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Destination Management Framework at a Glance

Making Thanet a better place for visitors, businesses and residents

The Isle of Thanet is unique. We have Blue Flag beaches, miles of coastline, amazing heritage and a thriving and growing cultural scene. The Isle is fast becoming a popular place to live, work and visit.

We want to work with you the local leisure, tourism and hospitality industry to make it the destination to visit. 

What is the Destination Management Framework?

The Framework builds on the Destination Management Plan (DMP) which was developed in 2012/13 and which identified three priority areas - Beach Management, Coastal Regeneration and Shared Story. The DMP proved the value of having a shared vision and plan, it inspired more partnership working, and a number of initiatives to develop the visitor offer.

The Framework focuses on growing and sustaining the value of Thanet’s visitor economy and the area staying competitive by developing higher-value, year-round, quality tourism experiences.  It’s about making Thanet’s visitor economy sustainable for the benefit of visitors, the industry, the local community and the environment.

The Destination Management Framework (DMF) is for all partners in the destination - public, private and 3rd sector.  It sets out the shared priorities for the next 5 years, when it comes to strengthening and growing the visitor economy. It’s not about everything that can or should happen: it’s about the things that will make the biggest difference, can be realistically achieved in the current climate, and will provide a focus for working together. 

The Framework was commissioned by Thanet District Council (TDC) and developed by Blue Sail. TDC’s senior executive team has input to its development.

Read the full Destination Management Framework

Why have a Destination Management Framework? 

Despite improvements, growth and increased visitor satisfaction - Thanet’s visitor economy feels vulnerable. The local authority has dwindling resources and competing pressures, despite some success in securing grants for certain activity.

We all want Thanet to thrive; it’s good for our businesses and it’s good for us as residents.

Well-managed destinations succeed in attracting visitors and new businesses to an area, ensuring long-term growth in the tourism economy, and more jobs.

Great destinations are great places to live and work, as well as visit.

Delivering the priority projects in the DMF will help to achieve this, and also help the local industry recover from the impact of COVID-19.

  • Many of the priority projects are business-led, so there will be opportunities through community organisations/representatives to help create vibrant towns which will benefit the destination and your business
  • Free use of the Shared Story storylines to inspire and develop off-season bookable experiences as part of the Experience Project
  • Training, materials and enhanced ambassador programmes to help deliver destination information to visitors, resulting in longer stays, repeat visits and increased visitor spend

The three key elements of the Destination Management Framework 

1. Vibrant Towns 

2. Coastline Focus 

3. The Isle of Thanet Promise 

Read more about these in the Priority Project section 

Who’s involved?

This Framework was commissioned by Thanet District Council but it is a strategic approach and plan of action for the destination, not just for the council who will play a strategic, enabling role. The council will engage with organisations, companies and individuals from public, private and 3rd sectors and invite and encourage them to deliver against the priorities. Through its strategies, policies and plans, and via the strategic allocation of resources, the council will provide the right environment for the priorities to be delivered.

Stakeholders will play a central role in developing and delivering the visitor experience. Strong public, private and third sector partnerships are at the heart of successful destinations and there are already examples of this in Thanet – but, using the Framework to set the direction of travel, we hope to see a new era of collaboration and encourage stakeholders from organisations beyond the council to play their full role

Tourism will continue to be one of the drivers of the local economy; it will support the growth and sustainability of tourism and leisure businesses and it will encourage investors to the area.