What are the implications for the three DMOs in the North East?
As a result of this pilot, NGI will be the first organisation to undertake and test the LVEP accreditation process, with Visit Northumberland and Visit County Durham envisaged to undergo the accreditation process in parallel.
What is an LVEP?
A Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) is the name for a Destination Management Organisation that has been accredited by VisitEngland.
Full details of the accreditation criteria are yet to be finalised but are likely to closely align with those suggested in the De Bois review. In particular, the government in its response considered the following to be important:
- DMOs within the national portfolio will need to cover a large enough geographic area to be of strategic importance, such as a county, city, or region.
- They will need to be able to lead from the perspective of the visitor — the area covered by the DMO will also need to make sense from the perspective of the visitor.
- They will need to be engaged in destination ‘management’, not just marketing, and should be joined up with other important local and regional actors such as key attractions and local government.
- They will need to demonstrate an ability to raise funding from the private sector.
- If they receive public funding, or have done so in the past, they will need to demonstrate that they can administer it with probity.
- DMOs will need to demonstrate a commitment to and plan for expanding their commercial income streams.
What is a DDP?
A DDP is a Destination Development Partnership which is led by a LVEP, on behalf of a wider region and other LVEPs to create a programme of activity funded by DCMS and managed by VisitEngland to deliver the government’s ambitions for the sector at a regional level. These ambitions currently are outlined in the Tourism Recovery Plan and include sustainability, accessibility, product development, skills and business events. DDP funding cannot be used for marketing campaigns or activity. The funding proposed for the pilot is £2.25 million to be spent by March 2025.
What are the implications for Local Authorities (particularly those areas that currently do not have DMO coverage)?
This pilot offers additional funding to develop the tourism sector’s capabilities across the whole region. It will not replace local authority funding invested in individual place branding and marketing but will provide additional support to support the development of the businesses, employees and supply chain in this sector. It will also support closer working with national government and the statutory tourism board, VisitEngland enabling the region to best maximise other government funding pots and the international trading networks developed by government and VisitBritain.