To consider and endorse or make recommendations to the Leader of the Council on the proposed decision to extend the visitor economy services contract with Visit Kent for a further twelve months to March 2018 (with a possible further extension to be decided next year), plus a further contribution worth £13,000, to provide for externally funded projects and staffing in 2017-18.
(Mr D Smith, Director of Economic Development, attended the meeting for this item).
1. Mr Dance introduced the item and reminded Committee Members that Visit Kent had attended the meeting in December to give a presentation on the work they were doing with regard to tourism in Kent. He also stated that there had been 60 million visitors to Kent the previous year, with £3.6 billion spent on accommodation, and 12,000 jobs created.
2. Mr Smith then introduced the report which described Kent’s visitor economy performance over the last three years, and considered options for the funding of Visit Kent beyond the end of the financial year.
3. Mr Smith then responded to questions of the Committee Members and made points including the following:
· The contract provided for an extension of up to 36 months; Visit Kent’s aspirations given at the Committee’s presentation in December had been in the context of their five-year plan;
· The report recommended a 12-month extension to the existing contract: there had been no approaches by other suppliers;
· The extension of the contract would retain the current value of £280k a year; KCC would supplement this with a staffing and marketing contribution;
· KCC would consider a further extension of the contract during 2017/18.
4. RESOLVED that the proposed decision of the Leader of the Council to extend the visitor economy services contract with Visit Kent for a further twelve months to March 2018 (with a possible further extension to be decided in 2018), plus a further contribution worth £130,000 to provide for externally funded projects and staffing in 17-18.