Torbay is an historic seaside resort – cheekily nicknamed the English Riviera! As a UNESCO Global Geopark, it unsurprisingly has some outstanding natural assets alongside its cultural venues and programmes. But how to knit these assets together into a cultural tourism strategy that works for the arts, hoteliers and fits in an events and attractions portfolio that has everything from an air show to a zoo, across a bay of three very distinct towns?
Our analysis helped to develop a bold ‘call to action’ for the destination to open itself up to cultural tourism. We presented scalable options for managed investment based on principles of authenticity and sense of place in its programming and positioning, maximising its cultural assets (historically undervalued) and building national and international sustainable partnerships with major cultural producers, as well as those just up the coast. We also highlighted opportunities to accelerate this repositioning through key moments, major events and innovative (but low cost) product development that ties the bay’s whole offer together in an attractive package.
Our insight-led framework has helped the key agencies to come together to look at how culture can add value and distinctiveness to its brand and campaigns, how digital can grow the emerging cultural tourist market, and importantly what to do next and who should do it. It has informed investments as online and in programme development.
Kate Farmery, Executive Director, Torbay Development Agency
Over £1m of Arts Council England funding through the Great Place scheme.
The Shorely (www.theshorely.com) was established in 2017 and established itself as the definitive insider’s guide to Torbay.
The 7th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks was hosted by Torquay, drawing out themes including from our strategy. Over 800 delegates from representing the Global Geoparks, senior UNESCO officials, scientists, policy makers and government representatives from all over the globe gathered in Torquay to explore ‘Health and Wellbeing of Communities through Creative and Active Engagement’.
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