Published on : Sunday, July 13, 2014
The purpose of the visit – a follow up to The Prince of Wales’s visit to the Somerset Levels in February this year – was to meet with tourism businesses and local communities affected by the floods and to champion the tourism industry.
VisitEngland brought together tourism representatives from across the South West for a reception at Glastonbury Abbey where local tourism businesses welcomed the opportunity to highlight new developments in the area to The Prince of Wales and demonstrate the resilience of the industry following the floods.
Following this, VisitEngland met with First Great Western representatives at Castle Cary station where His Royal Highness spoke with First Great Western Heroes – members of staff who went beyond the call of duty during and in the aftermath of the floods.
VisitEngland Chairman Lady Cobham CBE said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales to meet with tourism representatives in Somerset and local tourism businesses were delighted by the visit.
It was a chance for the tourism industry – which makes an extremely valuable contribution to the local economy – to demonstrate its resilience following the floods earlier this year and to showcase all the wonderful tourism developments in the region.”
John Turner Visit Somerset Chief Executive said: “I know that I can speak on behalf of all my business colleagues in Somerset, in thanking his HRH Prince of Wales for visiting the county of Somerset including, Glastonbury and Muchelney on Tuesday.
Having The Prince of Wales visit has helped to highlight and raise morale throughout Somerset and get the message out of the extraordinary diversity and richness the county can provide for tourism and leisure, which given the right support and publicity can clearly become a key driver for the overall local economy.”
As a result of the severe weather conditions over the winter period, the Government allocated an additional £2million to VisitEngland to support the tourism industry with a series of business support events in affected areas around the country and an advertising campaign called ‘Spot On England’ to combat negative perceptions and boost bookings.
As part of this campaign VisitEngland worked with local destination organisations to run business support workshops and provide individual advice sessions to help tourism enterprises to both recover from the impact of the floods and be better prepared for future.
In Somerset workshops were held in Dunster, Glastonbury, Weston-super-Mare and Yeovil.
Overall, around 755 tourism businesses, ranging from accommodation providers to visitor attractions, from cafes and pubs to seaside retail shops were supported by the programme.