The winner of the Isles of Scilly Photography Competition 2014 has been announced. It is Steven Burbidge who lives near Norwich in Norfolk. His winning photograph, which received 686 online votes, was “Puffin”. He wins a two-night break for two at Samson Hill Cottage on Bryher and two return boat tickets for the Scillonian III.
The Islands’ Partnership worked with the AONB Partnership on Scilly to create the competition in order to augment its photo library, as well as to generate a bit of a buzz around visitors on holiday on Scilly, and publicity and PR for the islands.
“More than 800 photographs were entered into this, our first Isles of Scilly Photography Competition – far more than we anticipated – and the overall standard was really impressive. In fact, because the standard was so high, we’ve decided to send each of the other seven category winners a small token of our appreciation, some Veronica Farm Fudge,” says Islands’ Partnership Tourism Coordinator, Amanda Pender. “Some of the many entries are already being used for marketing purposes. In the forthcoming 2015 Isles of Scilly Guide, for example, the ‘10 reasons to love Scilly’ section features competition photographs.
“We’re delighted to have created a lot of excitement and enthusiasm from our visitors,” she continues. “And, importantly, from the Islands’ Partnership point of view, it has helped to augment our existing library tremendously. On the back of its success, we certainly intend to run a photo competition again next year.”
The winning amateur photographer, Steven, came to Scilly with his family and stayed on Tresco in April. “It was early in the year for puffins to be around but I’d always wanted to see them. So I took a boat trip to St Agnes on the off chance and I got lucky,” he says. “This was our first time to the Isles of Scilly and we were all absolutely smitten. It’s really exciting to have won this weekend break thanks to the Isles of Scilly Photo Competition. I hope it will be the first of many return visits to the islands.”
The Islands’ Partnership would like to thank Isles of Scilly Travel, Samson Hill Cottage and the AONB Partnership for their support with the competition.
The Islands’ Partnership (IP) can confirm that, further to the issue of the Council of the Isles of Scilly’s invitation to tender for the provision of Visitor Information Services, the Directors decided that the IP was not in a position to submit a tender on the basis of the contract that was available.
The Islands’ Partnership recognises that this is contrary to its continuing ambition to deliver this aspect of the Strategy for Tourism as recommended by Blue Sail and, given the IP’s determined resolve to achieve the seamless delivery of tourism services on Scilly, it is disappointed that it felt unable to tender.
The IP remains of the view that a visitor information service is an important part of the offer made to visitors and has confirmed its wish to work with the Council and others to help secure the continuation of these services.
The Islands’ Partnership is once again asking Scilly residents to nominate someone who is friendly and passionate about Scilly’s visitor offering and willing to represent the islands at the “Tourism Superstar 2015” awards.
Last year, Fraser Hicks came third in the national competition after an online poll which attracted an impressive 15,000 votes to Mirror online and generated more than 100 pieces of press coverage – on TV on the radio, in print and across social media – and no doubt, boosting awareness of Scilly along the way.
The competition, which is organised by VisitEngland in partnership with The Daily Mirror and Mirror Online, is an integral part of VisitEngland’s English Tourism Week which next year will run from 14th to 22nd March. The shortlist of 10 country-wide nominees for 2015 will be announced in December after which they will be invited to London in early January to shoot a 30-second video prior to the public online vote commencing.
“Last year, Fraser represented us brilliantly and undoubtedly he will be a tough act to follow,” says IP Tourism Coordinator, Amanda Pender. “However, with tourism being the staple of Scilly’s economy, we’re confident of finding another a great representative for next year. We want someone who is passionate about Scilly as a destination and who goes beyond the call of duty to make every visitor’s experience extra special. We’re allowed only one nomination from Scilly, and so long as that person works within tourism and is knowledgeable and enthusiastic, they are eligible.”
Nominations can be made via the Islands’ Partnership Facebook Group (IP members only), or by emailing the Islands’ Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org. All nominations must be accompanied by a reason why that person deserves to become the islands’ tourism ambassador and the nominee must be willing to represent the islands in the national competition, including travel to London in January to be filmed and featured on the Mirror website. They will also be required to attend the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence on 11th May 2015.
Our deadline is noon, Monday 24th November. The Islands’ Partnership will then collate a shortlist if required, and ask the IP Directors to vote on a final decision.
Export Cornwall and the Islands’ Partnership have teamed up to offer two days of bespoke support for member businesses on the Isles of Scilly on Thursday 20th November and Friday 21st November at the Star Castle the Old Wesleyan Chapel respectively. The sessions – absolutely free – will offer hands-on guidance and expertise for those businesses looking to start, or who are already, trading online.
This two-day event called “The A to Z of Selling Online” covers:
- What is Ecommerce?
- Where to start with selecting an online shop and the other platforms that are available to sell your products or services
- The importance of Digital Marketing in driving online sales
- How to utilise Search Engine Optimisation to make sure customers find your online shop
- The power of Social Media as a business tool
“Ecommerce opens up a whole world of opportunity and this event will explain the things that any business needs to consider to be successful at selling online,” says Islands’ Partnership Tourism Coordinator, Amanda Pender. “We’re delighted to be working with Export Cornwall to deliver this training and we hope that many of our member businesses will find it a very useful two days.”