This week’s guest column comes from Coun Craig Leyland, portfolio holder for Economic Development at East Lindsey District Council...
As people are starting to make plans for their summer holidays, the district council is working with tourist businesses across East Lindsey to implement a major marketing campaign that encourages people to visit our area.
With partners, the council undertakes a huge marketing campaign each year, which specifically promotes the district to potential visitors from across the UK. This year we will spend £160,000 marketing the area.
Whilst many of the traditional visitors to the coast have come from the Nottingham, Leicester and Sheffield areas, with improved transport links a stronger marketing focus is now also being placed on the West Midlands regions, including Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
Quite often local people ask what we’re doing to promote the area because the bulk of the advertising in the East and West Midlands isn’t obvious to people living in East Lindsey. This year, as well as advertising in numerous regional and national newspapers, holiday guides, magazines and websites, the campaign also includes large scale advertising and specific campaigns on the coast and the countryside. We will print and distribute 65,000 copies of our Skegness, Mablethorpe and the Wolds visitor guide ahead of the main holiday season.
Throughout the year we will also attend events, including the Best of Britain and Ireland Show, to spread the word about the district and all that is has to offer everyone from day visitors to those who spend the entire summer here, boosting the local economy and helping to create jobs for local people. We also host coach operator tours in a bid to encourage them to include East Lindsey in their schedules.
For a number of years we have been working hard to extend the season much beyond the traditional six week school holiday in a bid to help make our coastal resorts, such as Skegness, Ingoldmells and Chapel St Leonards, all-year round attractions, boosting permanent jobs in the area and supporting those businesses which rely on visitors. This is greatly helped by events such as the AMCA Motorcycle Racing event in Skegness, Wolds Words Festival in Louth, Festival of Bathing Beauties in Mablethorpe and the East Lindsey Live events programme.
There is also a lot that you can do as residents of East Lindsey to help promote the area. Word of mouth is a powerful tool – tell people what is good about the district, mention it on social media such as Facebook and Twitter – tell people why they should visit. And don’t forget East Lindsey isn’t just for visitors!
We live in an amazing area and we should all shout about it.