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East Midlands Chamber News

New Chairman and new era for Peak tourist board

Paul Jones (right) with Paul Roden and Jo DilleyFirm foundations laid over the past four years have paved the way for an even brighter and more secure future for tourism in the Peak District and Derbyshire.

That was the message from the incoming Chairman of official tourist board Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, Paul Jones, as he took over the helm from outgoing Chairman Paul Roden last week..

“Since Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire was reorganised in 2014, so much has been achieved to keep it moving forward to address the ever-changing demands and challenges of the competitive tourism industry,” said Paul Jones, Marketing & Communications Director of The Camping and Caravanning Club, one of the tourist board’s Patrons.

“During Paul Roden’s chairmanship, huge progress has been made in putting the tourist board on a sustainable financial footing, creating a responsive infrastructure to take it forward and devising and taking part in creative and innovative marketing campaigns to attract more staying visitors from both the UK and overseas.

“I’ll be looking to consolidate and build upon the hard work that has already been done, by supporting Managing Director Jo Dilley and her outstanding team to offer an even more effective service in the future.”

Since 2014, Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire has:

* Secured £1.49m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to finance a comprehensive, three-year business support programme, currently being delivered until March 2019

* Successfully bid – with a range of other tourist boards and partners – for around £5.2m from VisitBritain’s Discover England Fund to bring in more staying visitors from key overseas markets such as Australia, China, Germany, The Netherlands and the USA

* Revamped and relaunched its website to make it more customer friendly and responsive when searching for accommodation, attractions, activities and events in the area

* Run carefully targeted multi-media marketing campaigns, such as ‘The Land to Forget Time’ (aimed at affluent 25- to 35-year-olds) and the current #Unique District (aimed at a variety of audiences, including millennials, empty nesters, groups and camping and caravanning enthusiasts)

* Organised scores of educational visits for national and international media, online influencers and travel trade buyers across the UK and in key overseas markets – including leading titles such as The Times and Sunday Times, The Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph and The Guardian, plus growing markets such as China, Germany and the USA

* Restructured its skilled and committed team to heighten the area’s profile at home and abroad and provide an even better service for visitors, members, Patrons and public and private sector partners

Paul added: “I’m delighted to take over the role of Chairman at such a pivotal time for the tourist board. Our two organisations have had a long and mutually beneficial relationship – we work very creatively together and complement each other.

”Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire was the first tourist board we actively partnered with, and our strong working links have been so successful that we have used them as a blueprint for working with other destination management organisations across the UK.

“I will be aiming to bring added value in areas such as membership, finance and partnership working. I’m also keen to actively support the tourist board’s mission to encourage more people to come and stay here and to extend their stays, so that they spend more in the local economy to support jobs and boost overall prosperity – that’s very important.

“I want to be an effective ambassador for the organisation and for the Peak District and Derbyshire, and am both excited by, and very much looking forward to, the challenge.”

Outgoing Chairman Paul Roden, owner of Losehill House Hotel & Spa, Hope, who took up the post in June 2014, said: “The past four years have proved to be a busy and rewarding phase for Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, as it successfully negotiated a period of transition after reorganisation in late 2014 to keep pace with the constantly evolving tourism market.

“It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to be part of this crucial phase in its development, and I would like to thank all the members of its small, but dedicated team for their hard work and commitment, as well as all our public and private sector partners, Patrons and members for their continuing loyalty and support.

“I wish them and my successor, Paul Jones, every success as they embark on another exciting phase to further develop and grow the tourism sector for the benefit of local businesses, residents and the local and regional economy.”

The handover took place at The Camping and Caravanning Club’s Hayfield campsite, Kinder Road, Hayfield, High Peak, www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/derbyshire/highpeak/hayfield, on the eve of the Club’s popular annual celebration, National Camping and Caravanning Week (28 May to 3 June 2018).

Fronted by TV presenter, Club President and friend of the Peak District Julia Bradbury, this year’s campaign will encourage people to get involved by camping and walking in the great outdoors: www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/newsandevents/nccw/.