Three-year tourism marketing campaign for the Cotswolds
THE Cotswolds are "more than just a view", tourism chiefs are boasting.
The area's new official tourism guide for the 2013 season is out and it wants potential visitors to see more than just the picturesque hills of the county.
Research by Cotswolds Tourism earlier in the year got visitors' perspectives of the area.
And although many of those coming to the area were familiar with its iconic landscapes, tourism chiefs now want to find a way to make them stay longer, and see and spend more.
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The marketing campaign, More Than Just the View, will run for three years.
Themed pages in the 2013 guide reflect what the area has to offer from both the past, and the modern era, in terms of food and drink, endorsed by the Fabulous Baker Brothers, to family fun on a budget.
Among the events it names are the Ukulele Festival, Tewkesbury Medieval Festival and Winchcombe Walking Festival. The races and Cheltenham's main four festivals also feature.
Chris Dee, tourism manager of Cotswolds Tourism said: "Visitors are familiar with our honey-coloured villages and iconic landscapes – the main appeal of the destination.
"Our aim now is to go further beyond that to win longer stays and higher income from visitors by doing more to promote the Cotswolds' cultural appeal.
"Fortunately, the destination's year-round diary of festivals and events is genuinely impressive".
Tourism chiefs said the main objective of the guide was to encourage higher spending overnight visitors to stay in the Cotswolds, and to get visitors to spread out to all parts of the Cotswolds and not just the traditional tourist honey pots.
Latest tourism figures show Gloucestershire had around 1,722,000 visitors in 2010 – with nearly 1.5 million coming from the UK and the rest overseas.
The industry brings in nearly £850 million to the local economy annually and helps to employ more than 22,000 people.
Many businesses from across the area back the guide with their own funds and distribution will start soon.
See www.cotswolds.com for more information.