Carolyn Custerson, chief executive of the ERBID Company:
Today is a very exciting day as 1,200 local tourism and hospitality businesses are posted their ballot papers to vote in the ERBID renewal ballot, with £3 million to promote the resort for the next five years at stake!
Yes, I am feeling nervous but excited too!
A second term for the ERBID Company will be decided if there is majority support for the new five-year ERBID2 business plan that has recently been published following consultation.
Not only will the ERBID2 business plan drive continued destination marketing but also see a significant increased investment in events, and the introduction of new marketing themes including eco-tourism and the great outdoors aligning to changes in the market place post Covid.
I have personally researched very carefully all the funding options for destination marketing and I have absolutely no doubt that working together as the English Riviera Business Improvement District (ERBID) is still the strongest and most-sustainable option to secure sufficient, independent and ongoing funding for promoting all that the resort has to offer.
Interestingly, Bournemouth, the Isle of Wight and Great Yarmouth all have Destination BIDs like ERBID. They simply make good sense.
The ERBID when it was first established in January 2017, was one of the first Destination Business Improvement Districts in the UK.
The ERBID is now five years later, seen as one of the most successful BID’s in the UK, that not only operates as the official DMO for Torbay but also the official partner of VisitEngland and VisitBritain.
To continue with ERBID2 will put us all in the best place possible to keep competing with the rest of the world!
Working as the ERBID has allowed us all to plan ahead, invest wisely and critically, maintain momentum and consistency of key marketing messages year after year.
That strategy has resulted in a raised profile and improved reputation of the English Riviera and importantly growth in the shoulder seasons in terms of footfall and occupancy which were strategic objectives for ERBID1.
The media coverage we have received recently has been unprecedented.
Evidence of the impact of ERBID1 is confirmed by the fact that we have produced a £75 return for every £1 of levy invested.
Continuous monitoring and evaluation of data is a key area of our work and has paid dividends through Covid-19 when we shared data directly with Government in respect of what was exactly happening on the ground.
We were actively involved throughout 2020 in lobbying on your behalf.
Businesses voting 'yes' for ERBID2 will ensure that current momentum will be maintained for a further five years (2022-27) including being in a position to plan now for 2022 English Riviera national advertising.
A 'no' vote would mean that this all stops on December 31, 2021.
This ERBID renewal ballot is being conducted by an independent Electoral Services Company and will close on Thursday, June 24.
Results of the election will be announced on Friday, June 25.
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