English Riviera Tourism Company Does Business in Berlin
PUBLISHED: 15:31 04 April 2011 | UPDATED: 19:08 20 February 2013
Carolyn Custerson, Chief Executive and Lydia Stone, Brand Executive for the ERTC were just two of a record 170,000 people who travelled from 94 different countries to attend ITB Berlin, the biggest travel exhibition in the world.
Carolyn Custerson, Chief Executive and Lydia Stone, Brand Executive for the ERTC were just two of a record 170,000 people who travelled from 94 different countries to attend ITB Berlin, the biggest travel exhibition in the world. Carolyn and Lydia opened the doors to important new agreements in their week-long bid to attract new business for the English Riviera.
The key purpose for attending ITB, said Carolyn, was to attract new inbound overseas tour operators to the resort through targeted promotion of the Agatha Christie legacy as a key part of the ERTCs pro-active destination marketing activity. As a result of the ERTC attending ITB, I am confident that we have provisionally secured close to one million pounds of new business over the next two to three years, which of course, is great news for the English Rivieras tourism economy.
There were over 11,000 exhibitors said Lydia, so we had significant competition from destinations from all over the world but the response to the ERTCs new Agatha Christie promotions , including the new Agatha Christie Literary Trail and the new Agatha Christie Experience for group operators was absolutely tremendous. The ERTC sought to gain maximum benefit for the English Riviera from the wide age range of people that Agatha Christie attracts, knowing that her novels are taught as part of the national curriculum in so many German speaking countries. It was great to see so many young people coming to the stand and this clearly demonstrates the long term potential in Agatha Christies Riviera and a clear desire within the German market, to visit and holiday in England.
Being part of the Visit Britain stand had a real buzz about it said Carolyn, with the ERTC stand positioned alongside some of the countries biggest destinations including London, Bath and Cornwall. It was also great to see John Penrose, the UK Minister for Tourism visiting ITB and supporting us all. With my tour operating background I have such confidence in the Agatha Christie legacy as it provides the English Riviera with a unique hook to attract more overseas visitors. The ERTC will be focusing more on overseas promotion as part of their Business Plan as insufficient emphasis has been put on marketing the English Riviera overseas in the past. We need to correct that quickly. You only have to see what new business Rosamunde Pilcher has generated for Cornwall to appreciate what the Agatha Christie legacy could do for the English Riviera. But we must all focus on the need to continually develop new and compelling tourism products and to collaboratively promote much harder.
Working effectively with the ERTCs 300 plus business partners will now be so important, said Lydia. The tour operators we met are looking to develop combined accommodation and attraction packages very quickly. Once we have the partners in place, they will be fully promoted back in Germany via the well known operators w are working with and through the significant network of 10,000 plus travel agents that operate across the country. If we get enough interest from our business partners, the ERTC will also support the key operators and invest in attending some of the largest consumer travel shows in Stuttgart, Hamburg and Munich next January. This will be in addition to hosting, in collaboration with Visit Cornwall and Visit Devon, a Travel Agents familiarisation visit to include the English Riviera later in the year.
We are definitely planning to return to ITB 2012, said Carolyn, because overseas markets such as Germany are likely to become increasingly valuable to the local economy with such overseas visitors typically staying longer. We planned carefully before we went to ITB this year to ensure that we were well prepared. Everything we took with us had been translated into German thanks to Torquay Boys' Grammar School who were a great support. We learnt a lot in Berlin and will now also be focusing on developing a new international Agatha Christie Passport that we willpromote when we return. This promotional initiative will be in addition to the hugely successful new Agatha Christie film which includes live footage and which was distributed on DVDs in Berlin. We will now consolidate the work done in Berlin and ensure that the ERTCs business partners have every opportunity to benefit from the additional business we have secured.