Ready to turn up the HEAT

The tourist industry is having a particularly difficult time this year, a new board has been set up to make plans for the future of the industry.

Councillor Colin Davie, executive councillor for economy and place at Lincolnshire County Council.
Councillor Colin Davie, executive councillor for economy and place at Lincolnshire County Council.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Cllr Colin Davie, who also sits on the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (GLLEP) has set up a Tourism Commission, with industry representatives from across greater Lincolnshire and Rutland.

Ahead of its first virtual meeting earlier this week, Cllr Davie said: “Over the next six months we will be discussing the challenges we are facing, such as how to encourage more year-round tourism and get better real-time data, as well as how to best play to our strengths and deliver change.

“By having a joined up offer and vision, we will be best placed to take advantage of new opportunities and give our tourism sector a strong future.”

The Commission is made up of private sector representatives, who will propose a future for the tourist industry that they feel will get local buy-in.

Tim Downing, Director at Pygott and Crone, said: “Lincolnshire has such a fantastic and varied tourism offering and it’s great to see a strong group of businesses and individuals who are passionate about our wonderful county, looking to work with the LEP to look at how we can promote the region to regional, national and international tourists and visitors.

“Now is more important than ever to be proactive and make sure the county’s visitor economy benefits from the renewed interest in UK-based tourism.”

Gary Headland, CEO at the Lincoln College Group, said: “The Greater Lincolnshire and Rutland area has enormous potential from a hospitality, events, arts and tourism (HEAT) perspective.

“I am pleased to be able to participate in the commission, providing input on employment and skills, as well as an international perspective which I think is really relevant.

“At our first meeting we had a great group of people with loads of ideas to help the companies operating in the HEAT environment to re-grow and prosper once conditions allow.”

A final report from the Tourism Commission will be produced in late February, 2021.

Cllr Davie added: “There is much change happening.

“The Commission plans to meet six times, and ultimately have a clear goal of where we want our sector to be and how we will achieve that.

“Once we have produced our recommendations, if we then disband – that’s absolutely fine. We’ve done our job.”