Local businesses show support for tourism on the Isle of Wight as Wight BID is passed
Local businesses have given the stamp of approval for a second term of the Wight BID today.
The results, released today by Civica Election Services who conducted the independent ballot on behalf of Isle of Wight Council, were announced today and saw vote in favour of 5 more years of a destination business improvement district (DBID). The turnout for the vote was 36.8%, with 55.9% votes for yes.
The Yes vote means that Visit Isle of Wight will be able to continue its vital work to promote the Island as a destination, with contributions totalling nearly £3 million over the next 5 years, ensuring the Isle of Wight holds its own against tourism destinations in this country and beyond.
Speaking of the successful vote, Visit Isle of Wight Chair Ian Griffiths said he was pleased to see that businesses saw the importance and value of working together to ensure the Isle of Wight maintained its high standing in the ‘hearts and minds of potential visitors’:
‘We are over the moon that businesses recognise and appreciate the work that Visit Isle of Wight has carried out on their behalf over the last 5 years. By working with local businesses, we have demonstrated that together we are stronger, and we look forward to developing closer ties with even more of the Island’s hard-working tourism-based firms.
‘This yes vote is confirmation that work of Visit Isle of Wight is valued, however we will not be resting on our laurels. We have been given a clear mandate to continue and we are already redoubling efforts to develop the work further, ensuring that the Island can continue to hold its place in the hearts and minds of potential visitors.’
A series of themes, including attracting visitors for life, working together and sustainability will be developed, focusing on accessibility tourism, promoting the Island as a day visitor destination, and advocating sustainable travel.
Ian Griffiths says that the stamp of approval from Island business owners means that the team will continue to work hard on behalf of the tourism industry here:
‘Throughout this BID process, Visit Isle of Wight has not been distracted by naysayers and has continued to perform its core task of encouraging visitors. The recent Isle of Wight Walking Festival, which is managed by Visit Isle of Wight, has been hailed a great success and we are now looking at calls to increase its presence to two events next year.
‘Now, with the support of businesses and by working together even more closely, we will continue to ensure the Isle of Wight benefits from the BID process. Following comments from local businesses, we will also be looking at how we can extend the success of the BID to include businesses in the retail sector and develop even further the incredible offer that the Island has – not just to visitors but to everyone living here.’
The portfolio holder for tourism at Isle of Wight Council is Councillor Julie Jones-Evans:
‘This result will give reassurance to our vital tourism industry that the Isle of Wight will continue to be marketed as a visitor destination, especially important during this resurgence in “staycations”. We must remember we are in competition with other visitor destinations so it’s crucial we have a visible and vibrant presence. A comprehensive business plan has ‘been given the seal of approval with this result and we look forward to seeing this being rolled out over the next 5 years and seeing our number of visitors increase.’
Wight BID proposal 2021-26 https://visitwightpro.com/wightbidproposal2021/
The vote for the BID is only successful if two criteria are matched:
- A majority of votes cast is in favour
- A majority of rateable value is achieved
- 1573 eligible votes
- 578 votes cast – combined rateable value is £14,333,690
- 323 votes for Yes – combined rateable value of £10, 272, 090
- 255 votes for No – combined rateable value of £4, 061, 600