Prof. Dave Muller, Chair of All About Ipswich, and our CEO Sophie Alexander-Parker, provide an update the work All About Ipswich to doing to support local businesses and develop the visitor economy with regional partners.
The last two years have taken their toll on individuals and on the businesses we represent and promote through our Destination Management Organisation (DMO). However, we have during this period been proactive and our All About Ipswich website and social media have continued to be a vehicle for businesses to market themselves to a wide audience. Hopefully this has been of value to our local business community and we encourage you to use this platform.
This is in line with our decision not to charge a membership fee over the last two years. However going forward, we will need to reinstate a small annual fee from April in line with our neighbouring DMOs and primarily to be able to speak on behalf of a membership organisation.
The team have over the last two years worked closely with our neighbouring DMOs and Visit East of England (VEE) along with Visit Suffolk. These partnerships are increasing in importance. In particular, we have been vigilant in scrutinising the promotional material from VEE to ensure our area is fully represented and our County Town prominent. In our judgement this has been successful although we still feel under represented compared to Norfolk. This is a task we will stick at.
The recent Government commissioned report on DMOs was disappointing in terms of funding but is potentially important going forward. DMOs will in the future need accreditation and this will almost certainly be through VEE. We will look to attain this once the criteria are finalised, which looks likely to be April of this year.
Our DMO receives no public sector funding and we are entirely reliant on support primarily in kind from Ipswich Central. We are then in line with one of the recommendations from the Government's DMO Report exploring alternative ways of funding. At this stage, we are undertaking extensive consultation with businesses and working up a proposal.
To support this, we have increased the membership of the AAdvisory Board which meets four times a year. Members are however active in between meetings and we are grateful for their commitment and support. Click here and scroll down to view the updated membership of the Board .
Our main strategic goal for 2023 is to secure sufficient sustainable funding to be able to continue supporting our businesses and to make a real and positive difference to your bottom line. This is an on-going initiative and we will keep you informed.
The year ahead does not look easy. We do however have an incredible consumer offering and a team passionate to support our members. Please keep in touch and contact us with your thoughts and suggestions. From myself and the team, we wish you all a successful 2023, and remember we are here to support you.
Prof. Dave Muller
Chair, All About Ipswich
CEO, Ipswich Central & All About Ipswich