Are fam visits worth the bother? YES!

Cleveley Mere Huf HausIs it worth taking a day out of your busy schedule or sending your key staff on a familiarisation trip? Yes!!!

Yesterday I attended the Wyre Tourism Association familiarisation trip, I learnt loads about the Wyre area which I will be able take away and use when talking to people interested in visiting Lancashire along with some business tips that I will be able to pass onto Tourist Board members. The first stop was Cleveley Mere where all of the group were blown away by the Huf Haus. With its incredible interior and the view across the lake, it felt like the set of a James Bond movie. Roger, the owner, talked us through the developments that both he and his wife have made since they took the business over a year ago. The group were able to ask questions and took away some of Roger’s thoughts/ideas on how they have achieved an occupancy rate in excess of 90%.

All the group at Old Holly FarmNext on the itinerary was Old Holly Farm, the group was met by Alison who won the group over immediately with homemade cakes and biscuits from the café. Many of the group’s eyes glinted with excitement when we were then shown into play barn, but I was (I mean they were!) sadly disappointed when it became evident that it was for children only. A brief look at the goats and cows followed, then into the milking parlour to see where the cows are milked to make Old Holly’s ice cream. We then went onto The Crofters Inn where the owner, Nicola, showed us the impressive results of a major investment programme. Many of the group were pleased to see this former glory looking better than ever. I also know that more than one member of the group discovered how to lower the commissioned they pay to online booking agents! Thanks Nicola for that gem!

Lunch followed at the Cartford Inn, the duck that I had simply slide off of the bone and the crème brûlée I had for dessert was magnificent. Patrick, our host ensured that we were all full to the brim on his excellent food and laid down a clear indication of the quality of all Taste Lancashire participants.

It was time to walk off some of those calories by heading up to Cobble Hey, where the owner Edwina told us of their journey since they opened the gardens to the public. Now having a café, shop, animals, garden and education centre on site Cobble Hey has captured two very different business types and have had great results.

We then returned to Barton Grange Garden Centre where unfortunately l had to leave the group. I learnt so much about what Wyre has to offer the visitor along with some really good business tips that I will be passing onto members.

Zoe Viney

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Is This Good Marketing or What?!

Scary Invite!!

Sat waiting for me on my desk this morning was a letter with my name on which was written in blood ARRRGGGH!

On opening the letter I was greeted with a severed finger! Double ARRRGGGH!! …

… Don’t panic it wasn’t an actual severed finger or real blood, instead, it was a part of an ingenious invite to the launch of Scare Kingdom Scream Park

 I thought that this was a great piece of marketing and I wanted to share it with the world!

Scary Invite!!

Visit Lancashire is now YOUR brand

Over the past 18 months LBTB has undertaken a comprehensive branding exercise to see where we take forward the future of Lancashire as an area to visit. After many consultations with stakeholders and also focus groups from Yorkshire and The Midlands we are now Visit Lancashire.

Many of you will be aware that we have used VisitLancashire for the website for a number of years and that this sits well with the other tourism ‘visit’ sites and brands such as Visit England and Visit Britain. For us though this is a new step forward to talk about the brand as Visit Lancashire and we are very excited about the way forward.

You will see a change over the next few months in the way that we compile our marketing collateral. Taking forward our brand values we are:

LANCASHIRE – WHERE LIFE FEELS GOOD

Try it. Test it. It really works! By speaking to visitors with genuine warmth, bringing a realness to our offering, letting traditional quality shine through and promoting our ‘big wows and little wows’ we will bring a closeness that will make everyone (well, lots and lots more people) visit lancashire and come back again and again for more.

See our new branding guidelines here and look at our consumer website www.visitlancashire.com for the first outing of the new logo.

Sarah Lundy

oo la la! more ‘otpot!

We had some fantastic feedback from our website last week.  A lovely French couple wrote the following:

“I just wanted to let you know how great your website is. We live in France and are planning a visit to Lancashire in early December and have been able to not only find and book excellent accommodation we have also used your Travel Planner to organize a host of days out. We have been researching what to do while on holiday and have been very disappointed with the majority of council or government websites but yours has been an absolute pleasure to use. Please let the people who wrote it know how easy it is to navigate and that it has all the information we needed for our trip. I know people are often quick to write when something is wrong but we just wanted to let you know how impressed we are with your website and what a help it has been in planning our first holiday in 3 years. Thank you and keep up the excellent work!”

We were so pleased to see that our ‘aims and objectives’ had clearly been achieved here! To get any feedback is great. To get such positive feedback is fantastic and gives us all here who work hard on the site and extra buzz to the day.

I suppose that we have been spoiled recently. We had the results from our e-mail and web survey as well last week. Over 1500 responded and gave some great feedback. Full results will be published on our industry website soon but until then….
92% would recommend the site to others
66% found the site VERY useful
The majority live outside the North West of England
The majority come to the site to research and plan for a holiday

Sarah Lundy

My first Official Closing Event

I’ve been to many official openings but never before have I been invited to an Official Closing Event! What should I expect – the re-veiling of a plaque, the un-smashing of a bottle?

It was the Official Closure of the Garstang and District Partnership (GDP) which was established to deliver the Market Towns Initiative in Garstang, strengthening the area’s economy through local partnership.

The event was attended by people and businesses associated with the Partnership over the years and was, essentially, an opportunity to hear what had been achieved. In the case of LBTB, we worked with the GDP on the creation of the world’s largest hotpot in 2007, the event used to launch Taste Lancashire 08 and now in the Guinness World Records.

We also help to promote the week-long Garstang Food Festival which is taking place again this year in October.
The Closing event came to a close with Lancashire hotpot and we were all assured that it was not from the original record-breaking one!

So, closing events, a new marketing angle?

Barbara Howorth

Tip Top Appreciation

There are still a few days left to get your nominations in for this years LETS Awards. Closing date is Friday.

LETS is a great way to recognise the achievements of you and/or your staff without any financial cost. Apart from the winners prize of £100 ALL nominees receive a certificate and a name check at the awards presentation evening.

Take a look again at the categories see if you can nominate this year.

http://www.lancashireandblackpool.com/site/develop-your-business/events/lets-awards

Contact Diane on 01257 226611.

Quirky house around Preston?

Are you proud of your home?

Fancy showing it off on TV to win £1,000?

MAY THE BEST HOUSE WIN

ITV are looking for proud homeowners to take part in a new TV series.

  • Do you love showing your house off to friends and family? Have you spent months – maybe years – making your home look just right – or downright unique?
  • Do you love taking a nosey round other people’s houses?
  • This new series is looking for all sorts of properties – whether it’s a unique conversion, a country cottage or a stunning new build. We’re also on the lookout for homes with a difference – maybe you’ve turned your house into a shrine to Elvis or your beloved football team.
  • Over three days, four strangers take turns in giving each other a guided tour round their pride and joy. The most impressive home wins a £1,000 cash prize.

If you – or anyone you know – would like to take part then please call ASAP and leave your name, address, age and contact details:

0113 222 7111

Or email: besthouse@shiver-productions.co.uk