GNF Business Plan 2019 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 district.
Established in April 2017 with the help and support of New Forest District Council, New Forest National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission, the Go New Forest 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 400 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 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 best value 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.
Aims (Reviewed annually)
Visitors : Refresh the previous visitor stewardship programme by the end of 2019 and embed in the New Forest Green Leaf Tourism Scheme and the Destination Marketing Plan.
Environment : Refresh the previous New Forest Green Leaf Tourism Scheme by the end of 2019 and embed in the Destination Marketing Plan.
Residents : Establish tourism & visitor economy groups in the destination’s eleven main settlements by the end of 2019 to promote their own settlement area and engage local residents and businesses in helping to deliver the Destination Marketing Plan.
Business : Engage member businesses in delivering the Destination Marketing Plan and review content, performance and resources quarterly
Destination Marketing Plan (Reviewed Annually)
To increase national and international awareness of The New Forest by promoting its unique heritage landscape and coastline, history, culture, accommodation, commercial attractions, restaurants, main events and towns & villages to its residents, day visitors and staying visitors.
Objectives (Monitored Monthly)
- Engage all members in the delivery and improved performance of the Destination Marketing Plan and use this to promote and increase membership by 10% to 240 & income 10% to £114,800 by 31/12/19
- Increase unique users of www.thenewforest.co.uk 20% to 1,290,000 by 31/12/19
- Increase digital advertising revenue 15% to £8,750 by 31/12/19
- Increase GNF consumer database subscribers 20% to 48,600 by 31/12/19
- Increase Social Media followers: Facebook 10% to 17,300; Instagram 20% to 4,100; Twitter 5% to 9,350 by 31/12/19
- Achieve NF Discover Guide profit of £11,000
- Increase Visitor Info Panel income 15% to £17,900
- Achieve Official New Forest Map sales of £10,500 by 01/09/19
- Increase GNF Card sales income 50% to £13,600
Primary: Staying Visitor – London & South-East England. Day Visitor – 90 minute drive time. Local Visitor – New Forest residents plus Bournemouth & Southampton.
Secondary: Raise awareness of the New Forest in rest of United Kingdom, Northern Europe, USA, Australia and New Zealand.
Resident, Day & Staying Visitor Target Audiences
Young families (with children 5-14)
Intergenerational family groups
Spending Kids Inheritance Couples (50+)
Tone of Voice
Aspirational rural chic but real, natural, dependable, safe, honest, relaxing and spiritually refreshing
Easy to reach – Only 90 minutes south west from London.
Old yet forever new – An inimitable English rural escape to a National Park with a unique cultural landscape heritage, history and very special sense of place.
High quality – An inspirational and unmistakably high-quality destination brand with great value visitor experiences in all types of accommodation, events, activities, eating and drinking.
Memories for everyone – Happy childhood, family and romantic memories of a place to escape everyday life through the ever changing colours of the seasons, the spirit of free-roaming animals and the great circle of life
Unspoilt countryside and closer to nature – Quintessential English coast and countryside that people dream about, where imaginations awake through a sense of easy adventure and the perpetual cycle of nature
Peace & Love – Fall in love with the peace and quiet of a special undisturbed place where you can get away from the frantic pace of the outside world.
Health & Vitality – A sense of freedom, wellbeing, refreshment & renewal. Walk, cycle or ride on over 150 miles of car free tracks all year round
Discovery – A place of great variety; explore pretty villages, learn about nature, visit historic houses and unique themed attractions leaving you wanting to return to uncover secrets yet discovered.
Environment – Leave your car behind and save carbon by horse-riding, walking, cycling or electric bikes and save cash all day long with the Go New Forest discount and special offer card.
Special offers – Specific member business offers linked across all of the above.
Book Direct The New Forest – The New Forest’s “Best Rate Anywhere” specially incentivised accommodation guarantee
- A not for profit Community Interest Company intent on continuous improvement in all aspects of the visitor economy
- A well-connected network of businesses that delivers mutual benefits and helps maintain a prosperous and locally resilient visitor economy
- The New Forest’s premium quality destination status is supported by businesses working together to deliver the economic, environmental and social benefits of visitor happiness
- Resist national & global business interests that seek to externalise local revenues and turn the New Forest into an uninspiring homogenous destination nonentity
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 Business 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 individual member businesses and the collective 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 visitor economy
Key Achievements 2017/18
The first year of GNF’s existence was taken up with the complete reorganisation of previous structures and the creation of the new arrangements that would enable the CIC to operate more efficiently and effectively with less resources. In the 10 months since then, continuous improvement and the benefits of that work have provided the following:
- Investment of £35K in a complete rebuild and restructuring of the destination’s website www.thenewforest.co.uk to provide an ever-improving public window through which to deliver comprehensive information on everything the New Forest has to offer its visitors, residents and businesses.
- A 50% growth in user traffic to www.thenewforest.co.uk through a £5.6K investment in an annual Search Engine Optimisation programme to ensure the destination website’s content and navigation continues to be accessible and relevant to visitor, resident and business needs.
- A complete re-organisation and improved range of member benefits along with an extension in the scope of membership to include town & village, corporate service and non-tourism businesses.
- The addition of a comprehensive new town & village section on www.thenewforest.co.uk to include local community and visitor information about the New Forest’s main settlements with content and listings for non-tourism businesses.
- Improved public profile of the local tourism and visitor economy along with the promotion of Go New Forest activities including more effective messaging to residents.
- Improved consultation and collective engagement of GNF’s 220 plus member businesses working together and in individual sector groups (Hotels, B&B, Attractions, Food & Drink, Corporate Service etc) to represent the destination. Group meetings are held monthly or quarterly and representatives of sector groups also meet collectively as GNF’s Advisory Group (twice annually) and Little Acorns Destination Marketing Group (quarterly).
- Supported and represented member businesses and the interests of the wider visitor economy on relevant matters and public consultations to Government, appropriate managing agencies and the NFNPA & NFDC Planning Authorities.
- Improved engagement with the Forestry Commission, New Forest National Park Authority and New Forest District Council to ensure individual roles are clearly identified and understood and to ensure the effective engagement and efficient use of limited collective resources by working together for the good of the New Forest.
- Improved member and guest access to the CIC’s Annual Members Day (March) and Open Day (October) where networking takes place and key issues are presented and debated. GNF also meets regularly with a wide range of community, business and town and village interest groups.
- Sponsorship of a GNF Visitor Economy Award in the New Forest Business Partnership’s Annual Brilliance in Business Awards to celebrate Businesses which connect Visitor, Environment and Resident interests with their own outputs.
- Communication of the above to stakeholders through regular Industry Updates, membership newsletters, sector group reports, PR and social media.