Lynn and partners driving Bay forward as destination resort

The English Riviera Destination Management Plan presents clear priorities and actions for the different stakeholders involved to take Torbay forward as a destination.

That is the view of Lynn Stephens, Senior Curriculum Head of Leisure and Hospitality Industries at South Devon College who is the chairperson of the Destination Management Group, elected to steer the plan to develop the visitor economy. Lynn told a meeting of the group: “Despite the challenges Covid -19 has given us all, there are still many positives happening in the Bay:

“Re-opening of the industry has been better than expected. Visitors took advantage of the Bay for their UK staycations, as well as the ‘Eat out to help out’ scheme.”

She added: “Promotion of our Geopark has been drawing visitors to the spectacular outdoor spaces and will be supported by a series of interviews and films by Prof Iain Stewart.”

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston visited the Bay recently. Torbay MP Kevin Foster hosted the visit and discussed the successes and challenges the resort faces as it recovers from the pandemic.

The local National Trust sites have also seen good numbers at Coleton Fishacre gardens.They also have an exciting new ‘Big Read’ national initiative coming soon, which will have a spotlight on Agatha Christie and the English Riviera.

The group heard that the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust’s Occombe Farm development is on target for the May reopening, giving the Bay a valuable new visitor attraction to look forward to.

Part of the DMP objectives is to develop workforce skills for the local visitor economy.

Lynn reported high applications for people wanting to retrain or develop their career in the catering, hospitality and tourism industry.

It is thought that many people are preparing for the £140 million Fragrance group hotel investment in the Bay, which will bring new opportunities in tourism and hospitality. In particular the new Level 4 Hospitality Manager programme offers aspirational career pathways in the sector.

The DMP group will be meeting every six weeks for the coming months to ensure they are supporting opportunities and the repositioning plans for the Bay.