from next January. 

The company has just published the ERBID2 Consultation - Draft Business Plan. A formal consultation process involving over 1,200 eligible businesses will start mid-February with the ERBID2 renewal ballot scheduled for between May 27 and June 24. Eligible businesses will be invited to join weekly online and to take part in an online survey to share their views. 

Feedback from businesses will shape the Final Plan on which eligible businesses will vote in the renewal ballot to decide whether they want to secure the further funding  to promote the resort and for the work of the BID Company to continue. 

ERBID Company chairman Tim Godfrey said: “In the wake of COVID-19, I believe that continuing to work in partnership, supporting one another and promoting the English Riviera brand professionally remains absolutely vital as part of our economic recovery, and I strongly recommend that businesses engage in the ERBID2 consultation process as there is a lot at stake.” 

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The 30-page consultation plan, which is being posted and emailed to all eligible businesses this week, describes what ERBID1 has delivered since it was set up. 

Stability and strong local, regional and national partnerships are highlighted, along with ongoing tourism growth and the successful delivery of numerous high profile national Destination Marketing activities. It has been estimated that the work of the ERBID Company has returned £75 of marketing value for every £1 invested on behalf of eligible businesses. 

The plan also describes the proposed Destination Marketing projects for the next five years with many benefits for Levy Payers including Regional, National and International Advertising, the operation of the official English Riviera website on which all Levy Payers are advertised, the operation of the English Riviera Visitor Information Service, production of thousands of free visitor maps and guides and sponsorship of key events. Currently there is no one else to fund these activities. 

Picture of BID Company chief executive

'Keep working together' - Carolyn Custerson - Credit: Submitted

Chief Executive Carolyn Custerson,said: “COVID-19 has presented the resort with its biggest ever challenge and we believe that the role of the ERBID Company will be even more vital in our recovery.  

“Now is not the time to stop working together as a Business Improvement District.  Post COVID-19 there is going to be a huge opportunity for the English Riviera to attract new visitors looking for staycations not only this summer, but medium and long term and we need to all seize that opportunity by continuing to invest heavily in Destination Marketing so that we can compete against other leading UK destinations.”