Visit Greenwich Business Plan

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1 Visit Greenwich Business Plan Introduction This business plan encapsulates all of the activities that Visit Greenwich and its partners will undertake to begin to deliver the priorities and actions set out in the Destination Management Plan The first year for Visit Greenwich was essentially about setting up the necessary infrastructure for delivery and making the company fit for purpose. This year, and the details outlined in this plan, is much more about delivery and moving into campaign mode. We are now in a much stronger place than 12 months ago. Our Board has been strengthened and governance improved with the creation of the Audit Group and Marketing Steering Group, both of which report directly to the main Board. We have worked hard to inspire and motivate the private sector to work with us and see the value of the destination brand. 88 companies have now signed up to work with us (see Appendix 1 for details). We have invested in much needed, up to date, new visitor research and performance management systems and these will feed our new Destination Performance Dashboard system (see appendix 2 for details) which will allow us to monitor the performance of our sector on a monthly basis. Our new marketing and brand identity time after time and marketing toolkit will help to shape our marketing campaigns and influence the messages carried by our partners within their own communications channels and campaigns. The toolkit will be constantly updated and refreshed and if adopted well will ensure that our brand reach will be amplified by our partners. New marketing collateral has been created for the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Events (MICE) sector, cruise and leisure sectors. And our new responsive website and ICT platform which has recently gone live, puts us in a great position to reach far more visitors and help them discover Greenwich on the go once they are here in destination as well as before they arrive. Our stakeholders have agreed that the Greenwich Welcome should be improved and plans are now in place with the WHS and RBG to implement new welcome signage and way-finding totems across the World Heritage Site, hopefully for late summer of The foundations are now set and we are ready for take- off. Strategic Context - Five Year Destination Management Plan The five year growth plan was launched on 22 nd October and was well received. The plan sets out a road map for growth and describes the nature of the interventions which could bring about a growth of c 28% over the 5 year period, creating some c3,000 jobs. In essence what the plan demonstrates is that the growth will be realised through changing the nature of our tourism sector not just growing it in volume. Increased capacity and scale of our hotel offer, the development of new markets plus better packaging and promotion of our existing offer will generate this growth. We need higher yield tourism, not necessarily more volume. Progress against the plan will be monitored on an annual basis and we will organise an annual review event to highlight progress made and challenges remaining. We will also monitor tourism performance on a monthly basis via the Destination Dashboard. The executive summary of the five year plan can be found in Appendix 3. 1

2 Visit Greenwich Destination Targets 2014 to 2018 Value of Tourism to Greenwich (direct plus indirect impact prices) A range of targets have been set to measure economic impact and job creation. New data will be fed into the STEAM model and updated on an annual basis performance will be available in March The Value of Tourism to Greenwich Increase REVENUE ( m) Revenue-Direct Revenue-Indirect S/T Revenue-Direct + Indirect 1, , ,210 1, , , JOBS Jobs-Direct 9,806 10,246 10,682 11,143 11,631 12,148 2,342 Jobs-Indirect 4,234 4,406 4,593 4,791 5,001 5, S/T Jobs-Direct + Indirect 14,040 14,652 15,275 15,934 16,632 17,371 3,331 2

3 Key Challenges We Face We have many challenges and they will all be different in terms of the time and resources required to deliver them. In 2015 we need to: 1. Begin to reposition the Greenwich brand as a short breaks and major events proposition, not just a day out 2. Communicate the relative ease of getting to Greenwich from central London 3. Make Greenwich more welcoming and easier to get around 4. Package our offer better, making Greenwich easier to buy online and offline 5. Ensure we spread the benefits of tourism growth across the whole of the Borough 6. Generate better synergies and market opportunities between the WHS and The Peninsula 7. Work with existing businesses, RBG, land owners and developers to shape and develop our product offer 8. Promote tourism and hospitality as a great career path for local people 9. Demonstrate the value of business tourism and as a bridge to inward investment opportunities 10. Clearly show the benefits of partnership working to our commercial partners and the value that can be added by joining forces and getting behind the Greenwich brand 3

