News – 22 May 2017

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.

An existing member has the following new listing.

Change of Chair

We have recently had a change of Chair of the Association.  Below are messages from Ian Officer who has just retired as chairman and Fiona Wilton who has taken over from him.

As mentioned at the AGM, I have now stepped down as Chair of the Association and passed on the reins to Fiona Wilton who has been Vice-Chair for the past two years.  I’m really proud of the achievements the Board, members and our fantastic staff team have made over the last few years and believe that WVFDT is well placed to make the most of our opportunities going forward.  Your Board, along with Maureen, Tim, John and Lesley work incredibly hard to make sure our beautiful area is represented alongside much better resourced destinations. The team is always looking for help in the following areas – Membership, Partnerships, Marketing, Business Development and Governance – so if you think you can help further please do not hesitate to contact Fiona, Maureen or any of the Directors.

Thanks again for all your support – Team DeanWye has really put us on the map – and I am sure this will continue strongly into the future – Ian


Hello everyone.

First let me say a big “Thanks” to Ian who has done a great job for the Association over the last two years. He is leaving the Board to take up new business opportunities and of course we wish him much success.

I have served the Association for around 12 years now, including as Vice Chair for the last couple of years – a period which has seen huge changes in the Association.  In that time we have grown hugely, reorganized pretty much everything, and we have taken on a great team of staff for the first time ever. We know you agree that the results for all our members have been so impressive and I am honoured to be taking the Chair of a thriving organization.

Although we do have excellent help, the workload is ever increasing with our success. We still must rely heavily on the membership for much  that needs to be done as we (that’s you!) cannot afford to pay for everything!  We hold Board meetings locally about every 6 weeks (lasting around 2 hours)  and all of the Directors work hard on specific things as well as attending those. What you may not know is that we do have a need for helpers who cannot give quite as much time but who would enjoy offering an able pair of hands on something specific.  Anything really from making a sales call on a prospective member, to manning a stand at an event or using professional business skills.  Common sense and bottomless enthusiasm for our magnificent area are the main requirements.  If you can offer a few hours please let Maureen or me know what you  would like to do.  Many members really do make lighter work.

I look forward to seeing you all again at the next members’ meeting

Kind regards, Fiona Wilton

Full details of all our board are on the members’ website.

Date for your diary

Our next members’ meeting takes place on Wednesday 14 June 2017, 18.00 to 20.00 at Goodrich Castle.  We hope to see lots of you there for this summer evening meeting at a superb location – the first time we have held a meeting there. The meeting will include an update on our activities, a tour of the castle and “how to make yourself a legend”.  Dates for other meetings this year.

Training Courses

We are delighted to offer you a range of training opportunities which are very much based on subjects you have identified as being important to your businesses.

All of these courses are £15 plus VAT for members and £30 plus VAT for non-members and will be booked via EventBrite.  Booking is not yet open for most of these courses, but if you are interested, please email us to register your interest and we will contact you when further details are available.

  • 6 June 2017, Using FreetoBook on the Tourism Association website – see below.
  • 20 June 2017, Absolute beginners social media, ½ day
  • 22 June 2017, The strategy of social media, hints, tips and moving yourself on digitally, ½ day
  • 12 September 2017, Using FreetoBook on the Tourism Association website, ½ day
  • 19 September 2017, Absolute beginners social media, ½ day
  • 21 September 2017, The strategy of social media, hints, tips and moving yourself on digitally, ½ day
  • 17 October 2017, Google analytics, ½ day
  • 15 November 2017, Effective PR and raising your business profile, ½ day
  • 6 December 2017, Making your attraction great, ½ day
  • 7 December 2017, Making your accommodation great, ½ day

FreetoBook Training

We have now been using FreetoBook as a collective Search by Date booking tool on our website for nearly 18 months.  Full details of how we use this are on our website.  Last year the members who have participated took 679 bookings with a total value of over £130,000.  If you are not using FreetoBook, or wish to learn more, you may be interested in our next course at Shire Hall, Monmouth, Tuesday 6 June, 10.00 to 13.00.  Full details and book a place.

Forester Business Awards 2017

Congratulations to the following members who were award winners in the Forester Business Awards.  Further details.

Cycle Races

On Sunday 9th July 2017, the annual VELOTHON Wales will return to the roads of South Wales, welcoming some of the world’s best professional cyclists as well as thousands of recreational riders and charity fundraisers.  The following roads in our area will be closed or subject to delays.  Further details.

  • Abergavenny – Kemeys Commander- Llancayo- Usk, closed 8am to 1.30pm and delays later in day.
  • Usk – Llanhennock – Caerleon, closed 7.30am to 1.00pm, delays later in day.

The final stage of the Tour of Britain (Worcester to Cardiff) comes through our area on Sunday 10 September.  The UK’s premier road cycling race will finish in Wales for the first time as Cardiff hosts the final stage and coincides with Visit Wales’ Year of Legends.  Times are not yet available but an overview of the route is online.

How’s Business

We are now collecting data for the APRIL 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 Sunday 4 June 2017.


Booker will give members a 2% retro discount on all purchases except Tobacco.  This means that you purchase your goods at Booker as normal and every 6 months you will receive a rebate a 2% on whatever you have spent.  You do not receive a 2% discount at the tills, you receive this 2% back on a 6 monthly basis.  Full details.  A number of members  have asked about payments as the scheme has now been running for over six months.  We have been assured by Booker than payments are imminent but we will continue to monitor the situation.  If you are not registered for this scheme, email us with your Booker account number.

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