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Lincolnshire marketing needs one voice, tourism conference hears

Jonathan Foyle, a Lincolnshire born BBC presenter and Chief Executive of World Monument Fund Britain, said the county needs a united voice to market itself.

Speaking with The Lincolnite ahead of his talk at the Transforming Tourism conference at The Showroom on Wednesday, he said a collaboration between local authorities and businesses is vital.

Jonathan Foyle (pictured above), who scaled Lincoln Cathedral for a BBC series, explained: “It is always hard for people in a tough economic climate to afford a [marketing] campaign.

“You either encourage a collaboration headed by the County Council to promote the entire county, or you do it yourself. I think there is a real shame that there is no county-wide representation.

“The point that needs to be made to any county council is that visitors and tourism is Britain’s fourth biggest earner, and when that’s applied to the county, it will pay for itself if the County Council helps to energise tourism. It’s after all investing £22 million to revamp Lincoln Castle.”

Improving public transport in the county would also help tourism, Jonathan Foyle added: “There are many historic towns in England that offer everything within a walk.

“Lincolnshire is not really such a walkable county; it’s big and you need to travel between places. I think Lincolnshire needs to act in collating all its wonderful offers and being able to present them as a place to explore.

“And I think that by encouraging exploration, possibly improving public transport to do that, you then increase the dwell time of visitors.”

Other speakers at the conference organised by the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce included Mary Powell, Tourism Development Manager at Lincolnshire County Council, who spoke about the ongoing revamp of Lincoln Castle and Kate Ellis, Assistant Director of Planning & Regeneration at the City of Lincoln Council, who spoke about using markets to transform towns.

David Sleight, the Dean of Media, Humanities and Technology at the University of Lincoln spoke about transforming your tourism business through social media, while attendees were able to play around with the latest digital technology from Onlincolnshire that could be used in tourism.

Sneak peek at the new VisitLincoln.com

Emma Tatlow from the Visit Lincoln Partnership gave The Lincolnite a sneak peek at the upcoming Visit Lincoln website and how it would help attract tourists to the city.

Find out more from the conference by checking the #tourism12 hashtag on Twitter.

Photos and video: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite