Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Tourism is the future

Bruges Cafe
I write this article at 36,000 feet on my return from my summer holiday to Greece, with all its economic problems it’s still such an idyllic place and I believe the route out of its economic mess will be a future based on tourism.

One of my Arun Cabinet responsibilities is tourism development with that in mind I think of home and Arundel, The Festival was a great success and thanks go to Ash and Andy and all the other organisers of the festival. Arundel really does punch above its weight in the tourism stakes, the food festival is coming in October and Arundel has its own tourism logo and a well developed brand. 

The nation’s high streets have to adapt to a post retail environment where a good proportion of what we buy is on line and shopping areas have to be leisure destinations as well as providing convenient places to purchase goods and services.  I believe Arundel is well in front of other towns having had to change over the last two decades adapting to economic forces that have made the town very much tourism focused.

Brugge, Belguim.
A few years ago the Town Council, Arundel Community Partnership and the Chamber of commerce came together with Arun to form the Arundel Visitor Strategy group (AVSG) under the excellent Chairmanship of James Stewart, I was very proud that Arundel led the way and showed the District the way forward, Money was sourced from the EU to fund a Public relations company and to design the logo.  The food festival was one of the products of the AVSG.  This built on the existing tourism cornerstones that were already established like the restaurants, pubs and hotels as well as cultural and art events like the festival.

 Recently Arun District completed its leisure strategy and Arundel’s street scene was a major focus in the strategy.  It is envisaged that Arundel could be very much like some of the market towns in the Belgium or Holland with space for pavement cafe’s and making some streets pedestrian friendly without kerbs and this I believe will give the town a boost, but also Green tourism will be a major growth area with more walkers and cyclists as well as the local population being able to use new cycleways.

With the new museum building acting as a tourism hub and the visitor information service helping direct tourists to use the various tourism business’s will only aid tourism, but also this tied to Arun’s well developed web brand sussexbysea.com and with Arundel only 50 odd miles from one of the richest and most densely populated cities in the EU, then I believe Arundel has a great future with tourism being a major economic growth driver.

Until next month, Paul Dendle is Arundel Ward & Cabinet Member on Arun District Council and can be contacted at his email Pauldendle@aol.com  

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