Hunt for new marketing expert to lead tourism transformation begins at Harrogate Borough Council

Harrogate Borough Council is looking to recruit a senior marketing expert to lead a radical overhaul of the district's tourism strategy.

Monday, 22nd June 2020, 2:04 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd June 2020, 2:08 pm

The authority is advertising for a Head of Destination Marketing which will oversee the merging of the district's various tourism bodies into one council-controlled organisation.

The new structure will see Visit Harrogate - which is currently operated as a public/private sector partnership and receives £50,000 in council funding every year - integrated into the council's operations.

The council is looking to recruit a senior marketing expert to lead a radical overhaul of the district's tourism strategy.

A job advert for the senior role - to be paid up to £61,882 a year - says the organisation will make Harrogate a "must-visit" destination for tourists.

It continued: "The aim of this exciting new organisation is to devise and promote a new destination management and marketing plan, in order to increase economic impact to the region".

Senior councillors approved the new organisation plan in October last year.

This was after a review into the existing tourism bodies found a fragmented approach to marketing.

Under council control, the plan will see the new Visit Harrogate undertake marketing activity as well as the operation of the district's museums.

Currently this activity is split between Visit Harrogate, the Tourist Information Centres and the Museums Service, which operates the Pump Room Museum, the Knaresborough Castle Museum and the Mercer Art Gallery.

The integration of the various teams into one organisation is expected to take nine to 12 months to complete.

A report states that "integrating all the councils tourism activity will help to ensure a seamless coordination between marketing, promotion, visitor information and product development of the visitor economy" while "creating an overarching Destination Marketing function, led by the council".

It comes as the council is also proposing to hand over management of its 11 leisure venues to a council-controlled company

The new Head of Destination Marketing will be based at Harrogate Convention Centre and report to the venue's director, Paula Lorimer.

The senior role will lead two areas - Marketing Harrogate, which is focused on bidding to secure new events as well as raising the profile of the district to attract more visitors, and the new Visit Harrogate, which is focused on looking after visitors when they arrive.

The closing date for applications is 5 July.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter

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