4 Objective Time Frame Resources Short, Medium, Long Light, Medium, Heavy 1. Begin to reposition the Greenwich brand as a short breaks and major events proposition, not just a day out L H 2. Communicate the relative ease of getting to Greenwich from central London L H 3. Make Greenwich more welcoming and easier to get around M M 4. Package our offer better, making Greenwich easier to buy online and offline M L 5. Ensure we spread the benefits of tourism growth across the whole of the Borough L M 6. Generate better synergies and market opportunities between the WHS and The Peninsula M L 7. Work with existing businesses, RBG, land owners and developers to shape and develop our product offer L L 8. Promote tourism and hospitality as a great career path for local people S L 9. Demonstrate the value of business tourism and as a bridge to inward investment opportunities L M 10. Clearly show the benefits of partnership working to our commercial partners and the value that can be added by joining forces and getting behind the Greenwich brand M M Note: short term = < 1 year, medium term = 2-3 years, long term = 4 years + 4

5 Corporate Targets Commercial partners Partner Retention rate 100% >90% Website traffic unique users 700,000 pa 750,000pa Website average usage time 2.5 mins 3 mins TIC footfall 330, ,000 Total commercial income 450, ,000 TIC income 250, ,000 Public-private funding 46% 43% Annual surplus 2,000 10,000 Campaign ROI n/a >15:1 Critical Success Factors We need to: Retain a strong and committed strategic Board Recognise the power of our attack brands within the Borough i.e. WHS, Cutty Sark, The O2 and use to sell our whole offer Retain our commercial partners Ensure continued strategic and funding support from RBG Acquire new, selected partners Ensure our Partners adopt the destination brand and marketing toolkit content in their own channels and campaigns Ensure all partners overtly promote visitgreenwich.org.uk within their channels Encourage our partners to think destination when setting own marketing plans and budgets Continue to develop the skills and confidence of the Executive team Ensure our marketing steering group are inputting at the highest level and are investing in new destination led activities Ensure our executive team is excellent in everything it does and to adopt best practices Be mindful of our every changing environment and ensure we are quick to adapt and change if need be 5

6 Core Delivery Programmes 1. Destination Marketing Key Challenges Addressed 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 Programme highlights: New national campaign pilot Increased focus on travel trade Venues Greenwich bidding unit New products sold to international cruise trade New content strategy for website We have developed a new creative approach for our marketing campaign activity. The new Hemisphere Straddling creative approach can be found in appendix 5. This will be used along with our brand toolkit to provide a consistent framework for all of our destination marketing activities. Leisure market: UK based short break takers planning a break in London, culture vultures Visitors already in London looking for things to do Local and regional day visitors sightseers, concert goes and shoppers Overseas tourists Heritage driven and primarily from USA/Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia. We need to raise our profile on every aspect of the visitor journey. We need to target people when they are planning their trips and we need to target visitors once they arrive in London. The two most powerful and cost effective marketing tools to raise profile at planning stage are PR and on-line marketing. Well positioned editorial content and targeting banner advertising, using authoritative media, will raise our profile to people who are already interested in visiting London. New on-line techniques, using artificial intelligence can be used to reach people who match the behavioural profiles of people already using our website. We will trial this approach in the lead up to Easter via a pilot campaign and scale up and roll out thereafter. We will recruit a freelance PR consultant to create news stories and features and actively target national travel supplements to present Greenwich as a short break destination. We will encourage press visits from national travel supplements and London leisure titles for a visit, themed to our key messages views, mix of old/new, stay over. We will audit all Travel Guidebooks which carry Greenwich content and engage with publishers to update the content and make more relevant to cover the New Greenwich message also. Outdoor advertising will reach the masses at key transport gateways and advertising/editorial in key planning publications will reach those who are actively researching what to do once here in London. 6

