New council campaign hopes to inspire visitors to discover Worthing

With its blue skies, blue sea and green spaces, Worthing has the best of all worlds.

Wednesday, 26th April 2017, 1:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:30 pm
Some of the people out 'discovering' what Worthing has to offer on Tuesday

This is the message Worthing Borough Council is sending out to would-be visitors this summer with the launch of a major new marketing campaign called Discover Worthing.

Aimed at increasing the number of visitors to the town, the campaign is part of the council’s £189,000 tourism budget work.

Judy Fox, the council’s visitor experience and marketing officer, part of the new tourism and events team, said: “We want to let people know that when they come here they can experience our great outdoors, get back to nature and away from the hustle and bustle or they can really get active in our great open spaces.

“There is something for everyone here.”

She has been discussing with businesses what they would like to see being offered to visitors to the town.

Discover Worthing will replace the Visit Worthing branding but will not affect the Sunny Worthing slogan, which is the concept of the Town Centre Initative, a council spokesman said.

The campaign will be backed by the launch of a new website, advertising and summer events – which include paddle boarding and kite surfing events, family beachcombing trails, a Summer of Circus Festival, a StreetVelodrome cycle race in June and a seafront bike hire scheme.

Latest figures estimate that some 4.4 million day and staying visitors come to Worthing, spending approximately £138 million a year.

The campaign will prioritise reaching people within an hour and a half travel time from the town.

Councillor Bryan Turner, executive member for regeneration, said: “Whether it be our theatres, our seafront or our green spaces we have a great offering in Worthing. Discover Worthing will help us significantly up our game.”

The campaign will be launched in May.

At full council on Tuesday, Liberal Democrats councillor Bob Smytherman asked questions about the tourism plan.

They included queries over the council’s plans for summer events, tourism information points which were ‘rarely’ open and what the tourism budget would be spent on.

Councillor Bryan Turner, cabinet member for regeneration, said ‘targeted’ digital and print campaigns were planned for the summer and the council was working with partners to develop an ‘extended’ events programme.

He said the council was also focused on growing the in-destination offer, including a bike hire scheme and town centre arts and culture trail.

Mr Smytherman is employed by the Town Centre Initiative as town crier, which has an interest in the promotion of Worthing.

The meeting was unusually adjourned for ten minutes for legal advice, after Tory Kevin Jenkins argued Mr Smytherman should not be able to ask the questions due to his link to the TCI.

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