News – 17 February 2017

Super new member – say hello

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

We also have the following new listings for existing members

Marketing and Communications Manager

The Association has appointed its first full-time member of staff, Tim Davies, as our new Marketing and Communications Manager.

Tim has over twenty years experience in marketing and business, he has run his own Marketing and PR company and has a marketing biased MBA. He has a broad range of experience in marketing, PR, communications, business development, staff management, fundraising and project management.

He has worked in a number of visitor attractions in Wales and Gloucestershire and is an assessor for VisitEngland’s quality schemes (he will not be assessing within our patch though).  He will be working 5 days a week – based at the Coleford TIC – and will be coming out to meet members and attending member meetings so you will all be able to meet him over the next month or so.

We are delighted he is joining us, it is great to be able to tell a new person how great the association, our partners and the membership are, and he is genuinely excited to be working with us.

Tim’s email address is and he will have a mobile phone number very soon, which we will share with you all.


The Association’s AGM will take place on Thursday 23 March, 14.00 to 16.00 at The Chase Hotel, Ross-on-Wye.  It will be your opportunity to vote for Directors or even stand for the board yourself.  As well as the AGM there will be a normal meeting where we can update you on what is going on, the opportunity to swap leaflets etc and general networking.  Full details will be sent out shortly but please put the date in your diary – it would be great to see lots of members there.

Job Vacancy

An opportunity has arisen for someone to work with the Association recruiting members on a flexible freelance basis for up to 50 days in 2017.  The successful person would work from home and be expected to approach businesses to discuss joining the Association, manage them through the joining process and follow-up with them once joined.  Full details.

English and Wales Tourism Weeks

You will be aware that we encourage members to put on special offers or events to coincide with these annual tourism weeks that highlight our industry and raise its profile both locally and nationally. English Tourism Week is 25 March to 2 April and Wales Tourism Week is slightly later, 15 to 21 May.  Full details about these events and how you can get involved will be sent out shortly but in the mean time, think what you can do.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Discounts or offers to local people to encourage them to visit what is on their doorstep and for you to build a whole new group of ambassadors as we move into the season.
  • Free visits, or private views for local people – using on-line booking tools to make sure you can manage numbers and collect data (names/email addresses).
  • A behind the scenes tour – something which would not normally happen, but which is easy for you to offer to local people.
  • Run a competition during the week or ask your suppliers to offer some freebies for visitors during the week.
  • Encourage people to book their summer/spring/winter holidays with you during the week, by offering a discount.

Vote for our Tourism Superstar

We are delighted that one of our members, Liz Hill found of Rural Concierge, is one of the finalists in VisitEngland’s annual Tourism Superstar competition which recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry.  Further details. Please give your support by voting for Liz and please take to social media to encourage others to do so! Sample tweet or Facebook post …. We’re voting for #deanwye’s @ruralconcierge Liz for #tourismsuperstar! Vote now in the  @visitengland awards

Vote for Coleford TIC Staff

The team of volunteers who run the Tourist Information Centre in Coleford have been nominated for the Group of the Year award in the Forest of Dean Volunteering awards.  If you have been there, you will know what a great job they do in promoting our businesses and the whole area.  Give them your support by emailing stating who and why!

Funds for tourism development

The RDPE Growth Programme Calls for Tourism Infrastructure are now live here:

These grants are for capital investments that will help grow and develop tourism in rural areas. The aim is for visitors to spend more time and money in the rural parts of the GFirst LEP area.

Priority will be given to projects that particularly:

  • create new skilled jobs (at least one full time position per application).
  • increase visitor stay and visitor spend by development and enhancement of new and existing attractions with a particular focus on food and drink, arts and crafts, history and heritage and outdoor activities.
  • create and develop new and existing attractions or events that extend the tourism season.
  • create infrastructure supporting the development of outdoor activities with an emphasis on walking and cycling including signs.
  • support for the development of film and TV locations.

You can find more information on the calls for Gloucestershire here:

Don’t forget that there is still a vast pot of grant money – and now loan finance too – available for tourism projects under Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury Leader Programme and Herefordshire Leader Programme

Legends of Agincourt

This is an industry and networking event on Thursday 2 March at Shire Hall, Monmouth.  It has an overview of the 2017 Wales Year of Legends and information on the Agincourt Trail.  Further details.


Forest Hills Footgolf Course has been up and running for a year and we would like to invite all members of the WVFDTA and their front of house staff to come and play as our guests, so everyone knows what it is like in case your visitors would like to play. If you or your staff would like to come, please contact me Alison Breton at or telephone 01594 810620.  Footgolf is suitable for a wide variety of ages, so do give it a try! It takes about 45 minutes to get around 9 holes.  Footgolf leaflets will be distributed via Tourism Leaflet Distribution and General Golf Club leaflets via Glide Media but if you would like me to send any when they become available, please let me know and I’ll post them directly.

How’s Business

We are now collecting data for the JANUARY 2017 South West ‘How’s Business?’ Survey and it would be great if you could enter your data at:

Upon submitting their data, and as a thank you for taking part, participants will be re-directed to the full report for the previous month.  The deadline for completions is Tuesday 28 February 2017.

The Bed & Breakfast, & Self Catering Show

The Third Bed & Breakfast, Retail and Self Catering Exhibition and Conference for Bed and Breakfast, Retail, Guest House, Inn, Independent Hotel and Independent Self Catering business owners will run on Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 February 2017 in Bristol.  If you are going, FreetoBook (who we use for our accommodation searches) will be there – drop in to see them on stand E2.


Well done to our member Rich Daniels of Hopewell Colliery who this week was elected as a Verderer of The Forest of Dean, a position going back until 1216.

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