Boost for flood-hit tourism

Somerset County Council is encouraging flood-hit tourist businesses to take advantage of free workshops being run next week.

The Council has been working with Visit Somerset and Visit England who are running the workshops in Dunster (27 March), Ilchester (28 March), Glastonbury (31 March) and Weston-super-Mare (1 April).

They are aimed at tourist business, from visitor attractions to B&Bs, which have been directly and indirectly affected by the extreme winter weather and are concerned about the impact on visitor numbers for the rest of the year.

Councillor David Hall, Cabinet Member for Business, said: “Tourism has been hit hard by these floods and we need to counter any perception nationally that Somerset is somehow closed to tourists. It’s important that everyone understands we continue to welcome visitors to our fantastic County and we must make sure the negative impacts of these floods are not prolonged now that the waters are receding and spring is in the air.

“Anything that can be done to help businesses get back on their feet as quickly as possible is to be encouraged.”

Speakers at the workshops include:

  • Manda Brookman, director of the CoaST one Planet Tourism Network
  • Jim Hardcastle from Viper Marketing
  • Dr Simon Forsyth, an expert in climate and weather changes

Bookings can be made online at

John Turner, Visit Somerset’s chief executive, said: “With around 3,000 leisure and tourism businesses in Somerset accounting for 25,000 jobs, it means £850m for the economy which is why it is so important this action is taken.

“While the vital assistance quite rightly continues for those directly affected by the flooding; we also need to help those who have been indirectly affected and these workshops are for both.

“The aims of these sessions are to provide businesses with advice to enable their operations to recover effectively, to prepare for future weather events and support businesses to put in place effective continuity plans as well as learn important skills for promoting their business.”

All the workshops run 9am to 4pm.The details of the workshops are workshops are:

  • March 27, Yarn Market Hotel, Dunster
  • March 28 Fleet Air Arm Museum, RNAS Yeovilton, Ilchester
  • March 31 Glastonbury Town Hall
  • April 1 at the Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare.