New tourism body officially launches

Shakespeares England, the destination management organisation for Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Kenilworth, Royal Leamington Spa and the surrounding area has officially launched. The event took place on Tuesday 22 October at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon and saw around 150 local and regional tourism businesses and organisations in attendance to mark the occasion. Shakespeares England is also delighted to announce that Tanya Aspinwall from Marketing Aloud has joined the organisation as the new PR consultant.

Shakespeares England is public-private partnership set up by tourism businesses and cultural organisations in South Warwickshire and beyond, along with Stratford and Warwick District Councils. Its remit is to market and manage the areas visitor economy. This will be achieved in part by a core funding agreement from the two councils of 150,000 per year for the next three years as well as private sector funding contributions.

The not-for-profit organisation has already been busy promoting the district both nationally and internationally and has also worked together with the countrys national tourist board, VisitEngland, on a number of high profile domestic marketing campaigns.

David Collins, Chair of Shakespeares England and Royal Shakespeare Company Head of Marketing said: Its a testament to the strength of feeling amongst tourism businesses in our region that so many people attended the launch of Shakespeares England. Businesses large and small are passionate about promoting and managing this destination properly. We look forward to working in partnership to make Shakespeares England a truly successful destination, attracting more visitors from across the UK and around the world.

A number of leading attractions across the region have already joined Shakespeares England, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Warwick Castle and Kenilworth Castle. The organisation is looking to increase its membership from all sectors of the tourism industry including hospitality and retail.

Robin Tjolle, Destination Manager for Shakespeares England said: "We have a fantastic opportunity coming up over the next couple of years with the various anniversaries and celebrations in the region from 2014-2016, so it is great that the tourism businesses are working together to promote this area in the best possible way. Shakespeare's England will be working with all our partners to make sure that we can take advantage of these opportunities and work together to develop and grow tourism in our area."

Councillor Maurice Howse, Enterprise, Housing & Revenues Portfolio for Stratford-on-Avon District Council said: Stratford-on-Avon District Council is really proud to be a part of this exciting project that will lead to a sustainable tourism offer, not only for Stratford-upon-Avon but the region too. The District Council believes that it is through this public-private partnership approach that the best results can be achieved for us all. There is no doubt that it will support our local businesses and develop the local economy by producing growth and jobs.

Councillor John Hammon, Portfolio Holder for Development Services, Warwick District Council said: Warwick District Council has committed to working with businesses to grow an industry worth over 225 million per annum, that supports almost 5,000 jobs in Warwick District alone and which supports a quality of life for our residents. We believe working in a joined up and co-ordinated way with all our partners in Shakespeares England can only benefit the area and its businesses.

The event also saw the launch of the brand new website which contains information on holiday ideas, things to do and places to stay in the region.

Shakespeares England is a partnership for tourism businesses large or small and anyone interested in joining should contact Gemma Morris at for more details.

Photo credit: From left to right Robin Tjolle (Destination Manager, Shakespeares England), Jenny McGee (Enterprise Director, VisitEngland) and David Collins (Head of Marketing, Royal Shakespeare Company & Chair, Shakespeares England)

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