7 Key promotional messages: Greenwich is the The home of time and the centre of the world we have a global profile because of GMT We have a world class offer a UNESCO World Heritage Site and The O2, the world s number 1 music and entertainment venue just 8 minutes apart We have an amazing hidden Greenwich offer in the Borough We offer great value for money (for London) We offer a great base for London with excellent and enjoyable transport links e.g. Thames Clippers We have a 2 night/3 day offer with at least 15 things to do There is a new Greenwich emerging on The Peninsula An extract from our marketing toolkit: Visit Greenwich, the place where hemispheres meet and royal heritage combines with contemporary architecture. It s home to a World Heritage Site, The O2 arena, Britain s only urban cable car, London s prettiest Royal Park and the Prime Meridian of the World - longitude zero. Get here in 20 minutes by Docklands Light Railway and wander through Greenwich Park to the Royal Observatory and the Planetarium, or fly 90m high on the Emirates Air Line into a world class show at The O2 arena. Whatever your interest there s something you ll love - fabulous baroque artistry in the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College, designer-maker arts and crafts in Greenwich Market, and the beautifully conserved Cutty Sark, the fastest ship of her age. Explore Britain s momentous naval history at the National Maritime Museum and enjoy the views in a riverside pub. Speed down the river in a streamlined catamaran or cruise through London s landmarks to Greenwich, the mighty Thames Barrier and the historic Royal Arsenal in Woolwich. There s too much to see in just one day so book into a luxurious local hotel, apartment or comfortable B&B and stay a while Greenwich is always worth a little extra time! We will also raise the profile of our events calendar. Key events that we will promote will include: Major events at The O2 e.g. Elvis, ATP tennis etc. Be a local tourist in Eltham - March Eltham Palace reopening April London Marathon - April Greenwich + Docklands International Festival - June Greenwich Music Time - July Tall Ships at Woolwich - August 7

8 Greenwich Comedy Festival - September Open House London September Totally Thames September Samuel Pepys and The Navy - November 2016 Queen s House re-opens/400 th anniversary exhibition and events We will support Visit England s national campaigns when their themes match our product e.g. we are investing in their England s Historic Spots campaign this springtime. For overseas markets the most cost effective way to access these markets is to partner with London & Partners and/or Visit Britain on relevant campaigns e.g. USA. Overseas markets will also be targeted via the international travel trade, so our new re-established links with UKInbound will be increasingly important for us. Our website visitgreenwich.org.uk is our primary second stage platform i.e. this is the go to resource for people who are now interested in visiting Greenwich. Our new website has been built on a responsive platform, which means it will work just as effectively on smart phones or tablets as it will on a traditional desktop pc. We will promote real time offers to our visitors via the site and through our social media channels, especially on Twitter where we now have c 4,500 followers. Our site is highly optimised for key searches such as Greenwich and over time we will need to ensure the site is optimised for other searches e.g. Hotels in Greenwich. More importantly our new content strategy is very different to our current one. Whilst we will still carry large amounts of directory style content we will increasingly push this to the background of the site and increasingly link to our partners websites instead. The core of our new website will be news and events driven. The copy style adopt a this week in Greenwich style and tone. We will add value by being seen as a travel writer and not a tourism board. Our content will be inspirational, fresh, seasonal, topical and most importantly will help our visitors to get the most out of their visit to Greenwich and the whole Borough it will also be increasingly driven by using our partners own content. We need to create a digital community in Greenwich to create and share rich content. We will encourage feedback and word spreading from our visitors via social media and we will capture cookie profiles and addresses to allow us to re-contact visitors with to revisit the Borough. It is important that we grow these channels so that we can promote tactical offers quickly and efficiently. The cruise sector is incredibly important for us. The cruise market is high yield and it also attracts huge global media coverage. The redesigned cruise port, planned for Enderby Wharf in 2017, will be promoted to the international Cruise trade at the key global exhibitions e.g. Cruise Shipping Miami. We will work with London City Cruise port to raise awareness of Greenwich as both a destination in its own right and as a gateway into London. We will carefully select products that the Cruise trade (ground handlers and excursion agents) can package and sell to international cruise passengers. These will be presented to the trade in March 2015 and throughout the year. 8

