Antonia Stratford
12th April 2023

Go To Places – which manages the destination management organisations for both Kent and Hertfordshire has secured the new, enhanced status of ‘Local Visitor Economy Partnership’ from VisitEngland for both destinations.

A total of 15 destinations across England have been awarded the new status and the creation of these new partnerships is part of the Government’s strategy to better support and grow the visitor economy in England by reducing fragmentation and improving collaboration particularly at a local level.  The new partnerships will also be better placed to help local and national government deliver their priorities and targets on issues such as climate change, accessibility and inclusion.   

Deirdre Wells OBE, CEO of Go To Places said: “We are very pleased to have been awarded this new status for both Kent and Hertfordshire and this is a testament to the strong support and partnerships we have in place for the visitor economy in both counties and of course to my team who have worked very hard to develop the submissions for the new accreditation.

“Both Nick de Bois CBE and VisitEngland are to be congratulated on grasping this opportunity to review and overhaul the strategic direction of the visitor economy in England.   Implementing this new scheme will hopefully make the promotion and management of our wonderful tourism and hospitality industry more efficient, collaborative and cost effective and ultimately deliver a better service across the board for our domestic and international visitors and the private sector businesses that work so hard to deliver fantastic and memorable experiences.  We are excited to get started!”

VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: VisitEngland is delighted to welcome onto the programme these new LVEPs, who will play a central role in transforming the visitor economy in England in an inclusive, accessible and sustainable way. Ensuring we have the right national and local infrastructure in place to grow our visitor economy will ensure England continues to be a compelling destination, for both domestic and international visitors, for years to come.

“We look forward to working in collaboration with the LVEPs, providing ongoing support including a team of dedicated VisitEngland regional development leads. LVEPs will also have access to resources and guidance from VisitBritain/VisitEngland in areas including product distribution, business support, bidding for funding and marketing.”

VisitEngland will work closely with LVEPs during the set-up process and beyond.  As well as a nationally recognised official status, LVEPs will also be able to access expert advice, dedicated toolkits and training programmes, targeting their needs, from VisitBritain/VisitEngland in areas ranging from distribution, accessibility and sustainability to business support and marketing. An important strand of support will be highlighting available Government funding streams as well as developing and providing a ‘toolkit’ to help LVEPs with bids to those streams.

A full list of the new LVEPs can be accessed here and more information about the scheme can be accessed here.