Author: Neil Warren from Sustainability South West (Associate)

Visitors, and locals alike, are being encouraged to think of travel as being more than ‘A to B’ in an initiative to highlight the South West’s most scenic journeys.

The ‘Spectacular Journeys’ initiative, being carried out on behalf of the South West Tourism Alliance, aims to highlight travel as a key attraction of the region, rather than simply a way of getting around. It builds on the growing interest generated by programmes like Michael Portillo’s Great British Journeys and Charley Boorman’s By All Means which present travel as an experience in its own right.

A collection of video guides, featuring some of the best journeys, is the latest development to provide visitors with inspiration. One features the popular Jurassic Bus – taking in the stretch between Weymouth and Exeter – with another soon to follow, featuring the Sea Train Adventure that takes in a boat from Poole to Swanage and then on by steam train to Corfe Castle.

Tourism businesses are also being encouraged to join in – making use of the videos which are free to embed within in their own websites or link to. There’s also a video featuring two businesses sharing their own experience of promoting visitor travel.

Neil Warren, an Associate with Sustainability South West, who has carried out the work believes that this presents a real opportunity. “The idea is to move promotion away from transport and timetables and focus much more on the experience and views. We’re fortunate to have such a wealth of great journeys and need to realise their potential much more – both for the visitor’s enjoyment, and to care for the places they are enjoying.”

Fuel prices are one of the factors making visitors think about venturing out of their cars and the rising cost of fuel in general will be a feature of another initiative that Sustainability South West will be running this autumn/ winter to help tourism businesses. Battling the Bills plans to combine a roadshow of workshops, live webinars and other news and information to help tourism businesses hold onto to more of their hard-won sales. Interested businesses should visit the Tourism Alliance website and sign up to the monthly e-newsletter.

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