The tourism organisation which represents businesses based on Dartmoor is planning to up its game as part of a push to bring more visitors into the National Park.
The Dartmoor Partnership plans to move from a voluntary organisation into one that will professionally market the wider Dartmoor area as an all year round, high end tourism destination.
Its CEO Caroline Webster said that the area needed to embark on an “aggressive” game of catch-up.
She said: “There has been little or no overt promotional activity for Dartmoor over a number of years.
“Promoting travel and tourism is an effective means of supporting economic development across the area, in part, because the industry cuts across and is linked to, many other industries in the economy, generating additional demand in a wide range of services and professions.
“Visitors, whether they be from far afield, or our neighbouring cities of Plymouth and Exeter, don’t just spend in the hotels, B&Bs and cottages. They spend in our shops, pubs, restaurants, cafes, attractions, farmers markets and events. These businesses then support other local traders with their own requirements.”
Ms Webster said that in the face of government spending cuts, businesses could no longer expect the public sector to fund tourism marketing.
“Our future is in our own hands and it’s up to us to work together to develop and deliver new marketing activity that will reach new target markets, increase visitor numbers and create the environment for visitors to do more, stay longer and spend more and in so doing, support the retail, farming and supplier sectors that trade in the Greater Dartmoor area,” she said. “Our strategy is very simple; if you want people to know you exist then you need to shout very loudly to attract their attention and tell them what you do.”
The Dartmoor Partnership is a not-for-profit organisation created from a collaboration of the British Institute of Innkeepers, the National Park Authority, the Duchy of Cornwall, the Dartmoor Farmers, the business community and councils.