9 Business tourism: UK travel trade UK based inbound travel trade MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, events), buyers key affinity sector focus e.g. digital/ict Our current Venues Greenwich project which has been used to target the business tourist market will take on a new direction. We will still continue to target conference buyers, produce a Venues Guide, conference toolkit and website but we will also develop a new Bidding Unit. This bidding unit will generate new intelligence and resources to target association business across the world. In particular it will target sectors where there is a clear link or affinity to Greenwich. We will have more success targeting key sectors where we have a story to tell rather than just list a range of venues and prices. This approach will not only bring in new high spending visitors to our destination but also attract key decision makers who could be future investors. For example if Greenwich wants to grow its ICT/Digital sector, one effective way of doing this is to attract the major global conferences and its decision makers from this sector. The bidding unit will work closely with the University of Greenwich to exploit its global academic links and also the Royal Borough of Greenwich too. Strategic venues such as The O2, RMG, ORNC and the new Intercontinental Hotel will play a key role also. We are looking to work with the University via a knowledge transfer partnership to create the much needed new research function to identify the national and international association events that we can compete for. See appendix 4 for more details. Travel trade: The travel trade is particularly important to reach overseas and groups markets. London is well positioned as many of the global operators have a base in London. Our focus next year will be to be more proactive with the operators on our doorstep. We need to educate the operators about our offer to ensure they promote us to their client base. We will target 40 of the biggest operators who are based in London but are not placing huge amounts of business into Greenwich. Our focus will be on the US, German and French markets in particular and will build relationships on a one to one basis with all operators. We will work closely with UK Inbound (re-joined as a member), Visit Britain, Visit England, London & Partners and England s Heritage Cities. 2. Visitor Services Key Challenges Addressed 3, 4, 5, 6 Programme highlights: TIC/Discover Greenwich review with Greenwich Foundation Welcome to Greenwich/signage at WHS On-line ticketing trial 9

10 Tourist Information Centre (TIC) We operate an excellent TIC, an award winning TIC. The centre receives about 340,000 visitors per year, many of which are from overseas. We offer a great service, but this is a loss making service. Our strategy is to maintain a quality service but to develop new products and services to generate new revenues and reduce losses to a minimum. We want to reach out to those visitors who do not visit the TIC and to begin to charge nominal fees for some of our services where possible to reduce our deficit. New services that we are investigating the feasibility of include: Setting up a premium phone line Producing a new paid for map Creating a new Greenwich Mega Ticket (aimed at the short stay market) Setting up our own official Guided Tour service Setting up a new social media channel with Visit England (twitter) Developing a new merchandising outlet in co-operation with a key retail partner, e.g. Greenwich Foundation. Our outreach programme will be enhanced by introducing new Tourism Information Points (TIPs) with businesses that reach large volumes of visitors. E.g. Waterstones, Greenwich Post Office, Historic London shop. The TIPs will be self-service information points including visitor guides and maps. There is also an opportunity to work more closely with The Greenwich Foundation and work in a joint venture type arrangement. The current Discover Greenwich/TIC arrangement can be presented in a far more integrated way with clear opportunities to share costs and revenues. We are already in discussions with The Greenwich Foundation to set up a working group. New Welcome to Greenwich signage and a new way-finding system will hopefully be introduced in the summer of Working with the WHS steering group and Legible London we will create up to 11 information point/totems throughout the WHS. This will help visitors move around Greenwich town centre much better, increase dwell time and hopefully help to boost average spend levels. We plan to roll this out to the Peninsula and other parts of the Borough in time. Our new free Wi-Fi service will help us to capture far more addresses of our visitors and we will increasingly use twitter to provide daily updates and advice. We will continue to operate our Welcome to Greenwich training programme with the support of Greenwich Community College. The training is aimed at front line staff working in the hospitality sector and is focussed on improving knowledge of our product offer, as well as the rich history of our Borough. The visitor guide will be updated and refreshed in early summer time and we hope to produce another Explore by DLR guide. 3. Intelligence Key Challenges Addressed 7, 8, 10 Our Destination Dashboard will provide monthly performance data for our sector. Intelligence will include attractions footfall, retail footfall, hotel occupancy (STR Global) and travel numbers. Detailed 10

