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Tourism Strategy

Our current Tourism Strategy. covers the three years from 2015 to 2018.

It guides the Destination Staffordshire’s activity for the period, and is aligned with the priorities of the three Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) which cover Staffordshire, all of which identify tourism as a growth sector for the county’s economy.

There is a need to improve the awareness and perception of Staffordshire tourism products amongst both actual and potential visitors. Our priority is to make more consumers aware of Staffordshire as a destination for a short break, encouraging greater volume of overnight stays, increased revenue and more employment in the industry.

In 2015, there were 24.1million trips to Staffordshire (including Stoke-on-Trent) of which 1.6million were overnight visits, generating a spend of approximately £1.7billion. This supported over 29,000 jobs, with an estimated 22,500 directly tourism-related.

This compares favourably to Shropshire (including Telford & Wrekin), which generated a spend of approximately £660million, with Staffordshire receiving more total trips – 24million compared to 15million.

Staffordshire out-performed the West Midlands region and England as a whole in terms of growth of overnight stays between 2008 and 2013. The county saw a 37% increase, against a 14.5% uplift in the West Midlands, and 6.8% growth in England.

However, Staffordshire is far behind when it comes to accommodation, with only 16,500 bed spaces compared to 23,000 in Shropshire and 39,000 in Derbyshire.

Our key audiences are categorised as: 

  • Active Leisure - ‘empty nesters’ and the newly-retired 

  • Thrill Seekers -  families with school age children 

  • Culture & Relaxation  - pre-family couples and affluent couples without children

To increase the number of Active Leisure visits, we focus on Staffordshire’s countryside, heritage, culture and food & drink, promoting the county’s offer as a walking destination and as a centre for ceramics.

For Thrill Seekers, who are pre-disposed to our world-class attractions, we promote our theme parks, adrenaline activities and family attractions.

And to grow the Culture & Relaxation audience, we feature our theatres, museums and other cultural experiences, plus our shopping attractions and spas.

Our marketing activity is detailed in the marketing plan which relies on digital delivery, using Google Display Network and social media advertising as the main driver. Also included in the plan are email marketing and offline marketing such as public relations and printed materials.

Destination Staffordshire has commissioned RH Partners, Ian Weightman Media Services and New Mind to handle marketing, PR and web services respectively.

The strategy identified the following key priorities for 2015-2018:

  • Define and articulate Staffordshire’s visitor proposition

  • Attract more staying visitors by improving the quality and range of accommodation stock

  • Develop the business tourism offer

  • Continue to demonstrate value for money to all local authorities and funders through high quality research and advocacy

  • Secure new sources of funding and diversify income generation

  • Communicate and up-sell the benefits of membership of Destination Staffordshire more effectively

  • Adopt smarter ways of working to maximise reduced funding and avoid duplication

Download a copy of the Tourism Strategy .