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The way ahead – Greenwich’s vision for tourism in 2015

Greenwich’s Business Leaders set out their goals through a 5-Year Development Management Plan

By Kristian Brunt-Seymour

2015 promises to be a year of renewed vigour as business leaders across Greenwich continue to pursue the goals set out in a five-year Development Management Plan.

Launched in the autumn of 2014, the aim of the Destination Management Plan is to increase the revenue and employment the tourism industry creates.

Tourism in Greenwich already contributes £1.1 billion to the local economy and the DMP sets out a clear, ambitious vision along with a number of actions to be undertaken by the community involvement company, Visit Greenwich, and local stakeholders to achieve this.

The eventual aim is to increase the economic impact of tourism by 28 percent by 2018 and achieve tourism employment growth from 14,000 to 17,000 jobs.

Picturesque view of Greenwich: London from Above (© London & Partners)

Greenwich’s tourism offers a disproportionate number of major tourism players, with Cutty Sark, Greenwich Park, Greenwich MarketRoyal Observatory, Prime Meridian, Old Royal Naval College and The O2 to name a few.

The area also has a diverse range of transport options including Thames Clippers, City Cruises, DLR, Emirates Air Line cable car, London City Airport, as well as future plans for a retail outlet village, Crossrail and a new cruise terminal.

Steps to achieve this type of growth include encouraging visitors to take short breaks or overnight stays in Greenwich.

Some developments have already begun with the recent launch of a new website that is compatible on tablets and smartphones as well as computers, and the conservation of Old Royal Naval College’s Painted Hall which has been boosted by £2.77 million grant from Heritage Lottery Fund.

Other future developments include developing new welcome signage, the development of a five star Inter Continental Hotel, the 02 opening on Greenwich Peninsula later this year and eventually the construction of a cruise terminal at Enderby Wharf.

The terminal aims to attract up to 40 international cruise ships per year, bringing up to 1,000 passengers each from across the globe from 2017. In March this year, Visit Greenwich will exhibit at Cruise Shipping Miami with London City Cruise Port.

The plan outlines some of the steps to be taken to change visitor perceptions and reposition Greenwich as destination for short breaks and major events. A key strand of this activity is to encourage visitors to stay overnight or take a short stay in the Royal Borough – with emphasis being placed on promoting attractions across the whole of the borough, which includes Eltham, Woolwich and Charlton. 

The event gave partners the opportunity to present case studies on how new developments and the conservation of heritage continues to play a vital part in Greenwich’s preparation for visitors. The conservation of the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College and the development of the five-star InterContinental Hotel London The O2 opening on Greenwich Peninsula in autumn 2015 will play a key role in Greenwich’s near future.

Barrie Kelly, CEO Visit Greenwich, said: "Overall, we are in a great place as London continues to expand and shift east. The market is in our favour and in Greenwich we have a great product to promote. We are a broad church and wish to involve independent traders and chain businesses alike.

"There's been a push to improve travel trade with Visit England throughout 2015. Half of the people who visit Greenwich return for another visit. The aim is not only to package Greenwich as part of London so that visitors realise our close proximity to central London, but also to encourage visitors to use Greenwich as a base and then travel to the surrounding sights in Eltham and Blackheath in an 'attract and disperse' effect."

“Tourism has such a positive impact on the local economy and our plan focuses on making this an even bigger contributor over the course of the next five years. And the new developments in the area, such as London City Cruise Port at Enderby Wharf and the InterContinental London The O2, will only strengthen our offer further as the centre of London continues to shift east.”

For more information about Visit Greenwich, please go to www.visitgreenwich.org.uk. The Destination Management Plan is available to download at www.visitgreenwich.org.uk/About


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