Tourism Minister and VisitEngland visit the Cotswolds

Tourism & Heritage Minister John Penrose MP and VisitEngland Chief Executive James Berresford are visiting the Cotswolds today (27 February) to meet with local stakeholders and businesses to discuss tourism and the Cotswolds’ role as one of England’s most popular visitor destinations and international ‘attract’ destination brands.

Hosted by the Cotswolds Conservation Board, the visit will include a tour of Broadway Tower, a unique Capability Brown Folly Tower and one of England's outstanding viewpoints, which at 1024 feet (312m) above sea level, is the second highest point on the Cotswold escarpment. It also stands on the Cotswold Way, England’s newest National Trail which stretches 102 miles between Chipping Campden and Bath.

The tour will be followed by a meeting at the Cotswold Conference Centre with key tourism stakeholders including representatives from destination management organisations, local authorities and tourism partnerships from across the Cotswolds. In the afternoon, there will be an opportunity for the Minister and Mr Berresford to meet with a number of local tourism businesses at the Manor Hotel, Moreton-in-Marsh and hear their views on marketing tourism in the Cotswolds.

As part of the visit, the Minister will formally open the Cotswold Conference Centre’s conservatory extension to their new Smallbrook Suite.

James Berresford said: “The Cotswolds is an outstanding area of beauty and a real gem of a destination. We are excited to be featuring the Cotswolds in our forthcoming advertising campaign which launches later next month. I’m looking forward to meeting so many industry colleagues today and discussing ways in which we can continue to work together to further grow tourism to this beautiful part of England.”

Martin Lane, Director of Cotswolds Conservation Board said: “It is a pleasure to welcome the Minister and VisitEngland to the Cotswolds. Over the past few years we have worked closely with our partners on various sustainable tourism projects and activities, including achieving the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism award for the Cotswolds. We therefore welcome the opportunity to discuss ideas for developing and managing tourism together in the future that will help to complement and promote our landscape, nature, culture and heritage, whilst fully supporting the local economy.

Notes to editors:

  • The Cotswolds was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1966 in recognition of its rich, diverse and high quality landscape.
  • The Cotswolds AONB was awarded the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas in 2011.
  • The Cotswolds AONB is looked after by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation established in 2004 which has 37 members - 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 appointed by the Secretary of State.
  • The Cotswolds is the second largest protected landscape in England after the Lake District National Park and represents 10% of the total AONB area in the UK. It covers 2,038 square kilometres (790 square miles), stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), along with National Parks, are considered to be the most special landscapes in the country and belong to an international family of protected areas. There are 38 AONBs in England and Wales, and a further eight in Northern Ireland. For further details, visit: