A New Sense of Direction for the Isles of Scilly Visitor Economy

31st August 2018

Categories: Our News

The Islands' Partnership, the official DMO responsible for the promotion of tourism to the Isles of Scilly has awarded New Mind | tellUs with a contract to develop an exemplar, best practice, booking enabled website to do justice to this most unique and distinctive of destinations.

Located 28 miles off the coast of Land's End, the Isles of Scilly is a remote and beautiful archipelago of 140 low-lying islands, the largest, St. Mary’s, measuring 3x2 miles and the smallest no bigger than a rock, all within a short boat ride of each other and each with its own distinct characteristics.  The population of the Isles is tiny, with approx 2200 people spread across the 5 inhabited islands.

The Isles of Scilly and the livelihoods of the majority of its inhabitants are almost entirely dependent on tourism.  The industry supports over 800 jobs and annually contributes up to £40 million to the local economy.  After a decade of decline, the last few years have seen a reversal in the volume of visitors but a number of challenges need to be tackled to make the islands competitive and its tourism industry fit for the future.

The development of the new site forms part of the island's new Destination Management Plan which sets out a new approach and sense of direction to enable its tourism economy to grow, thrive and sustain that growth.

James Berresford, Chair of the Islands' Partnership comments: "For many years Scilly has been a hugely popular visitor destination and it remains so to this day. However, tastes and demands change and for tourism to remain the heartbeat of the islands' economy the time to reassess is now. There exists a wonderful opportunity for Scilly to be the ‘escape’ destination in the UK and meet the growing demand for discerning, authentic experience-led tourism. For this unique opportunity to be realised there must be a willingness to innovate and contemporise to deliver the distinctly Scillonian experiences visitors seek –in touch with the heritage of place, the landscape and its people."

The site will be at the forefront of the destination's marketing, offering new features, functionality and most importantly, bookable product, which the current site doesn't offer. The site will become the shop window for a repositioned Isles of Scilly, with more engaging content reflecting its unique natural attributes, distinctive sense of place and personality and rich cultural heritage to create a compelling case to visit. Regular, new and potential visitors will be able to find out more about the islands, build their breaks and itineraries and make the most of their time on the islands through all touchpoints, from personal to digital. 

David Jackson, Executive Director of the Islands’ Partnership comments "We are delighted to have appointed New Mind | tellUs to work with us on this project and are grateful for the ERDF funding which has made it possible. The islands’ recently launched Destination Management Plan identifies Scilly’s lack of digital trip planning and online bookable product as a particular barrier to growth, so this project will play a significant part in addressing this and, ultimately, making it easier for people to visit Scilly."

The project kicked off with a visit to the Isles of Scilly, providing the New Mind | tellUs team with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the brand and experience the uniqueness of the islands for themselves. The team stayed on St Mary’s, but also sampled the islands of St Agnes and Tresco, the highlight being a wildlife boat trip provided by St Agnes Boating where they managed to see seals and puffins.

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