Visit Lincoln expands into Greater Lincolnshire
The award-winning Destination Management Organisation (DMO) known as Visit Lincoln, has announced its plans to relaunch its support for the Visitor Economy under a new name, Destination Lincolnshire.
Destination Lincolnshire will be business-focused. It will build an engaged and resilient community of tourism, hospitality, leisure, and retail businesses across Greater Lincolnshire. It will be business-led and across a much wider geographical footprint enabling the DMO team to play an important role in supporting county recovery.
The commitment to Lincoln will remain through the continued investment in Visit Lincoln as an internationally recognised visitor facing brand; all the marketing activity, the website and social media will remain alongside the other consumer-facing brands which include Taste Lincolnshire, Cycle Lincolnshire and Meet Lincoln & Lincolnshire.
The changes also make the most of the Government’s ‘National Tourism Recovery Plan’ which was announced in June, as well as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) national ‘DMO Review’ that has been announced (Tuesday 14 September 2021).
The evolution has been shaped by DMO partners and business leaders and is backed by the City of Lincoln Council, Boston Borough Council, East Lindsey District Council, West Lindsey District Council and North Kesteven District Council, with an invitation for other local authorities to join in with activities and initiatives at a pace to suit their own tourism development agendas. It has also developed a new partnership with the University of Lincoln’s Tourism Research Observatory which will champion research and a data-led approach for the sector.
“Destination Lincolnshire will focus on building an engaged and resilient visitor economy across Greater Lincolnshire,” said Charlotte Goy, Chief Executive of Visit Lincoln. “Tourism, incorporating retail, leisure and hospitality has been most affected by the pandemic; and Destination Lincolnshire brings forward a new structure which is business-led and across a wider geographical footprint.
“Our growth is supported by businesses and operators within the sector who want to see a joined-up approach, and together we’ll champion new packages, digital innovation and collaborations that have not been possible before. Destination Lincolnshire will also deliver against the Government’s key visitor economy priorities which include sustainability, skills, inclusive tourism and the levelling up agenda which include the multi-million-pound Town Deals across Lincolnshire.
“We’re at the beginning of this journey, and we will be asking people to help us shape Destination Lincolnshire into a DMO that can support all levels of the visitor economy, from sole traders right the way through to the local enterprise partnership.”
The actual transition to Destination Lincolnshire will be led by businesses, with representation from the local authorities involved in the Towns Fund and the wider tourism offer in Lincolnshire.
Speaking about Destination Lincolnshire, Kate Ellis, Strategic Director for Major Developments at the City of Lincoln Council, said: “Over the last 10 years the DMO Visit Lincoln has played a critical role in transforming the city’s tourism offer and international profile. Given the impact of COVID, we need a much more collaborative approach to rebuilding the visitor economy led by the private sector. By working together we’ll be championing the recovery of the sector much more effectively than if we do it alone.”
Michelle Sacks, Deputy Chief Executive (Place) for Boston Borough and East Lindsey District Council echoed this by adding:
“We need to create an environment which enables sustainable covid recovery for businesses, and we will achieve this by working with Destination Lincolnshire. In addition to this, there is an opportunity to strengthen the delivery of the Town Fund bids in Boston, Lincoln, Skegness and Mablethorpe which will greatly enhance the visitor offer and experiences in the future.”
Lydia Rusling, Assistant Director for Towns Fund at Boston Borough and East Lindsey District Councils recognises the importance of supporting and growing the tourism sector, particularly as the area has traditionally attracted the highest number of visitors to the County. “Destination Lincolnshire is a partnership that will provide valuable support to businesses that have been so significantly impacted by Covid restrictions, whilst recognising the importance of our keeping our local communities safe”, she said.
“We are really looking forward to working with the DMO. It has a strong partnership of 300 Greater Lincolnshire tourism businesses and a much bigger network of stakeholders locally and regionally. The team is connected to organisations including VisitBritain, VisitEngland, DCMS, the Tourism Management Institute, plus other regional tourism bodies. This far-reaching network will enhance our ongoing tourism work across East Lindsey and Boston.”
Wendy Osgodby, Senior Growth Strategy and Projects Officer at West Lindsey District Council added:
“The Visitor Economy is a priority sector for West Lindsey and this is a fantastic opportunity for businesses across the district to get the support they need to recover and developed into the future.”
Andy McDonough, Director of Economy & Place at North Kesteven District Council, said:
The shared objective of Destination Lincolnshire in raising the profile of the entire county was of mutual benefit to inward visitors, local businesses and residents in appreciating more of what exists, happens and can be enjoyed close to home. “I anticipate significant advantages through the DMO in raising the profile of Lincolnshire and North Kesteven as a place to visit, live and invest which will reap rich rewards culturally, economically and through an enhanced opportunity for all,” he said.