Destination management organisation for Coventry launches

Tourism leaders from across Coventry and Warwickshire have celebrated the official launch of the region’s destination management organisation (DMO).

‘Destination Coventry’ launched at an event at Coventry Building Society Arena, which saw around 100 leaders from the region’s tourism sector in attendance.

The DMO will lead on marketing the city and the wider Warwickshire region as a visitor destination, nationally and internationally, to grow and support the visitor economy.

Destination Coventry is a collaboration between Coventry City Council and Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce – with an emphasis on ensuring both public and private sector voices are central to shaping its provision.

It includes two well-established consumer-facing brands ‘Visit Coventry’ and ‘Conference Coventry and Warwickshire’, focused on leisure and business tourism respectively.

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change at Coventry City Council, opened proceedings at the event and highlighted how the new organisation will continue to grow Coventry as a visitor destination.

He said: “This is such an exciting time for Coventry, with UK City of Culture and Commonwealth Games both arriving in our city. We have strong foundations and the new DMO presents a great opportunity to build on those foundations for the future.”

Delegates at the event also heard from Paul Jones, managing director of Destination Coventry, and Paul Michael, chairman of the board for Destination Coventry.

They highlighted the role the DMO – which soft launched earlier this year – is already playing in developing a flourishing tourism, leisure and hospitality sector, which already generates around £600m, supports 7,000 jobs and attracts over 10m visitors annually to Coventry alone.

Paul Michael, who is also commercial director at Coventry Building Society Arena, said: “Destination Coventry is being led by passionate people who want to make Coventry proud and are determined to put the city and the wider region on the map.

“This is an organisation built on collaboration that is committed to changing perceptions and making Coventry an even more attractive proposition as a visitor destination.”

Jones said: “This is a two-year proof of concept collaboration and we will be working closely with businesses and stakeholders across the sector to cultivate the successful and sustainable development of tourism, leisure and hospitality in Coventry and the wider region.

“The pandemic has had a real effect on our visitor economy, but we are perfectly positioned to support its recovery through the launch of this organisation.

“To achieve our goals, it is vital that we listen to, and work with, both the private and public sector. This is reflected in our oversight board, which is made up of stakeholders who all have the same goal: to promote Coventry and Warwickshire as a compelling destination and drive forward our visitor economy.”