11 data will be provided to all strategic partners inputting into the model, but only aggregate, top level data will be distributed to all Visit Greenwich partners. The value of the dashboard is that it will provide a destination context for our local businesses. They will be then able to improve their decision making as they can view their own performance against the destination at large. We will look to invest in a new on-line version of this dashboard approach called T-stats. This system is now being used by a number of metropolitan and heritage cities across the UK. Our Visitrac system will continue to operate throughout the year and sample sizes will become increasingly robust. We will use the data to track visitor profiles and satisfaction levels over time. It will be used for example to measure any improvement in perceptions e.g. the ease of getting around Greenwich once the new way-finding system is in place. We will continue to invest in STR Global hotel occupancy system to track the performance of the accommodation sector in Greenwich, Docklands and London itself. And we will continue to use the STEAM model to measure the volume and value of the sector on a year by year basis. 4. Product Development/Place Shaping Key Challenges Addressed 1, 3, 5, 7 It is important that the Visit Greenwich Board is seen as a key influencer and lobbyist on developing and shaping our offer too. The DMP makes reference to a number of development projects and these include The Peninsula Waterfront master plan, hotel development, events development, travel and improved coach parking facilities. The Board can add strategic value by acting as an honest broker between various stakeholder groups to ensure that a destination context is reflected within project decision making. On the Peninsula Waterfront master plan we will work with all stakeholders to create a new unifying create theme that will enhance the place for visitors. It is important that the Waterfront is developed in a holistic fashion to ensure that our two biggest markets, namely at the WHS and The O2, can begin to reinforce each other much more. We work closely with transport providers to improve access into and through Greenwich. We have worked closely with Thames Clippers to support the creation of a new zone 3 ticket to make it easier and more obvious how to travel from Greenwich to The Peninsula. We are also in discussions with a number of transport providers to make Eltham easier to access from Greenwich and the WHS. We will work more closely with RBG to develop inward investment activities that supports the visitor economy. We will work with RBG and land owners to identify appropriate hotel brands and operators too. The skills agenda is critically important. We need to ensure that our local workforce is well placed to take advantage of planned growth and jobs creation in the sector. We will work closely with GLLaB, Greenwich Community College and the University of Greenwich to ensure that our sector is seen as an attractive career path for local people. We will work closely with the WHS steering group and executive to support their initiatives and bids for funding. 11

12 We will support London River Services in their aim to continue to grow river traffic and also to invest in a new and improve pier at Greenwich. And we will work with RBG and WHS to improve coach parking capacity and quality and with AEG to raise awareness of their Park and Glide service for coach operators. 5. Services for Partners Key Challenges Addressed 1, 2, 4, 6, 10 Not all of our work has to be orchestrated at a destination level. We can achieve our strategic aims by supporting the work of key partners also. We need to develop our current Member services package. The original Member benefits package was adequate for the set-up of the company but moving forward we need to develop our value proposition and develop bespoke solutions for partners. The current Partner pack has now been updated to reflect this new approach. We will look to include new business support services, training and marketing support services to the current list of benefits - and provide greater clarity about what is included within the partner fee and what isn t. A new Account/Client management system will launch in Every Partner will have a dedicated Account Manager. We will ensure we capture the broader business needs of our partners and that we develop a range of bespoke solutions for each partner rather than the current blanket approach. We hold a number of meetings with partners. This business will be launched at the end of February/early March and we will continue with our social Welcome Wednesday programme of events across the whole Borough. Details and timings of the all business plan activities can be found in Appendix 6. Commercial strategy Income growth will be generated from the following sources: Persuading existing partners to work with us at a higher level the new Account Management Programme to ensure every partner is looked after and treated like a client Generating new partners we will continue to target non partners in our sector and work with a small number of strategic partners outside of our sector, but where there is a synergy with our work e.g. housing and construction Maximising the power of our new website we will drive income through advertising sales and via pay per click initiatives We will develop new Greenwich merchandising with a key retail partner there is a huge gap in the market both for tourists and local people which we will look to exploit The development of new commercial TIC services we are keen to charge for services where we can. We have looked closely at commercial TICs in Bath, Chester, St Pauls, Windsor and Oxford to look at best practice. We believe a new paid for map, guided tours and merchandising will significantly boost our income but continue to provide value for our visitors Public/EU project funding we will look to recruit a new Funding and Finance Manager to identify the various sources of public funding that may be available to us 12

