Visit West has today announced that it has been awarded Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) accreditation by national tourism agency VisitEngland, in a move to reshape destination management across the country into a more cohesive structure. 

Roman Baths in Bath

Image: The Roman Baths 

The partnership has been given to just 12 destinations in this first round and is expected to maximise the potential of the local visitor economy in Bristol, Bath and the west of England region, which pre-pandemic supported 45,000 jobs and is worth £2.33billion. 

The creation of the LVEP programme is in response to the UK Government’s independent review of Destination Management Organisations carried out by Nick de Bois (Chair of the British Tourist Authority) in autumn 2021, which recommended a more efficient and effective model for supporting English tourism at a regional level. 

By achieving the new nationally recognised status of LVEP and being recognised as one of the leading organisations for destination management, Visit West will now be able to provide even stronger leadership for the region, as it shapes and delivers strategies to promote tourism for the west. LVEP status also ensures increased support, training, and collaboration with VisitEngland and VisitBritain in areas ranging from sustainability and accessibility to business support and marketing for the region.  

Kathryn Davis, Managing Director of Visit West says: “Having worked in destination management for 23 years, I believe the introduction of the LVEP programme is vital to ensure the continued growth and development of the region’s visitor economy."

“We are proud to already be working extensively with VisitEngland and VisitBritain to promote the west of England to domestic and international visitors - especially as the sector began to recover from the impacts of the pandemic – through the funding we received for their Escape the Everyday campaigns, for example. So, we are thrilled to announce Visit West has now achieved LVEP status by VisitEngland as we continue to support the businesses and destinations in the region through our consumer activity delivered via the Visit Bristol and Visit Bath brands, working with the Travel Trade as well as the Meet Bristol & Bath Convention Bureau.” 

Andrew Stokes, England Director at VisitEngland adds: “VisitEngland is delighted to welcome onto the programme the new LVEPs, who will play a central role in transforming the visitor economy in England in an inclusive, accessible and sustainable way. Ensuring we have the right national and local infrastructure in place to grow our visitor economy will ensure England continues to be a compelling destination, for both domestic and international visitors, for years to come.” 

“We look forward to working in collaboration with the LVEPs, providing ongoing support including a team of dedicated VisitEngland regional development leads. LVEPs will also have access to resources and guidance from VisitBritain/VisitEngland in areas including product distribution, business support, bidding for funding and marketing.” 

Balloons over Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol - CREDIT Gary Newman

Image: Clifton Suspension Bridge

Metro Mayor for the West of England Dan Norris says: “The West of England has got it all - world-famous historical sites, cultural gems, beautiful countryside and much, much more for everyone to explore and so enjoy some truly unique experiences and new adventures - on all budgets. It’s fantastic that our region is a real trailblazer here - Visit West receiving this nationally recognised status will allow us to further support and boost the hundreds of businesses that make up this region’s brilliant tourism sector. I’m really proud that my Love Local campaign has already helped get the fantastic shops and attractions we have locally back on their feet after a tricky last few years. But with one in ten jobs in the West of England being in the tourism and hospitality trades, it is critical that we go further to develop the West’s tourism offer to residents and tourists alike - and secure the investment we need to go much further to support businesses and jobs across our great region. I look forward to working with Visit West on this opportunity to drive our regional economy by creating better quality jobs for residents, and show even more people across our region, and right across the country, that the West is ready to welcome them - by showcasing the very best our region has to offer.” 

About Visit West: The Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) for Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. It supports the visitor economy of the region which is worth £2.33billion and supports 45,000 jobs. Visit West operates the Meet Bristol & Bath Convention Bureau and Visit Bristol and Visit Bath consumer websites. 




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