Hampshire County Council’s Strategic Priorities for the visitor economy 2007-2012

In 2006-07 Hampshire County Council (HCC) carried out strategic development work to

  • clarify what should be the actions at the county level to support and manage the visitor economy over the next 5 years
  • decide what should be the County Council’s own priorities and role when it comes to the visitor economy
  • communicate this across the County Council and to HCC’s external stakeholders.

We have

  • used the 2000-2005 Tourism Strategy for Hampshire as our starting point
  • looked at other relevant strategies and plans
  • taken into account the key changes since 2000 that impact on Hampshire’s visitor economy - including market trends, infrastructure developments and changes in public-funded tourism
  • involved key stakeholders, drawing on their expert knowledge to help make decisions about priorities and roles.

The report is deliberately brief.Its key purpose is to set out the recommended Strategic Priorities for Hampshire County Council, and to suggest draft priorities for Hampshire as a whole (Part Two of the report).Part One simply summarises the context.

There is more detailed information in the Working Papers, which cover:

Executive Summary
This report identifies the county-level Strategic Priorities for the development and management of the Hampshire visitor economy 2007-2012, and proposes specific Strategic Priorities for Hampshire County Council.

Visitors are vital to Hampshire life: they support over 50,000 jobs, plus services and facilities that local people would not otherwise have.The County Council’s services have a huge impact on the visitor experience and visitor economy - from its transport investment and spatial planning role to its economic development activities, countryside management, rights of way, parks, heritage, culture and events.

Some 89% of visitors are day visitors:they bring about 60% of visitor spend into Hampshire, and are important contributors to local services.But without careful management and development, the volume of visitors can have a negative impact on communities and the environment.

The 11% of visitors who stay overnight account for 40% of the spend.We can’t take them for granted: competition for higher-spending staying visitors is growing from better-resourced tourist areas - both in the UK and overseas.Consumers are becoming increasingly well-travelled and sophisticated, and new technology is having a huge impact on the way potential visitors source information and make their travel decisions.So Hampshire needs to take a sustainable approach if its visitor economy is to thrive: this means it needs an approach that focuses on value, not volume, and that satisfies visitors, the industry and the community, and safeguards the environment.

The ‘visitor experience’ is provided by a range of different organisations and calls for a significant level of partnership and cooperation between businesses large and small and the various public-funded agencies.Hampshire County Council is an essential part of this visitor ‘infrastructure’, andall local authorities have a ‘place shaping’ role which helps shape the visitor experience.It is essential that the various organisations and partners agree a common strategic approach, and this report is part of that process.

There is already a strong strategic context for this work: as well as Hampshire’s Tourism Strategy 2000-2005, there is the regional Tourism Strategy, the sub-regional Statement of Priorities from the Hampshire Tourism Committee, and the Strategic Priorities of Hampshire Economic Partnership.Taking these and other strategies and plans into consideration, and looking at the issues and opportunities for Hampshire’s visitor economy, the recommended Strategic Priorities for HCC are:

  • Advocacy
  • Sustainable Development
  • Building Partnerships

This report is for Hampshire County Council to agree and adopt its strategic priorities for tourism.In parallel with this, Hampshire Tourism Committee is leading the process for the key partners to agree the Hampshire Strategic Priorities, including the implications for delivery and resource allocation.