TRAVEL AMBASSADOR UPDATE – 14 OCTOBER 2015
As the summer season draws to a close the Visit Isle of Wight Travel Ambassadors have been as busy as ever showing visitors the best the Isle of Wight has to offer and helping them get around without using their cars. As always we love to hear from Isle of Wight businesses, if you haven’t been in touch already, let us know what you have to offer so we can let the thousands of visitors we speak to know! Here is a quick snapshot of what we have been up to over the last few weeks.
During ‘Drive Less Walk More’ week, travel ambassadors have been promoting walking activities to visitors to the Isle of Wight. Travel Ambassadors have been located in Cowes, Ryde, Shanklin and Sandown mainly around the passenger terminals and areas of high visitor footfall engaging with visitors and telling them about the best walking spots.
Continuing the series of sustainable transport themed weeks, week commencing 14th September saw Travel Ambassadors turn their attention to cycling and improving visitor experience by exploring the Isle of Wight on two wheels. The Travel Ambassador cycling week coincided with the Isle of Wight Cycling Festival, a month long programme of cycling events.
Throughout the week, a ‘cycle surgery’ was set up outside the Visitor Information Centre in Newport. Travel Ambassadors discussed cycling with visitors and passers by. Information about cycle routes, safe cycling practices and Cycling Festival Events was given out and promotional materials were distributed. Children were invited to ‘brighten their bikes’ with colourful stickers, pipe cleaners and badges.
Travel Ambassadors arranged promotion rides of the Red Squirrel trail and the Newport to Cowes Cycleway, the primary aim of these rides were to showcase multi modal routes to visitors. In partnership with Island Line trains, Travel Ambassadors promoted multi-modal days out, for example, taking a bike on the Hovercraft from the mainland, taking a train to the Sandown to join the Red Squirrel route and riding into Newport.
Travel Ambassadors took part in several cycling festival events, including ‘Frocks on Bikes’ and the British Heart Foundation round the island ride. Experiences from these events were useful when engaging with visitors and persuading them to get involved with the cycling festival during their stay.
4 Legs Week
Travel Ambassadors took their dogs to a number of attractions and on different transport modes to demonstrate to visitors that if they are bringing their pets on holiday the do not necessarily have to also bring a car to get around. Travel Ambassadors pets were taken on board the hovercraft, trains and busses, they also made visits to Carisbrooke Castle, Fort Victoria, Shanklin Chine and Ryde beach. Journeys and visits were publicized on social media.
Travel Ambassador visits to the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary and ‘Welly Wednesdays’ at Briddlesford Lodge Farm were made to highlight how accessible animal attractions are by public transport and walking/cycling.
During the Bestival weekend, Travel Ambassadors were out in force to welcome thousands of festival-goers to the island. By talking about all the other wonderful things the Isle of Wight has to offer we are hoping we managed to convince many of them to come back to the IOW not just for the festivals!
Busses Beer and walks weekend
The Classic Bus, Beer and Walks Weekend takes place this weekend. Travel Ambassadors have been busy promoting the event which is hoping to attract hundreds of mainland visitors. Over the weekend, Travel Ambassadors will be out assisting visitors and helping to marshal the event.
Travel Ambassadors are now starting to increase their mainland presence, over the coming months we will be basing ourselves at ferry ports and travel shops in Portsmouth, Southampton and Yarmouth to let potential visitors know about all the wonderful things they can do during autumn and winter. So far we have had a fantastic response and we hope in doing more mainland activity we can significantly increase visitor numbers.