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Archive News - 2015

First show cave in the Gulf.

(Added October 2015)

AlHootaAl Hoota Cave, in the Hajar Mountains, west of Muscat, is the first show cave in the GCC countries. It is to re-open in 2016, implementing a tourism development strategy developed by TEAM Tourism Consulting, on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism of Oman.

Al Hoota Cave is an example of the exceptional geological and natural heritage of the Sultanate. TEAM Tourism has been working on a sustainable development plan for the Cave since December 2014, alongside our local partner HMR Environmental Consulting.

The strategy proposed by TEAM rests on the quality of interpretation of the cave and water systems that run through the mountain, and on a high engagement of the public. This includes family experiences and, for a young and active audience, exploration of the cave system and adventure activities in the surrounding mountain areas.

Visit Bradford Tourism - Service Delivery Review.

(Added September 2015)

Visit Bradford has appointed TEAM to review and assess the current marketing and promotional activity of the tourism service, and specifically to review the four Bradford Visitor Information Centres (Howarth, Ilkley, Saltaire and Bradford City Centre).

TEAM associates have drawn on their extensive knowledge of marketing and visitor information provision in other destinations as well as consulting with members of the local tourism business community.

Strategic Plan for Tourism in Madrid.

(Added July 2015)

TEAM Tourism Consulting is working with Ernst & Young on the preparation of a Strategic Plan for Tourism in Madrid for the Asociación Turismo Madrid. The aim is to create a common vision for the city to give new direction to the current tourism model in Madrid. To achieve this goal, EY and TEAM are addressing the following specific objectives:

  • Understand and reflect on the current competitive position of Madrid, through benchmarking of Madrid against a set of international destinations and analysis of international best practice relating to key areas of activity.
  • Define the key differentiators of Madrid offer to boost its appeal and performance.
  • Design the new tourism model for Madrid, focusing on increasing the profitability of tourism and non-tourism activities in the city.
  • Create a strategic plan to launch the new model both practical and results-oriented in the short and medium term.

King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) Tourism Strategy and Destination Development Plan.

(Added May 2015)

KAEC 1Founded by King Abdullah in 2006, KAEC is one of the most significant economic development projects of its kind ever undertaken in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The city's development is guided by a Master Plan, which sets out a phased approach of inter-related development, to be undertaken in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner.

Almost 25 million square metres of KAEC is dedicated to tourism development. In order to progress this element of the overall Master Plan strategy, The Economic City (EEC) commissioned TEAM Tourism Consulting in October 2014 to prepare a Tourism Strategy and a Destination Development Plan, supported by a Marketing Plan, to be based primarily on the three pillars of leisure tourism, premier business/MICE tourism, and religious tourism.

The first phase of work included an extensive programme of information gathering, site appraisal and consultations, culminating in a series of background reports, summarised in an Interim Report, delivered to EEC early in January 2015. This was followed by a substantial period of stakeholder discussions and workshops, concluding in May 2015, when TEAM delivered the final Tourism Strategy, Development Plan and Marketing Plan; accompanying research and benchmarking reports and reports on the structures for implementation and on the requirements for a conducive regulatory framework.

Visitor Information and Marketing Plan for Gosport Borough Council.

(Added April 2015)

TEAM has been appointed to undertake a Visitor Information and Marketing Plan for Gosport Borough Council in Hampshire. We will be reviewing the existing destination marketing and visitor information activities and then developing a measureable three-year plan that will maximise the use of available resources to deliver economic impact. The project will be delivered by Carmel Dennis and Jackie Ellis.

North Oxfordshire Tourism Development Action Plan.

(Added March 2015)

TEAM Tourism Consulting has just completed a study of tourism in North Oxfordshire for Cherwell District Council, which has culminated in the preparation of a 5-year Tourism Development Action Plan for the District Council, to capitalise on the opportunities for tourism growth in this part of Oxfordshire.

Cherwell's main tourist draw is the Bicester Village shopping village, which attracted over 6 million visitors in 2014, many of them visiting from overseas. A key plank of the Action Plan is to encourage Bicester Village visitors to venture into Bicester town centre for post shopping dining and evening entertainment. There is a proposal for a major vintage vehicle and aviation attraction at the former RAF Bicester site, which has private sector impetus behind it. Supporting the progression of this project is a second priority for Bicester. Cherwell also includes the town of Banbury, famous for its role in the English Civil War as Oliver Cromwell's operational base, together with a number of attractive villages with strong visitor appeal, including Deddington and Cropedy.

The Action Plan includes a number of measures designed to attract more local residents and visitors staying in the area to visit Oxford, Blenheim Palace and Stratford-upon-Avon into these parts of the District to discover their heritage and culture and to shop and eat out. The study showed good potential for hotel development in Bicester and Banbury and scope for the development of other forms of visitor accommodation in the rural parts of the District. Measures to accelerate hotel and visitor accommodation development thus form part of the Action Plan. Finally the Action Plan includes a programme designed to forge stronger links between the District's hospitality and tourism businesses and local schools and colleges in order to raise awareness of the career opportunities in the sector and help address its current staff recruitment challenges. Cherwell District Council is now in the process of defining its plans and budgets for progressing the Action Plan in 2015/16.

For further information contact Andrew Keeling, TEAM Tourism Consulting Associate Tel: 01522 789702

Can tourism save the North Sea fishing fleets?

(Added March 2015)

Amble HarbourAmble is a small town on the North Sea coast, not far from Newcastle, with high youth unemployment and little to attract the tourist. The town’s last fifteen fishing boats are struggling to survive against the competition of the corporate trawlers operating offshore.

The town and county are implementing a programme to transform the rather grim, industrial harbour into a ‘seafood hub’, permitting the fishing fleet to sell locally, directly to shops and restaurants. The town will boast a Seafood Centre, managing this distribution, as well as a ‘Harbour Village’, where small businesses can sell local food and crafts. It is estimated that over a third of the Amble catch – frozen and exported – could be sold fresh and locally; also that such an initiative could double tourism numbers to the town.

The plan was developed by TEAM Tourism Consulting, led by David Ward-Perkins, Senior Associate at TEAM. The project team also included Jackie Ellis, Hilary Knight, Jane Brantom and Carolyn George. It was supported by local businesses and landowners, by the local college, and by the restaurants and fishing businesses of the town, enabling Northumberland County Council to raise the necessary funding. The Amble Seafood Centre and Harbour Village open for business on March 28th 2015.

VE 'Branded DMOs' Project.

(Added February 2015)

TEAM and The Tourism Company (TTC) were jointly appointed by VisitEngland (VE) to work on its ‘Branded DMOs’ project. This project is about evaluating and developing the potential for a strengthened relationship between VE and English DMOs, to mutual benefit. TEAM and TTC have completed the first stage of the work, involving consultation with both VE and DMO staff, as the basis for a review of the benefits and challenges of such a scheme. VE is currently assessing the content and timescale for Phase 2.