Council considers tourism team-up

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A NEWLY formed organisation tasked with promoting East Lindsey could soon recruit a new ally in Skegness Town Council.

The East Lincolnshire Destination Management Organisation has united key players in the tourism industry and public sector under the common purpose of driving forward the region’s prosperity.

Chaired by Butlins resort director Chris Baron and with 19 members including East Lindsey District Council, Fantasy Island and Blue Anchor Leisure, the organisation is looking to recruit more investing partners.

Mr Baron said: “East Lindsey has so much to offer visitors and for the DMO to be successful we need everyone with an interest in the tourism sector, either directly or indirectly, to work together and be involved.”

Skegness Town Council agreed last Wednesday to reserve £1,500 to cover membership costs, if its members decide it is in their best interest to join following a presentation by Mr Baron at next month’s meeting.

Though supportive of Coun Mark Smith’s motion to reserve funds from the council’s publicity budget, many of the councillors were wary about committing themselves to the organisation.

Coun Steve O’Dare was concerned that if many businesses joined the DMO, the council would not have ‘an actual presence at the table’ when it came to making decisions.

Mr Baron has previously admitted that he hoped some of the DMO members would be ‘silent partners’, however Coun George Saxon said the council ‘won’t know what’s happening in the town’ unless it joins.

Having followed the DMO’s development over recent months, he believes it is essential to attract funding from organisations such as Visit England, which the town council alone could not achieve.

He has also welcomed the co-operative partnership between so many of the region’s key players which he felt would have been ‘impossible’ in previous years.

Coun Neil Cooper raised further concerns about ELDC’s involvement in the DMO after learning that government guidelines recommend such organisations are led by the private sector, not the public.

He also questioned why ELDC had two of its members on the DMO board and whether this would mean it would have two votes.

Coun Saxon attempted to allay these fears, explaining that ELDC had two board members purely to fulfil its role as the DMO’s administrator and would only have one vote.