There’s something special about a trip to the Isle of Wight. It must be to do with the getting there, with the trip across the Solent giving the visitor a pause in their day and a blast of sea air.
I visited yesterday to attend the Visit Isle of Wight annual tourism conference where a range of speakers including Visit England Chief Executive James Beresford presented a wealth of insights and information about local and national tourism issues. The event was well attended by island tourism professionals and it was a pleasure to meet some of our current and future customers at the eviivo stand during the event.
Of the many noteworthy points made during the day, a few stood out. Firstly, that the Isle of Wight is performing well against other destinations in the South East and beyond. Despite challenging conditions, bookings and customer satisfaction remain high. Secondly, that there are many, many businesses on the island committed to providing the very best experience they can to visitors and to working in partnership with others, to attract new and repeat visitors. And finally that the expectations of guests are changing, with online booking heading up the list of ‘must haves’ for guests. Now more than ever visitors are looking to be able to book a short break online on the spur of the moment and don’t want to wait for email or telephone confirmations.
Visit Isle of Wight and eviivo work in partnership to offer B&Bs and guest houses commission free bookings on their own website and on www.visitisleofwight.co.uk. It’s just one way of helping visitors find and book accommodation and enjoy, in the works of David Thornton, Visit Isle of Wight Chief Executive, ‘a nearby far away escape’ to the island.