Say hello to Go New Forest, the new not-for-profit company that will be delivering all the marketing and promotional support for local tourism businesses and promoting this unique part of the UK to domestic and international visitor marketplaces.
On April 3, New Forest District Council’s (NFDC) Tourism Service, including the Brand New Forest Card Scheme, will be transferring to Go New Forest. Functions include the publication of the Discover New Forest Guide, the Official New Forest Map, Visitor Information Panels, the operation and management of www.thenewforest.co.uk and all other destination digital and social media, including all press and PR.
Go New Forest will be run as a Community Interest Company (CIC), a not-for-profit organisation fully independent of the District Council, but which will receive grant funding from the council to support its first three years.
Go New Forest will work in close partnership with New Forest Tourism Association (NFTA) and all other managing interests, particularly New Forest National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission.
Chief Executive, Anthony Climpson OBE, said: “While www.thenewforest.co.uk will remain as the go-to place for those wanting information about visiting, staying and enjoying one of the most magical places in the UK, Go New Forest will be supporting all those businesses which work to make The New Forest a place to visit unlike any other; not just with media and promotional opportunities but also with business support that they might not otherwise receive.”
He said that Go New Forest will be working to stimulate the development of local food and drink, hospitality, arts, culture, events and festivals, transportation, sustainable development and business. It will also ensure that tourism is a key component in the wide economy.
He added: ‘Go New Forest’s priorities will be focused on raising the profile of the New Forest as a ‘must-see-now’ destination, with a focus on mid-week and the low season months as well as developing individual visitor spend.
The new initiative was launched during English Tourism Week and highlights the importance of tourism both to the local and national economy.
The New Forest Visitor Economy currently generates an estimated £528million per annum and supports 11,440 jobs (2015 survey). Tourism is one of the largest industries in the UK. In England alone, it contributes £96.7bn to the economy (8.6% of GDP). One in twelve jobs in the UK is currently either directly or indirectly supported by tourism and tourism is responsible for 17.7% of all New Forest employment.
The New Forest currently attracts 7.9m day visits, worth £301.8m to the local economy. The destination receives a total of 3.8m staying nights, worth £197.2m. The majority of visits are from UK residents but in 2015, 760,000 trips were made by overseas visitors, representing approximately 9% of all visits.
For more information on visiting The New Forest, see www.thenewforest.co.uk. To find out more about the new business, visit www.gonewforest.com
Notes to Editors
“Launch of Go New Forest at its offices in Ringwood, Hampshire. L-R: Bruce Rothnie, Deputy Surveyor at the Forestry Commission; Steve Lorton, Chair of Go New Forest; Anthony Climpson OBE, Chief Executive of Go New Forest; Alison Barnes, Chief Executive of New Forest National Park Authority; Cllr Tim Ward, Town Mayor of Ringwood; Cllr Barry Rickman, Leader of the Council at New Forest District Council.”