Gravesham Tourism and Heritage Strategy
The Tourism and Town Twinning Manager presented the Members of the Community and Leisure Cabinet Committee with a report detailing the progress on the delivery of the Tourism and Heritage Strategies objectives, achievements, and challenges of the past year. The report also outlined the project aims for the year to come.
- Research had been done to find out what accommodation was available in the area via AirDNA, which looked at the area and how much this brings to the visitor economy. GBC had signed onto this service for another year.
- The Cambridge Visitor Impact Model report for 2021 shows that, although we are not back to pre-pandemic level, the visitor economy figures and visits for the area have improved and looking much healthier.
- Links had been made with Badgells Wood campsite in Meopham. As there were not many campsites in the area, it was felt that this would be a good addition to the visitors offer, especially in the summer months. Links had also been made with the Roost Group, a luxury serviced visitor accommodation, offering holiday properties in the town centre and near chalk.
- Increased guided tours, including tours for Viking Cruise ship passengers on visits to the London International Cruise Terminal at Tilbury.
- The Borough hosted the Commonwealth Games Baton Relay last July, and this helped to put Gravesham on the map.
- High profile visits and events took place in the past 12 months. Visit Kent hosted a networking event at the Gurdwara; the CEO of Gloucester County visited Gravesend and was offered a tour of the Borough, strengthening our links around Pocahontas and America; and more recently, a group of 20 UK Tour Operators were offered a guided tour of Gravesend with the view to promote the area to their groups.
- The Tourism & Town Twinning Manager, working with local tourism businesses and attractions, has put together a full programme of events for English Tourism Week (17 to 26 March) to showcase what the Borough offers.
- An exhibition on items from Gravesham’s collection of artefacts was being hosted in the Blake Gallery (13 to 31 March).
Going forward, a historic cycle tour led in partnership with Born2Ride instructors, was going to be trailed on the last Sunday of each month from April to August.
Additionally, the Tourism and Town Twinning Manager was looking at options to develop a new and updated website, as the current one is no longer fit for purpose
The Chair gave thanks to Lyndsey Thompson (Senior Arts and Culture Officer) for her hard work in compiling a comprehensive list of artefacts that all contributed to the historic story of Gravesham. The artefacts were being held at various locations, but they were looking to see if they could all be stored in one area.
The Tourism and Town Twinning Manager fielded questions from Members and explained the following:
- Footpaths and gates were the responsibility of Kent County Council. The Tourism and Town Twinning Manager confirmed they were aware of the unkept gates and footpaths, and assured Members this would be chased.
- Members noted an action of the Committee to write to the relevant Cabinet Member at KCC to get this looked at.
- Language schools were popular in Kent, but there has been a drop in the amount hosted. It was suggested that this idea be put forward to bring those visits back into the borough.
- The information regarding the Born2Ride historic cycling tours was not yet publicised on the website but should be by the end of the week.
- Tourism and Heritage Strategy update report to CL Cabinet committee - 13 March 2023, item 35. PDF 336 KB
- Appendix 1 - graveshams-visitor-economy-2021, item 35. PDF 385 KB
- Appendix 2 - Kent AONB Economic Impact of Tourism 2019, 2020, 2021, item 35. PDF 138 KB
- Appendix 3 - Kent Residents Research Wave 4- Gravesham dashboard, item 35. PDF 2 MB
- Appendix 4 - English Tourism week version (web), item 35. PDF 7 MB