13 Key Networks and Outreach We will work with and support the following networks and business groups: World Heritage Site Executive and Steering Group SE London Chamber of Commerce Docklands Business Club Blackheath business club Eltham Town Centre Partnership ExCeL/supporters club Greenwich town centre group East Greenwich business group Greenwich Society Blackheath Society Greenwich Independents business group 13

14 Resources: Team Structure Barrie Kelly CEO Su Whiting Marketing Manager Kat Breese Marketing Executive Al Barker Digital Manager Wendy Tang Business Development Manager Sherene Wallace- Auguste Finance Executive Ales Kosejk Tourist Information Manager TIC Assistants (FTEs) Carol Bombata Marketing Assistant Michael Staples Digital Marketing Assistant Finance Assistant Casual pool 14

15 The executive team will be trained and developed throughout the year. Training needs will be identified through the appraisal system but the broad categories of training that the company will invest in will include a range of technical and broader development work including: Leadership & management Marketing Sales Social media Website analytics/seo Customer care Account/client management Business development Negotiation Appendices 1. Commercial partners - current 2. Destination Dashboard 3. DMP executive summary 4. Destination campaign new creative approach for Delivery schedule Appendices are all available on request.

16 VISIT GREENWICH BUSINESS PLAN APPENDIX 6 DELIVERY SCHEDULE PARTNER EVENTS Welcome Wednesdays Business Plan launch Power of Partnership workshop Board meetings Marketing Steering Group meetings Venues strategy group/partnership meetings tba Annual Tourism Forum JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR TRAVEL TRADE EVENTS Ukinbound / EHC workshop 15 Jan Excursions - fam trip and trade show, 23/24 Jan Explore GB, Feb Cruise Shipping Miami Cruise Europe World Travel Market VISITOR SERVICES premium phone line feasibility new map (for retail) On-line ticketing trial New guided tours service New merchandising outlet New TIPs Welcome signage/wayfinding WEBSITE Website E ticketing development MARKETING TOOLS updating marketing toolkit, seasonally/events MARKETING/PR CAMPAIGNS Visit England campaign - England's Historic Spots Rocket Fuel online test campaign Outdoor media/central London Ads in key publications, eg London Planner, Where London Short breaks PR campaign

17 Visitor guide DLR Time Out guide Update travel guides JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR BUSINESS TOURISM /BIDDING UNIT Venues destination toolkit Venues 'enquiry desk' Set up Bidding Unit RESEARCH/INTELLIGENCE Destination dashboard - inc visitrac, str global etc STEAM data collation for 2014 report Focus group research SKILLS TRAINING Welcome to Greenwich training SERVICES FOR PARTNERS Updating of partnership pack New account management system Generating new partners How's business survey VISITOR EVENTS Elvis at The O2, until end Aug. English Tourism Week, March Be A Local Tourist day, Eltham, March London Marathon, 26 April Eltham Palace re-opening Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, June Greenwich Music Time, July Sail Royal Greenwich, Aug Totally Thames, all Sept Greenwich Comedy Festival, Sept tbc Open House London,19-20 Sept NMM - Samuel Pepys and the Navy ATP at The O2 Greenwich Market Light Switch On Queen's House reopening - 400th anniversary Apr 2016

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