Visit Isle of Wight awarded Government funding to help boost local economy

A bid to the UK Government’s Cabinet Office has seen Visit Isle of Wight awarded funding to boost the local economy.

The bid – one of only 11 successful bids in the UK – will be aimed at promoting the wealth of attractions, places to see, stay, eat and things to do on the Isle of Wight, to a mainland audience but also to encourage Islanders to enjoy what is on their own doorstep.

It will form part of the government’s Enjoy Summer Safely campaign extension, aimed at helping to kick start the economy in a responsible way.

Visit Isle of Wight was successful in bidding for nearly £79,000 which will boost the current marketing campaign of Discover the Island, coupled with the Isle of Wight’s Let’s Buy Local campaign. The money will also be used to encourage local residents to ‘Rediscover their Island and to continue to Enjoy Summer Safely’.

Currently, 16% of the Isle of Wight’s working population is directly employed within the tourism and the hospitality sector, which has been valued at nearly half a billion pounds to the Island’s economy.

Will Myles, MD at Visit Isle of Wight, said the success of the Cabinet Office funding bid means a welcome boost to marketing over the next few weeks:

‘The team at Visit Isle of Wight have worked hard to secure this funding, and to be one of only 11 destination management organisations in the UK to be successful is a testament not only to that effort, but also to the quality offering that so many Island businesses provide.

‘In a ‘normal’ year, approximately 2.4 million visitors head to the Isle of Wight, bringing an annual spend of £303 million.

‘The Isle of Wight is recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, one of only 7 in the UK, and approximately 50% of the Island is classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, making it an ideal place to spend quality time away.’

Dave Stewart, the Leader of Isle of Wight Council said that supporting local business is vital:

‘Thanks to the success of Visit Isle of Wight in securing this funding we will be able to promote our island and all it has to offer to an even wider audience.

‘This is also a great opportunity for people to rediscover our Island in a responsible way and support our independent retailers by buying local. This is sure to bring a welcome boost to local businesses at a time they need it most.’

Bob Seely MP for the Isle of Wight recognised the importance of tourism to the Isle of Wight’s economy:

‘I’m delighted Visit IOW has managed to secure this funding to boost the Isle of Wight’s visitor economy and I congratulate them on being one of the eleven Destination Management Organisations in the UK to do so.

‘This is good news for Isle of Wight businesses who will benefit from the additional promotion the Island will receive. Our visitor economy is important for the Isle of Wight as many businesses and jobs depend on it. ‘We have a great chance this year to rediscover our Island. Let’s appreciate the beaches and scenery we have here and enjoy the fresh local produce in our amazing Island shops and eateries.’