Tuesday, 15 November 2011


2011 has been one of the most successful years for promoting tourism in Thanet – and there’s still plenty more to come in 2012.

That was the message at a meeting organised by the council’s tourism team to update the industry on their marketing activities and achievements over the past few months and to outline plans for the forthcoming year.

Amongst the speakers were the council’s Cabinet Member for Tourism, Cllr. Alasdair Bruce, officers from the council’s tourism and Visitor Information Centre team, Visit Kent and Turner Contemporary.

Highlights from 2011 included the opening of Turner Contemporary, which has given Margate a huge boost, the centenary celebrations at the Winter Gardens, the introduction of the new Broadstairs Information Kiosk and the successful bid for funding for plans for the tunnels in Ramsgate. The Open Golf in nearby Sandwich also saw massive publicity for the area, equivalent to approximately £1.5 million.

Press coverage included features in the Times, the Guardian and Coast and Heritage magazines, while the area welcomed a number of high profile companies to film in the area, including BP, Waitrose and McDonald’s. A stunning image of Botany Bay was displayed at London’s Waterloo station as part of the Kent Contemporary campaign, while tourism attractions took part in a successful two for one offer with Stagecoach, Arriva and South Eastern trains.

Looking ahead to 2012, the team explained about some of the projects they will be working on, including the bicentennial celebrations for both Pugin and Charles Dickens and work around the London 2012 Olympics. New campaigns will include one focusing on the area’s water sports offerings and the Viking Coastal Trail.

Cllr. Alasdair Bruce, Cabinet Member for Partnerships and Tourism, said: “It really has been a superb year for tourism in Thanet, thanks to some wonderful events, not least the opening of Turner Contemporary. However, we need to maximise the benefits that those things bring and that’s exactly what our tourism team has been doing throughout the year. They’ve achieved some wonderful results in terms of promoting the area to the wider world, helping to ensure that Thanet is at the forefront of visitors’ minds.”

Amanda Cotterell, Chairman of Visit Kent, told the meeting: “It is credit to Thanet District Council that they still recognise the importance of tourism and continue to invest looking at new ways to deliver. You are also lucky to have very professional, experienced and passionate tourism unit who are always looking for opportunities to develop and promote the area.”

Assistant Estates Manager at Quex Park, Angie Curwen, was one of those who attended the meeting. She said: “This was one of the most positive tourism industry meetings in Thanet I’ve ever been to.  I felt it was very significant how many people in their presentations highlighted how much is happening in East Kent. It just goes to show how well Visit Kent, the council and our tourism industry are working together and that’s having a really positive impact.”

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