Plan to draw more tourists to Rugby borough

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A new plan to draw more visitors and tourists into Rugby is set to go before councillors next week.

Rugby’s new ‘destination management plan’ will be discussed by the borough council’s cabinet on Monday.

The plan aims to manage tourism activity across the borough through the council working with key businesses and other groups.

The plan’s vision states: “Rugby will be recognised as a distinctive heritage town within Warwickshire, celebrated as the birthplace of the sport of rugby; attracting new visitors and their exploration of the borough’s attractions and countryside, thus boosting the local economy.”

The report states that 2,273,000 trips are made each year to the borough by all types of visitors including over two million as UK day trips and over 170,000 overnight trips. Around 22 per cent of these are for holiday purposes. Those visitors spend a total of £110 million each year and support 2,272 tourism jobs including full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs.

The destination management plan sets out to raise the tourism profile of the Rugby area, increase the economic benefit from visitors, and improve the experience for tourists when they come to our borough.

A key part of the plan is to improve the branding of the borough under the existing ‘The Rugby Town’ brand. But the plan notes that the current online and social media campaigns are focussed on the town centre, and ‘do not give a fully rounded view of the whole urban-rural visitor destination’. It adds that: “The town fringes and rural attractions and activities are lost and do not at present have any real presence within the focus of the online media.”

The plan recommends an overhaul of the website to focus on what visitors need to engage them and bring them to the area.

The council is also proposing a bid to the Visit England Discover England Fund.

The council’s bid has a working title of ‘The Rugby Pass’.

The pass would take the form of one and two-day bookable itineraries which would include entrance to the World Rugby Hall of Fame and town tours, plus Wasps RFC tickets for live matches, stadium tours or training sessions.