Business Plan 2023
Go New Forest (GNF) is a “not for profit” Community Interest Company providing a destination-wide partnership to manage and develop tourism and the visitor economy throughout the New Forest National Park and wider district. Established in April 2017 with the support of New Forest District Council, New Forest National Park Authority and Forestry England, GNF’s staff and Board are drawn from the previous destination partnership of New Forest Tourism Association and New Forest District Council’s tourism service which it replaced.
GNF’s Business Plan is focussed on the foundations of the VERB model (see below) of destination management, which puts “forest first” tourism at the heart of all activities. GNF and its members will therefore continue to champion the common purpose of maintaining the special qualities of the destination and mutuality between the needs and demands of Visitors, Environment, Residents and Businesses.
The CIC’s 200 plus tourism & hospitality members and its 350 Go New Forest Card scheme businesses, along with its partner organisations, form a comprehensive network of relationships. This network is ideally positioned to nurture and assist local businesses to make the most of their own development, operation and promotion whilst collectively delivering the best possible quality and value of the experience for all visitors. It is a unique relationship structure that if effectively supported by everybody, will significantly aid prosperity and help to improve the quality of all local life.
To develop and promote the New Forest as a high-quality destination whilst seeking to protect and enhance its special qualities and grow business by inspiring people worldwide to visit responsibly all year round, which includes following the New Forest Code. In doing so, GNF will work closely with all interests to promote the natural, cultural and commercial attributes of the New Forest for the benefit of GNF member businesses and in doing so; the wider New Forest economy and community.
Go New Forest Model
The GNF model is based on the precept that all Visitor, Environment, Resident and Business (VERB) interests are fundamentally inter-related and mutually inclusive. This principle beats at the heart of all GNF’s work and this model is the formula used to build an all-embracing network of interests throughout the New Forest. The purpose of this network is to promote common sense as common practice and develop common relationships to deliver common benefits using the visitor economy as an engine for positive outcomes.
GNF will utilise this network to assist the comprehensive delivery of high-quality resident, day and staying visitor experiences which support and enhance the local human, cultural, economic and natural resources of the New Forest area both now and in the future.
Environmental, Social & Economic Benefits of Visitor Happiness
Visitors who are well-informed before they visit, welcomed when they arrive and well cared for during and after their day visit or stay, tend to be happier visitors.
Happier well-informed visitors are liable to understand more, spend more, behave well and enjoy a better overall experience during their stay.
A better overall experience during their stay means visitors are more likely to respect and connect with the local cultural heritage, environment, residents and businesses, thereby getting more from the destination they are visiting. Visitors who get more from the destination they are visiting are consequently more likely to invest in it, both emotionally and financially.
The emotional and financial needs of the local cultural heritage, environment, residents and businesses are therefore more likely to be met by happy visitors. Happy visitors are also more likely to become loyal well-behaved returners, be much less demanding on the public purse, and will energetically and enthusiastically promote the great experience they’ve just enjoyed in the New Forest to their family, friends and social media followers.
Visitors: Deliver the “Care for the Forest, Care for Each Other” visitor stewardship programme in partnership with NFDC, NFNPA, Forestry England & the Verderers and embed it in all management and promotional activities.
Environment: GNF launched its Green Leaf Tourism Business Scheme in April 2022, on Earth Day. It will continue to develop and promote the Scheme, and embed the “Turning over a Green Leaf” campaign in all relevant Destination Marketing activities.
Residents: Work to improve its tourism & visitor economy partnerships with the destination’s eleven main settlements, to assist the integration of their own location’s promotion in the wider Destination Marketing Plan.
Business: Following the creation of the Business Services section of the destination website, to continue to develop and encourage local businesses to take advantage of the free basic listing service for all local businesses on www.thenewforest.co.uk and engage all GNF members businesses in maximising the individual and collective benefits of participating in and delivering the Destination Marketing Plan.
- A not for profit Community Interest Company intent on continuous improvement in all aspects of the visitor economy
- A connected network of businesses that works mutually to create a prosperous and locally resilient visitor economy
- Support and develop The New Forest’s premium destination status by helping businesses work together to deliver the environmental, social and economic benefits of visitor happiness
- Resist national & global interests seeking to externalise revenues and reduce the local employment and economic benefits of the tourism and visitor economy at the expense of local owned businesses and the wider New Forest economy.
- Provide the mechanisms to support individual and collective business action & community engagement to improve the value and positive impact of the local tourism and visitor economy
- Operate a constantly improving range of website, public relations, print & digital media channels to deliver New Forest messages direct to a targeted audience of over 2 million people locally, nationally and worldwide
- Promote “Forest First” tourism by embedding the principles of VERB and Visitor Happiness in all business development, marketing and public relations activities
- Support locally owned businesses by delivering and developing the GNF Card Scheme
- Strategically lead, promote & lobby on behalf of the New Forest tourism and visitor economy
Key Membership Benefits
- Maintain a competitive, collaborative & mutually supportive New Forest business relationship network
- Deliver individual & collective business advantages by providing a wide range of opportunities for members to work together, extend commercial reach and reduce costs through economies of scale
- Raise the profile of each member business and the New Forest visitor economy locally, nationally and overseas
- A network of people in all the right places with the experience and expertise to help support and assist member businesses and community organisations in resolving tourism and visitor economy related issues and problems.
Key Take Away
- Go New Forest is the hub, spoke and guardian of the New Forest’s tourism and visitor economy