Carolyn: All about Bay working together

English Riviera BID Company chief executive Carolyn Custerson

English Riviera BID Company chief executive Carolyn Custerson - Credit: Archant

Tourism and hospitality industry leader Carolyn Custerson has praised the power of collaboration as the Bay unites in virus battle

As we edge towards a much hoped for re-opening on July 4 for some of our Tourism and Hospitality businesses, I have been reflecting on the power of collaboration.

The English Riviera Business Improvement District (ERBID) is one of the largest Tourism BIDs in the country representing over 1,200 businesses, all of whom pay a compulsory annual levy to promote the English Riviera to the rest of the world.

Our whole ethos is built on collaboration.

As a result of lockdown, the role of the ERBID Company had to change really quickly from leading on Destination Marketing, which is our key role, to leading on advocacy, lobbying and support for our 1,200 tourism and hospitality businesses who were literally all shut down overnight. Never had this happened before.

Thank goodness for Zoom and Skype for providing us all suddenly working from home to be able to carry on meetings face to face and to keep things moving. Just today I met with 20 businesses online with the new ERBID Recovery Task Force where some great collaboration was seen and many great ideas shared.

It seems a shame that it takes a global crisis like COVID-19 to bring us all together but that is what has happened with closer collaboration now than has ever been seen before. We know that we have an enormous task ahead, re-building our tourism industry and protecting 12,000 local jobs, with some major casualties having already being seen in recent weeks.

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Despite the seriousness of the current situation however, I remain very positive about our future as a leading UK resort. We will bounce back; tourism has always been a resilient sector. The way we do things will be different, we will have to adapt and the market place will certainly change, but the English Riviera will survive COVID-19 and come back thanks to the Power of Collaboration