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GORDON HENDERSON MP

FOR SITTINGBOURNE & SHEPPEY

Island tourism discussed over breakfast

5th April 2012
Island tourism discussed over breakfast

Ways to promote and encourage tourism on the Isle of Sheppey were discussed at a breakfast hosted by Gordon Henderson MP.

The breakfast, which took place on Friday (30th March) at the Shurland Hotel in Eastchurch, was attended by 40 representatives of tourism-related businesses and organisations, including Visit Britain, who used the opportunity to discuss how to stop the decline in the number of visitors to the Island each year.

The Sheppey Tourism Alliance also used the breakfast to launch their new Visit Sheppey website (www.visitsheppey,com), brochure and DVD, which should encourage the organisations to work together and promote what the Island has to offer.

Heather Thomas-Pugh, Chairwoman of the Sheppey Tourism Alliance said:

"The high level of interest shown at the breakfast meeting indicated to us at the Sheppey Tourism Alliance, that the issue of communication within the island's tourism providers has been sadly lacking in the past. We hope to remedy this and develop our current Visit Sheppey website facilities and brochure to accommodate this expanding market."

One of the main concerns raised was the lack of signage on the M2 and A249 directing visitors to the Island. Mr Henderson has agreed to take this further with the Highways Agency.

Mr Henderson said:

“Like many of my constituents, I would like to see the Island return to the thriving tourist destination it once was and I am keen to work with local businesses and organsations to make this happen.

“I think we should be promoting the Island as much as possible as it has a fantastic heritage, excellent beaches and a number of beautiful natural attractions of which we should be proud.”

A number of recent efforts have been made in an effort to revitalise the Island including the submission of bids to the Portas Pilot Scheme and the Coastal Communities Fund. If successful this money will provide an additional boost for the Island alongside the £1 million from the Big Local Trust, which was recently granted to Eastchurch, Leysdown and Warden over 10 years.

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