As a co-founder of Destination Bristol, the Initiative has long understood the value of the visitor economy and promoting a vibrant city that attracts visitors and creates a wealth of fantastic leisure opportunities for its residents. At the end of a busy summer period for the sector, the September meeting of the Bristol and West of England Initiative focuses on the region's visitor economy.
1. Tourism in Bristol and the West of England has gone from strength to strength in recent years, what do you put this down to?
Bristol and the West of England has benefited from an increase in the number tourism and leisure attractions in recent years, which means that there is more for people to do. Importantly, the diversity of types of attraction also means that there is something for everyone.
2. How do you see the tourism sector in Bristol and the West of England developing in the next 5 years?
I see it continuing to expand, with a number of new attractions due to launch in the next five years and existing attractions planning significant investment.
3. How is tourism in Bristol and the West of England faring when compared to other parts of the UK?
Bristol in particular is becoming more clearly defined as a destination rather than a stop-off en-route to Wales or the South West. Given the combination of an increasingly strong brand, combined with its location, it has the potential to out-perform other parts of the UK.
4. What are the challenges currently facing the tourism sector in Bristol and the West of England?
Transportation beyond the motorways is a significant barrier when people are planning a day out. There is a perception of a complicated road network, limited parking and poor alternatives such as public transport. If Bristol is to become a national and international destination then this perception and/or reality needs to be addressed with the attractions that people want to visit.
5. What is your favourite tourist attraction or activity in Bristol?
As a family we enjoy visiting the harbourside and the various cafés and attractions. It’s a great atmosphere in an historic setting and shows what can be achieved with a commitment to a bold vision.