Tourism (Councillor Chasney)
Town Guide 2020
A meeting to discuss progress was held on Monday 13 January between the Town Clerk, the administrator and myself.
Response to the initial mailing has been slow. It is considered this is due to the 2020 Harbour Guide eclipsing progress and the Chronicle launching the Brightlingsea and District Business and Leisure Directory this year as a second distraction to the long-established official guide.
As a result, and as a matter of deliberate strategy, the town guide has been slowed down to allow contributors and advertisers time to recover from sales approaches made to them by these two new publications, which seek to support publishing costs from the same target audience as the town guide’s traditional market.
The proposal is to publish by 20th March. This still allows time for visitors to plan their time in our town a month ahead of the Easter break. It also offers a spending break to advertisers, and the Council will be asked to consider a proposal for payment to be made after the end of the fiscal year.
It is worth noting the ‘difference’ in the three guides. The BTC guide is the official long-established reference for tourists from land and sea designed to attract and help plan their time spent in Brightlingsea. The Harbour guide concentrates mainly on waterfront and safety information for visiting sailors as they arrive and includes tide tables. The Business and Leisure Guide appears to cut across the town guide a fills no information gaps.
In the next week, the BTC town guide will be heavily promoted by email using the 2020 flier, by telephone and by face to face contact. The main selling points will be its ownership, its comprehensiveness and its distribution.
The town guide is the flagship of our tourism strategy and it is vital it holds it unique standing as the definitive official visitors’ guide to Brightlingsea.
Brightlingsea is a town that relies on visitors, yet we have but one tourist signpost positioned on the old Anchor corner on the hard. We need many more placed at strategic points throughout the town. We also have an urgent need for ‘you are here’ boards’ helping tourists to get their bearings and see the wealth and variety of activities on offer. There is a need for three boards: in the town centre, outside the museum and on the hard.
The town would also benefit from i signs above the Parish Hall, the Harbour Office and the Museum.
These signage proposals are supported by Cllr Carr and myself, and costings and or sponsorship and planning permissions required are being looked at.
The Council recently placed an advertisement which included a photograph supplied with permissions specifically for the 2017 town guide. In December 2019 the originator complained to the Council that permission had not been sought for this additional usage and that a copyright note had not been included. The Council has apologised to the complainant and offered to reproduce the image in the 2020 edition of the town guide with an with an acknowledgement plus editorial space in the guide to promote that person’s community website.