The Islands’ Partnership is delighted to announce that the Isles of Scilly has been nominated as one of the UK’s five top “holiday destinations of the year” in BBC Countryfile Magazine.
The nomination has been announced in the January 2015 issue. Other nominations in the category include West Sussex, Lake District, Yorkshire and Outer Hebrides.
The Annual BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards for 2014/2015 include 12 categories ranging from Rural Pub of the Year to Greatest National Park. BBC Countryfile asked experts to whittle down the contenders in each field and draw up the shortlist of candidates in each category.
“We are delighted to be nominated as one of the five top holiday destinations in the UK,” says Amanda Pender, Tourism Coordinator for the Islands’ Partnership. “Everyone who comes to Scilly falls in love with the islands so, in many ways, it comes as no surprise. But of course we’re especially proud as the nomination comes from Lonely Planet Traveller which describes the islands as unique and somewhere which wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean. Now it is down to the public to vote for their favourites in each category and of course, we are hoping that all Scilly fans vote for us!”
You can vote online – before 31st January – www.countryfile.com/awards2014-15. You can also email your selections to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner of all categories will be announced in the April issue of BBC Countryfile.
The Islands’ Partnership is delighted to welcome David Jackson as its new Executive Director. David has a wealth of Tourism and Marketing experience, most recently as Head of Marketing at Bath Tourism (since July 2011) and prior to that as Visitor Information & Quality Manager at the NorthWest Regional Development Agency. He was also Market Development Manager at Lincolnshire Tourism for five and half years until September 2008.
In this new IP role, David will lead, and offer more capacity to, the existing delivery team. He is charged with taking Scilly to new potential visitors by building strong and sustainable business partnerships across the water and into Europe, with opening new doors to new markets, and with further product and business development.
David arrived yesterday (15th December) for a week of meetings, briefings and general introductions before heading back to Bath for Christmas and New Year. He then returns in early January to live on Scilly with his wife and young daughter, and begin his new role in earnest!
The new 2015 Guide is now up on the Visit Isles of Scilly website and can be viewed online via this link: www.visitislesofscilly.com/get-our-guide. This link also enables visitors to order their printed copies. All members of the Islands’ Partnership, and indeed residents on Scilly, are encouraged to share the link with their own customers through emails and links on their own websites and via social media. By working together, we become a powerful messaging service! The brochure is currently being printed and distribution on the mainland will commence later next week. The Islands’ Partnership intends to have Guides on the islands to coincide with the Scilly Christmas Festival on Tuesday 23rd December.
The Islands’ Partnership is hosting a special Christmas Festival on Tuesday 23rd December, for both the islands’ residents and holiday guests arriving in Scilly for a festive break. It is an event designed to help rebuild the tourism economy around the Christmas period – to create a buzz for visitors as well as offer something that celebrates the best of Scilly. The IP intends to make the event an annual affair.
The Scilly Christmas Festival will take place along the length of Hugh Street, from Douglas Health & Beauty to Bordeaux between 5pm and 7.30pm. Retailers are opening their doors for late-night opening with many offering shoppers festive treats, whilst out of town retailers and local street traders have been invited to set up Christmas stalls in Hugh Street, which will be temporarily closed to traffic, to make sure everyone can purchase any last-minute gifts and stocking fillers, as well as enjoy some fabulous Christmas cheer.
There will also be a programme of entertainment throughout the evening – from live music from Scilly’s favourite Rock ‘n’ Roll band, the Steamband; carol singing with the Scilly Sirens, fire juggling by Wez Swain, plus a number of masterclass demonstrations including how to wrap your gifts exquisitely, courtesy of Seasalt, two cooking demonstrations with Tanglewood Kitchen – one with fish, the other using locally-produced Salakee Duck, and festive flower arranging with Jenny Burrows and friends at the Atlantic Inn. Following the event, the flowers will be donated to Park House, to be enjoyed by residents.
Additionally, for children – and big kids – there’s Christmas biscuit decorating at the Bishop & Wolf and a special Christmas quiz complete with lots of fun prizes and some surprises!
“The Christmas Festival is shaping up to be a great evening,” says Islands’ Partnership Tourism Co-ordinator, Amanda Pender. “The idea of a festive get-together was first proposed by IP members and staff who sit on the Retail Sector Group. We were very keen to combine a late night shopping event with some entertainment that would appeal to both locals and also to the increasing number of visitors choosing to come to Scilly for Christmas,” she continues. “It’s a great opportunity for visitors to mingle with the local community and enjoy the taste of a Scilly Christmas. And we also hope that the local community will enter into the festive spirit and welcome in the Christmas holiday.”
The Islands’ Partnership is very grateful to all the businesses and individuals who are taking part to make this special Christmas Festival an evening to remember.