Coastal contribution consultation gets underway

Coastal contribution

Accommodation providers close to the Teignbridge coast are being asked for their views on introducing a voluntary visitor donation scheme to help improve facilities.

The idea under discussion is to ask all guests staying in accommodation within a mile of the Teignbridge coast such as hotels, holiday parks, B&Bs and Airbnbs to pay a £1 per night, per room voluntary donation which would help fund conservation and tourism related projects.

Teignbridge attracts thousands of visitors each year and if introduced, a visiting giving scheme would ease the burden on local people of protecting the coastal areas and making sure facilities keep pace with high visitor numbers.

The money raised would be in addition to the funds currently provided by the council and could be spent on facilities most likely to be used by visitors such as for example beach showers and lockers, cycle parking lookout points, lifeguard coverage or public wifi.

Accommodation providers are being asked to complete a survey at www.teignbridge.gov.uk/coastalcontribution giving their views on the idea and also being able to suggest what the funds could be spent on.

In addition to the survey, a fact sheet explaining the scheme has also been prepared and council officers will be meeting with tourism and business groups over the coming weeks to discuss the ideas. Businesses can book a place at the Coastal Contribution workshop at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/coastal-contribution-workshop-tickets-93314021751

In addition to being asked about the introduction of a visitor giving scheme in the survey, the providers will also have the chance to indicate if there is support for introducing a tourism business improvement district (T-BID) similar to that in Torbay, where a levy is applied on businesses in the tourism sector through local rates.

A Visit England report on visitor giving schemes suggested that 95% of visitors would be happy to make a voluntary donation and that this was a low cost method raising funds for much needed environmental and visitor projects.

Teignbridge Councillor Nina Jeffries, Portfolio holder for Business, Economy & Tourism welcomed discussion with the local accommodation providers and the opportunity the survey provided for people in the tourism industry to give the council their views.

She said: “The coastal contribution idea would, if implemented, be a tangible way for people who visit and love the area, to gift in a focused way. This initiative could provide additional support for much needed amenities around our coastline, helping to keep improving the visitor experience and supporting environmental projects essential to maintaining the attractiveness of the coastline.”

The consultation runs until 27 March 2020 after which feedback will be considered before the council decides whether the idea of a visitor giving scheme is worth pursuing.

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