Everyone at the Association works really hard to ensure our members all benefit and the membership fees go collectively towards raising the profile of the area, developing our tourism offer, and supporting all of our member businesses fairly. We always aim to maximise every opportunity for our members.
1 Bringing visitors to the area and to your business
Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Tourism is the only membership organisation for the area, the official Destination Management Organisation and the only body which promotes this cross-county, cross-country area to local, national and international visitors. Visitors to the region contribute over £372m (2018) to the local economy and support 8% of employment. By joining us, your business benefits in raising your profile to these potential visitors.
2 Get a valuable profile listing on our consumer facing website
Our website is the main tourism website for the area and has almost 354,000 unique visits per year. It lists about 300 tourism businesses covering accommodation, attractions, things to do, food and drink producers, and places to eat.
We regularly update the website with fresh, engaging content for our target audiences.
Each member business has a profile listing page and a link to your website to bring customers directly to your website. Our website ranks highly in Google and our content generates valuable website visits to your business.
3 Stand out on Social Media
We know how important social media is today and we invest heavily in this using a specialist Social Media Agency.
We post great visual content to promote our area and members, and run targeted Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns to get repeat visits and new visitors.
In the last 12 months alone, we have reached organically (for free) 3million users on Facebook, 300,000 people on Instagram and been shown 1.7 million times (impressions) on Twitter.
4. The Power of PR and the Media
Using a specialist PR agency, we champion our area to both regional and national media titles and issue regular press releases. We always try to cover all member categories and give as many members visibility in this as we can. In the last year, we have been featured in a wealth of high-profile titles including The Times, Guardian, and more. Members can submit stories and news to be featured in our PR activity at no additional charge. Gold Members get access to press trips and influencer features.
5 Innovative and engaging digital marketing campaigns
We use the power of our collective marketing budget wisely and look to secure external funding from local and national bodies when available, to create impactful digital marketing campaigns to attract our key target audiences.
We secured investment from the Forest of Dean District Council to deliver a hugely successful Severn Bridge Tolls Removal Campaign in Spring 2019 which had a reach of almost 500k people in four weeks across Facebook and Instagram.
We also secured investment from the Discover England Fund targeting oversees travel trade with new group experiences from our members.
6 Market insights and research on the destination
We run regular value and volume research, ROI research and work with external research companies to provide monthly ‘How’s Business’ barometers. Providing our members with key market insights that would not be affordable to undertake alone.
7 Regular member meetings and forums to inspire and inform
We hold regular member meetings, events and bi-annual Tourism Forum. We invite interesting and high profile speakers to update our members on industry trends and latest thinking.
There is a monthly Members’ email newsletter and we have a ‘closed’ Facebook group to update our members, enable members to collaborate, share and celebrate our successes, and ask for recommendation and/or fellow member support.
We ask you what you think, want and feel with member questionnaires and feedback sessions. We listen and represent your interests collectively.
8 Advice, support and training
We are here to work together for the broader benefit of our members and to enable us all to have more impact than one business working in isolation, no matter what size you are. We aim to provide support, advice and useful insight from other member’s experiences.
Based on your member feedback, we run training sessions on business and marketing topics to assist our members’ in running their businesses more easily
9 Representing your business and providing leadership for our visitor economy
We seek to be represented at national and regional events (regional showcases, travel trade missions, VIBE, ITB Berlin, World Travel Market) to represent our membership and the views of our members. We are asked to host travel trade delegations, speak at events, give our opinion about the visitor economy, and share our members’ experiences.
10 Excellent discounts and benefits for our members
We work hard to find the best discounts and benefits for our members, and listen to your feedback to source those offers which will benefit your business the most.