Why £100m is ‘only the tip of the iceberg’

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A new scheme designed to boost tourism in the Lincolnshire Wolds will deliver a massive shot-in-the-arm to the region’s economy, it has been claimed.

East and West Lindsey district councils have teamed up for the first time to promote the Wolds as a major tourist destination.

With support from neighbouring North and North East Lincolnshire councils, East and West Lindsey have produced a ‘destination plan’.

It aims to put the Wolds on the regional, national and international map as a tourist ‘hot-spot’.

Speaking at the launch of the scheme in Horncastle last week, ELDC’s deputy leader Coun Graham Marsh revealed the visitor economy in the Wolds was worth around £100m-a-year.

However, he described that as the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and said the Wolds had ‘massive untapped potential’ as a tourist destination.

Owners of many tourism-related businesses in East and West Lindsey heard details of the new scheme and gave it a resounding thumbs up.

The scheme will feature a new branding logo - ‘Love Lincolnshire Wolds’.

There will also be a website (lovelincolnshirewolds.com) which will provide a hub of information for visitors.

As well as providing details of major attractions, events and accommodation, the website will allow organisations and businesses to create and manage their own listings.

Coun Marsh said the initiative between the neighbouring councils was ‘long overdue’. Previously, each authority was responsible for their own marketing and promotion of the Wolds.

He said: “The Wolds is a popular destination for couples, families and retired people who come to the area for walking, cycling, relaxing, markets and nature reserves.

“They help generate something like £100m every year but that is very much the tip of the iceberg.

“The potential (for tourism) is massively untapped.”

Essentially, the plan aims to make the Wolds a more popular destination in their own right, rather than relying on ‘day trippers’ from the coastal area.

ELDC has previously admitted that much of it’s tourism promotion was aimed at coastal towns like Skegness, instead of market towns like Louth, Horncastle, Market Rasen and Spilsby.

The destination plan has taken two years to draw up and businesses were told many improvements and additions were already in the pipeline.

It is hoped the new website - along with social media - will help generate interest from home and abroad.

ELDC leader Coun Craig Leyland welcomed the scheme as a ‘major step forward’ for the region.

He also confirmed both East and West Lindsey district councils were pressing for much-needed improvements to local infra-structure including transport links and faster broadband speeds.