A specially designed training and coaching programme has been set up by Visit Essex, the county’s official tourism organisation, to boost new tourism businesses in Essex this year.
The programme, funded through Essex County Council’s economic growth fund, has just been launched and is open to Essex businesses, which have been operational for 18 months or less, or looking to start up within the next 12 months in the tourism, leisure or hospitality industry.
Free training courses will be held to cover topics such as customer service and marketing and offer business support; ensuring businesses not only survive, but succeed. They will also get the opportunity to meet other Essex start-ups at these courses and can benefit from free one to one business advice from tourism experts and will receive a free business toolkit as a legacy of the programme.
Visit Essex Chairman George Kieffer said: “These start-ups are vital to tourism development in Essex. Not only does it increase the tourism offer, therefore, giving a new reason for people to visit, but it also adds to the visitor experience and helps to improve the quality of the experience. The vast majority of tourism businesses are small to medium sized enterprises (SME’s) and we want to give them as much support as we can.”
County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth; Infrastructure; Waste and Recycling said: “Essex is a wonderful county to showcase and with over 55,000 people currently employed within tourism in Essex, it is important that we protect this vital industry. We want to see tourism thrive in 2015 and beyond and are working to protect, if not increase, the £2.9 billion that it brings in to the Essex economy.”
As part of the project, tourism professionals and entrepreneurs will be talking to college and university students about the benefits of starting up a business in the tourism industry.
If you are a business that has recently set up in Essex over the past 18 months or are planning to open a business in the tourism industry in 2015 and would like to benefit from this programme please contact Tracey Parker- Tourism Business Officer firstname.lastname@example.org