Business Plan 2020 to 2024
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 the Forestry Commission, the GNF 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 replaces.
GNF’s Business Plan is founded on the VERB model of destination management (see below) which puts “forest first” tourism at the heart of all its activities. GNF and its members will therefore continue to champion the common purpose of maintaining the special qualities of the destination and establishing mutuality between the needs and demands of Visitors, Environment, Residents and Businesses.
The CIC’s 220 Tourism and 350 Go New Forest Card Scheme businesses and its partner organisations form a comprehensive network of relationships. This network is ideally positioned to nurture and assist local businesses make the most of their own development, operation and promotion whilst collectively delivering the best possible quality and value of experience for all visitors. It is a unique relationship structure which if effectively supported 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 world-wide to visit responsibly all year round. 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.
The Go New Forest Model
Is 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 is the formula we are using to build an all-embracing network of interests throughout the New Forest to promote common sense as common practice and develop common relationships to deliver common benefit using the visitor economy as an engine for positive outcomes.
GNF will utilise this network and its recognition of shared interest, benefit and common purpose to inform 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.
The Economics of Visitor Happiness
How happy visitors supported by VERB help create an efficient, effective and locally resilient visitor economy
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 returners, be 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.
So happy visitors have a key role to play in all business promotion by their targeting of likeminded new visitors which automatically increases destination brand awareness and potential consumer conversion.
Visitors: Refresh the previous visitor stewardship programme and embed in the New Forest Green Leaf Tourism Scheme.
Environment: Launch the New Forest Green Leaf Tourism Scheme by the end of March 2020 and embed in all relevant Destination Marketing Plan activities throughout the rest of the year.
Residents: Establish tourism & visitor economy groups in the destination’s eleven main settlements by the end of 2020 to assist in the promotion of their own areas and engage local residents and businesses to help to deliver them through the Destination Marketing Plan.
Business: Engage all member businesses in delivering the Destination Marketing Plan, and review content, performance and resources quarterly
- 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
- The New Forest’s premium destination status is supported by businesses working together to deliver the economic, environmental and social benefits of visitor happiness
- Resist national & global business interests trying externalise local revenues which reduce the incomes and economic benefits of the visitor economy for local businesses and the wider New Forest economy.
- Provides the mechanisms to support individual and collective business action & community engagement to improve the value and positive impact of the local visitor economy
- Operates a constantly improving range of website, public relations, print & digital media channels to deliver New Forest messages direct to a targeted audience of over 1.5 million people locally, nationally and worldwide
- Promotes “Forest First” tourism by embedding the principles of VERB and the Economics of Visitor Happiness in all business development, marketing and public relations activities
- Supports locally owned businesses by delivering and maintaining the GNF Card Scheme
- Strategically leads, promotes & lobbies on behalf of the New Forest visitor economy
Key Membership Benefits
- Maintains a competitive, collaborative & mutually supportive New Forest business relationship network
- Delivers individual & collective business advantages by providing a wide range of opportunities for members to work together and extend commercial reach and reduce costs through economies of scale
- Raises the profile of each member business and the New Forest visitor economy locally, nationally and overseas
- Has people in all the right places with the experience and expertise to help support and assist member businesses and community organisations in resolving 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