News – 23 November 2016

Super new members – say hello

Check out the following businesses that have just joined the Association – Tweet, Facebook and LinkedIn with your network, and don’t forget to say hello.

Members’ Meeting

Our next members’ meeting takes place on Wednesday 7 December, 14.00 to 16.00, at The Anchor Inn, Tintern.  A tour of Tintern Abbey has been arranged beforehand starting at 13.00.  The meeting will start at 14.00 and will include

  • Paul Turner from Truly Independent will speak on pension auto-enrolment which small employers now need to consider.
  • Sue Middleton will talk about the Foresters’ Forest project including the Hidden Heritage Ap.
  • An update on the Association’s activities

Full details and book to attend.

A report on our last meeting is on the website.

Tourism Forum, Gloucestershire College, 11 January

Tourism, Legends and Legacy.  Our annual tourism forum will take place on 11 January 2017 from 1030 until 1600 at the Forest of Dean Campus of Gloscol at Berry Hill, near Coleford.  Speakers this year include Patricia Yates, Director of Strategy and Communications, VisitEngland; Bernard Donoghue, Chair of the Tourism Alliance; Sally Shalam, Hotel and Tourism Consultant; and Mari Stevens, Marketing Director, VisitWales.  We will also be updating you on our plans for 2017, our achievements in 2016 and launching the Myths and Legends promotion.

Please put the date in your diary and we hope to see you there.

Training Course

We have now been using FreetoBook as a collective Search by Date booking tool on our website for nearly a year.  Since we went live with FreetoBook last December the members who have participated have taken 679 bookings with a total value of over £130,000.  These are the bookings taken directly with our collective Search by Date tool and do not include any that members may have taken on their own website using FreetoBook or by clicking through from their WVFDTA listing.  These bookings are completely commission free to you, our members, and we do not charge for this service  which is  part of your membership package.

We are running a half-day FreetoBook training course which is aimed at those not using FreetoBook or those that don’t fully understand it. Those who have had little success with it are welcome to come and see how to improve their  listing.  The course is on Tuesday 13 December, 10.15 to 12.45, at The Shire Hall, Monmouth and the cost is £12.50 per person.  Full details and book a place.

Forester Business Awards 2017

Now in its eighth year, the glittering black tie gala evening will be held at Bells Hotel and Golf Club in Coleford on Thursday 27th April 2017 showcasing some of the Forest’s best businesses. With over 200 local business people attending, the awards evening fulfils a number of positive functions for the entrants, from boosting company morale and highlighting your talents and services to potential new customers or clients.  The winners and runners up of each of the 14 categories will receive a certificate or trophy and will be showcased within The Forester after they have been announced.

The 2017 categories are: Small Business of the Year – Pub of the Year – Restaurant of the Year – Retailer of the Year – Tourism Award – Health & Beauty Award – Family Run Business – Eco Business – Customer Service Award – Young Business Person – Employee of the Year – Employer of the Year – Business Person of the Year – Business of the Year.

Once again your Association will be sponsoring the Ray Wright Tourism Award.

Full details of the awards and an application form can be downloaded.

Visit Wales Year of Legends 2017

Visit Wales theme in 2017 is the Year of Legends.  Although this is Wales led, #DeanWye will be involved so all members, English or Welsh can dream up promotions and take part.  You can download a guide which explains how you can get involved.  The Year of Legends is an opportunity to build a truly distinctive identity for Wales on the world stage. Celebrate a year of legendary experiences across Wales in 2017.  Here’s what you’ll find in the guide:

  • Year of Legends in summary
  • What we’d like to achieve
  • What’s happening?
  • Get involved
  • Know your market
  • Practical advice
  • Quality counts

How’s Business

We are now collecting data for the OCTOBER 2016 South West ‘How’s Business?’ Survey and it would be great if you could load your data. Upon submitting data, and as a thank you for taking part, participants will be re-directed to the full report for the previous month.  The latest survey link is:

The deadline for completions is Wednesday 30th November 2016.

Free computer surgery and workshop

Firecrest IT, one of our Associate business members, is holding a computer workshop and surgery at the Bridges Centre in Monmouth on the 9th of December.  The event gives everybody the opportunity to discuss any IT or computer related issues with one of their engineers on a one to one basis.  It is free of charge and there will be no pressure to sign up or purchase anything.  Further details.

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