Go To Places wins new Visit Herts contract

Go To Places (GTP), has been awarded a three-year contract to continue to deliver Hertfordshire’s destination management organisation (DMO), Visit Herts.

The contract, which is due to renew on 1st August 2017, was awarded to GTP after a rigorous selection process by Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, with the option to extend the contract for a further two years.

 The appointment follows an initial two-year contract awarded to the Go To Places team in 2015, which led to the creation of a Visit Herts DMO brand and a robust strategy for strengthening the visitor economy offer in the county.

Visit Herts is now the official visitor economy and tourism service for the county, working with local authorities, accommodation providers and destinations across the county to promote Hertfordshire to its residents as well as incoming visitors from the UK and overseas.

According to the latest figures, the total annual value of tourism to Hertfordshire is currently estimated at £2.1billion and supports almost 38,000 jobs across the county.

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Executive Director Neil Hayes said: “Following full market testing, we are delighted to continue our partnership with the Visit Herts team and build on the fantastic work they have achieved so far.

“A strong visitor economy is key to the economic success of Hertfordshire and we are looking forward to seeing our tourism offering continue to develop, grow and thrive.

 “Thanks to our close proximity to London, excellent transport links, conference facilities and wealth of hotels and attractions, we are also well placed for the business visitor. We look forward to exploring further opportunities to expand our business tourism offer.”

During the initial contract, Visit Herts conducted a series of workshops and research activity to define the county’s unique tourism proposition. This led to the creation of the Visit Herts’ brand identity, attracting more than 30 funding partners and engaging with over 700 stakeholders. The Visit Herts team also launched a series of high profile campaigns such as Herts Big Weekend when thousands of residents were given the chance to visit Hertfordshire’s attractions for free.

A spokesperson from Hertfordshire County Council said: “The team behind Visit Herts has made a great impact on Hertfordshire’s tourism offering, exceeding our expectations on what we thought could be achieved in the short time they have been in place. We are very excited about building on the opportunities this partnership presents as we continue to share the story of our beautiful county.”

The Visit Herts DMO model, delivered by Go To Places, is based on expertise in:

  • Helping tourism businesses better understand their market and target audiences
  • Sharing proven, innovative marketing campaigns
  • Providing insight into visitor numbers and behaviour patterns through regular, in-depth research
  • Unlocking access to funding sources such as the Discover England Fund
  • Developing the quality of the local visitor economy offering by working in partnership with local stakeholders

 

Bill Ferris OBE, Chairman of Go To Places, commented: “Our company is about bringing people together, helping places thrive, so this is great news for Hertfordshire and us at Go To Places and a fantastic endorsement of our DMO model. This demonstrates that, despite a challenging economic climate, it is still possible to achieve great things if we work together.

“We are really excited about continuing our collaboration with our partners in Hertfordshire. I strongly believe that a key factor of our future success will be through continuing to engage with our network, aligning key resources and implementing proven marketing platforms. We know from our work in Kent that a collaborative strategy and a long-term vision is a highly successful way to lead and deliver a destination’s visitor economy. We are so pleased to have two leading counties in our group.”

For more information about Go To Places, visit www.gotoplaces.co.uk

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