Gloucestershire bid to fight back after floods

Tourism chiefs in Gloucestershire are launching a PR campaign to boost the region’s economy in the wake of this summer’s devastating floods.

The six tourism bodies ­behind the Cotswolds and Forest of Dean Destination Management Organisation (DMO) have brought in Target PR as agency support.

The Cheltenham-based marcoms agency was hired following a competitive pitch and has been briefed to promote the region as an attrac­tive visitor destination.

The DMO has secured funding from South West Regional Development Agency to support tourism efforts following July’s floods, which cost the region billions.

The agency’s campaign will run until Christmas and will position Gloucestershire as a diverse county with a rich heritage. Target will focus on retail, dining, walking and cycling options.

In particular, the agency will attempt to drum up business for the county’s cafés, most of which lost months of revenue after the floods.

Target will also promote Gloucestershire Tea, a new blend invented for this campaign, to ­regional and lifestyle media. ‘Target’s activity will reach the local market, to remind locals of the attractions on their doorstep, as well as day visitors from outside the county,’ said DMO tourism manager Chris Dee.

However, only part of the overall spend will be allocated to Target, with the balance invested in new events inclu­ding October’s Gloucester Tall Ships Festival.

The flooding that started on 20 July affected thousands of people in Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire. The Tewkesbury area of Gloucestershire was worst hit as the River Severn swelled to its highest level in 60 years. In the first 24 hours, more than 600 people had to be rescued by fire crews.

At least nine people died in the floods, while insurance companies estimated damage up to £3bn.

So far, clean-up efforts have cost £55m. 

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