Tourism and Heritage Strategy

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

2. Introduction

This strategy has been written at a time of uncertainty and with the Coronavirus pandemic having a considerable impact on the hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors. The strategy identifies our priorities for tourism and heritage and supports actions which will help recovery of these sectors locally.

The strategy is aligned with our Corporate Plan, but extends to 2026, recognising the opportunities which will be forthcoming in the medium term and our longer term vision and aspirations.

Tourism entails the movement of people to countries or places beyond their usual environment for personal or business/ professional purposes1 and takes three basic forms – domestic tourism, inbound tourism and outbound tourism. ‘Tourism product’ includes visitor accommodation, hospitality, transport services, guided tours and tourist guides, travel agencies and other reservations services, cultural services, sports and recreational activities and retail.

In 2019, Tourism was worth an estimated £124 million to the Gravesham economy and supported an estimated 2793 jobs. Despite that benefit to the local economy Gravesham attracts a disproportionate low share (approximately only 4%) of Kent’s visitors and hence their expenditure and derived employment.

This is primarily due to Gravesham having a small stock of visitor accommodation and a limited number of commercial visitor attractions, both of which would help to attract visitors and increase expenditure in the Borough.

Partnership working with tourism agencies, businesses and the voluntary sector is critical to growing the visitor economy and valuing the Borough’s heritage. This requires a commitment to a shared vision in support securing additional resources and investment.

Gravesham Corporate Plan

The potential for tourism to contribute more to the local economy is recognised by us with our Corporate Plan. The overall aim of the strategy is:

"To be proud of and promote and preserve Gravesham’s identity, history, heritage, art and culture, including its assets, in order to develop and enhance our tourism offer that can contribute towards economy and safeguard our heritage for future generations."

Objective #2 Place : A dynamic borough; defined by a vibrant and productive local economy taking advantage of growth in the area, supported by its strong and active community.

Promote Gravesham’s arts and heritage: Support local groups in their community reach and expand the visitor economy.

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