A five year Strategy has been drawn up to help Coventry build its reputation as a tourism destination.
The ‘Coventry Tourism Strategy 2019-2023’ has been created after a year of research and interviews with people and organisations connected with the industry in the city.
It aims to help the city benefit from its roles as European City of Sport 2019 and UK City of Culture 2021, as well from hosting other major events such as the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 when Coventry will be the host for netball.
By 2023, the aim is for the city to be recognised as a host for major events, a short-break destination and a business tourism destination, attracting more than 10 million visitors a year.
It is hoped that people will see the city as a leading visitor destination and that residents will be even more proud, active ambassadors of their city.
Tourism in Coventry currently generates around £385m a year, attracting around eight million visitors a year and supports almost 7,000 jobs.
However, research over the past year has found that the city has huge potential for growth, with a need for more accommodation and more co-ordinated marketing. It also found that visitors, do not on average, spend as much money in the city as in other destinations and that Coventry needs a bigger online presence to boost awareness of all it has to offer.
The Strategy would see the creation of a new partnership to promote tourism in the city, which would feature a range of organisations, bringing their own skills and knowledge.
The partnership would lead work in a number of areas to promote the city as a destination, from ‘Family Fun’, including venues like the new waterpark, to celebrating the city’s iconic buildings and its medieval stories and history.
The partnership would use the city’s story as the home of innovation and industry for the bike and car, and would celebrate the city’s musical past and present. There will also be work to improve the shopping offer and food and drink choices, linked to wider developments in the city.
There will also be work around sport and leisure as well as boosting the conference industry.
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration, said: “Our strong partnership working in the city has already had great success and brought us the titles of UK City of Culture and European City of Sport.
“By bringing together experts from different areas, we believe this strategy will see Coventry become a popular and well recognised tourism destination.
“We have an amazing city with a fascinating history and a thriving arts scene. The city is growing and there is a real buzz around the centre now.
“We have new restaurants, new attractions on the way and a very exciting time ahead and this strategy will help us build on that, strengthen our city and create something special for the people who live here – as well as the millions who will come to visit us.
“This strategy also makes a clear link between tourism and a successful economy. Thriving, successful cities attract lots of visitors and that’s what we want for our city.”
If approved, projects in the coming year would include making the city more welcoming, improving cleanliness, and campaigns to promote, with residents, the attractions ‘on their doorstep’.
Councillors will hear that work to promote tourism will be boosted by other developments around the city, including improvements to the city centre, parking, digital infrastructure and works to improve the roads.
If councillors give their backing, the Strategy will be launched immediately and a Destination Partnership will be formed.
The plans will be discussed at a meeting of Cabinet on Tuesday 27 November.