The White Cliffs of Dover is part of an iconic landscape and maritime lifestyle that is a central element of the Vision for Kent’s Coast.

About

Summary 

Kent’s coastal visitor offer was well understood following an extensive data collection programme which included studies of the public’s perception of the Coast as a visitor destination and the future needs of the visitor accommodation sector.  

Our work under Kent’s Coastal Actions for Sustainable Tourism Programme (CAST) included a detailed audit of visitor facilities, signage and the public realm along the coast, alongside an analysis of new development options and where they should be located to best refresh the coastal offer and conserve its special landscapes and townscapes.  Best practice on coastal management was shared with partners in West Flanders in Belgium and Pas de Calais in France. 

One result of this work was a clearer view of how and where the Coast’s visitor economy should be heading to retain its appeal.  “Kent’s Tourism Future - A Vision for the Kent Coast” aimed to articulate that view; to set out a shared ambition for the coastal partners; to ensure that any future development is appropriate in scale and character; and to make sure that Kent’s Coast maintains its unique sense of place, and that uniqueness is coveted by the visitor of the future.

Our Approach

This work supplemented the Development and Signing studies we had undertaken and involved additional background research, close liaison with European partner projects and the production of a Vision for the future of the Kent Coast as a tourism destination.

The consultancy took place over a 12-month period and was conducted in five stages: 

  • Attendance at the CAST Study Tour to Denmark and Sweden in order to learn at first-hand how partner programmes were addressing the issue of coastal regeneration and product development for tourism. 
  • Analysis of the current ambitions and strategic development plans of the three Kent district councils engaged in the CAST project and of the County Council and Visit Kent. This was distilled into a single coherent draft Vision Framework for the area.  This was done in advance of the three presentations to District partners on our Signage and Product Development work. This allowed us to use those events to discuss and draw together an agreed outline Vision Framework that formed the basis of the final document. 
  • Attendance at the CAST workshops and conference in Belgium to present the Kent Coast Vision and discuss and compare work undertaken by the project partners.
  • Final drafting of the Vision document to include an agreed Vision Framework for tourism on the Kent Coast covering product, public realm, and visitor and destination management goals.  The document included the high-level results of the signage work and an outline of the main product development options identified through the respective CAST studies.
  • Design and print of the final Vision Document. This was produced as a full colour brochure following the current Visit Kent house style and widely circulated to interested parties and partners.  

Outcome

The Vision for the Kent Coast encapsulated a future for tourism that reflected its strong qualities and built-on:

  • the visitor’s relationship with the sea and their enjoyment of water and beach activities
  • the distinct character of the individual settlements around the Coast
  • the sense of openness and solitude found on the chalk cliffs and the pebble beaches
  • the produce brought from the sea by local fishermen
  • the long military involvement with the coastline and its place in England’s rich history
  • the enjoyment of travel both across the Channel, and around the length of the Kent Coast.

Directions

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A Vision for the Kent Coast

Client:

Visit Kent, EU Interreg IVa,

Location:

Ramsgate Kent, United Kingdom
Visit Kent, EU Interreg IVa

Contact us

3 Woodland Enterprise Centre, Hastings Road,
Flimwell, East Sussex, TN5 7PR, UK

+44 (0) 1580 879970

contact@acorntourism.co.uk