Breaking all records, with 54 members and guests attending, a wide variety of local businesses and organisations came to the 13th AGM of the Tamar Valley Tourism Association (www.welovethetamarvalley.co.uk), held in Launceston Town Hall on Wednesday 19th November.
Chairman John Marshall reported on the considerable progress made during the previous year and how membership has grown from 184 in 2011 to 257 today. Thanks to the enthusiasm and efforts of fellow members and the ambassadors, membership continues to grow as other good local businesses are invited to join.
During the year members enjoyed a range of events in interesting venues throughout the valley, often with lunch or cream tea and expert guided tours.
The new Gateway to Cornwall Partnership was also launched with Visit Cornwall, with our local MP Sheryll Murray holding a Q/A session at the Eliot House Hotel in Liskeard. This new and potentially influential partnership represents 500 businesses belonging to TAVATA, SECTA, BOBM and Rame Traders.
TAVATA members, Peter and Caroline Hammond of UpDown Cottage B&B, gave a lively presentation on the benefits of belonging to TAVATA and of being an ambassador, leading to meeting so many interesting people and making new friends in the process.
The new website, www.welovethetamarvalley.co.uk, designed by Clare Associates of Gulsworthy, has been very well received. Mark Poles and Victoria Clare explained how members could now edit their own entries and add photos thus optimising the marketing potential.
In a joint project with the Tourism Department of Plymouth University, social media marketing to attract a new and younger visitors to the valley has been researched. This cooperation will continue year on year with selected students and different topics.
After lunch, Amanda Brookman of COAST gave an inspiring presentation on how sustainability in tourism is a win-win approach, benefiting the environment and attracting thinking people who want to minimise their carbon footprint, with a clear conscience, whilst having a good holiday.
All in all a very good day with more inspiration than perspiration!