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Destination Management Plan at a Glance

The Thanet Destination Management Plan (DMP) at a Glance

Making Thanet a better place for visitors, businesses and residents

The Isle of Thanet is unique. We have Blue Flag beaches, 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 to make it the destination to visit.

What is the Destination Management Plan?

Thanet District Council and partners have done lots of research and invested in this plan. Its aims are to:

Maximise tourism opportunities

  • Improve our facilities
  • Attract tourism-related inward investment
  • Create practical resources
  • Connect businesses 

Ultimately, the plan aims to put Thanet firmly back on the destination map for visitors, from the UK and beyond.  We all have a ‘Shared Story’, which we can use to tell people how great the Isle is.

Why have a Destination Management Plan

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.

What’s in it for me?

You’re a key part of the plan…

The DMP will make it easier for businesses and residents to communicate about the Isle by:

-       Giving you access to tools to promote your business in a more joined up and exciting way.

-       Connecting you to like-minded businesses, creating better working partnerships and enabling you to promote your business in new ways.  

The three key elements of the DMP 

1. Telling and Sharing Our Stories

  • Create a Shared Story Network and Toolkit for tourism businesses – Using the Story to inspire businesses to work together, encourage cross-promotion and maximise marketing and PR opportunities.
  • Create a welcome, signage and trails programme – Offering a stronger welcome on arrival at stations and car parks, and helping visitors discover Thanet with way-finding and information throughout their stay.
  • Grow local pride in Thanet – Devise a local community campaign, which encourages residents to discover the area and experience what makes it special.

2. Beach Management and Development

  • Beach Management Plan – To create a better environment for everyone through improved amenities, facilities, services, signage, enforcement, planning and conservation.
  • Beach Business Group – A forum for Thanet’s beach businesses to explore new ways of raising revenue and extending beach capacity by sharing information and having networking opportunities.
  • Opportunities for managed beaches – Develop and pilot new approaches for some beaches, e.g. themed beaches, and look at the possibility for community and/or industry-managed beaches.

3. Coastal Regeneration

  • Promote tourism development sites to developers – Work on ideas for possible uses of sites, making sure they fit with the local plan and the ‘Shared Story’.
  • Top 10 Reasons to Invest in Tourism in Thanet – Give specialist developers a good reason to invest here, and organise site visits and promotional events.
  • Heritage and special interest groups – Offer advice and support for Thanet’s many groups, and help them find funding for conservation and restoration projects. 
  • ‘Staying above the Studio’ pilot scheme – Create character accommodation, developed and managed by local creative industries for small arts businesses, to generate additional income to support businesses.

Who’s involved?

The action plan will be driven by local businesses, working closely with the public sector and local residents:

  • Thanet District Council will help drive this, as a catalyst, facilitator and lead partner.
  • Towns and businesses will work together to build shared experiences or ‘Stories’ that make Thanet an interesting place to visit.

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.

Representatives from a cross-section of the local tourism industry meet four times a year as a ‘Consultative Group’, to help focus on project delivery.

See the Consultative Group Members

How will the aims of the Destination Management Plan be achieved?

By drawing on the things that make Thanet special, the plan will:

  • Deliver quality experiences for existing customers, develop new experiences to grow market share, and attract new, higher spending visitors looking for short-breaks.

  • Present the three towns together strongly, while playing to the individual character of each town and the surrounding villages.

  • Make it easy for visitors to explore along the coast and get around the Isle.

  • Invest in the experience of our beaches - Thanet’s strongest natural assets.

  • Prioritise investment in new, quality, character accommodation to encourage visitors to come and stay for longer and spend more.

  • Maximise Thanet’s location – the natural coastline, the big skies, the proximity to London by high-speed train and the opportunities that brings.

  • Stimulate the environment to encourage investment in new, quality visitor attractions, visitor experiences and places to stay.

How to get involved

If you are interested in finding out more about the Destination Management Plan or how you can get involved, please contact Fran Warrington or Kiki Case from Tourism Works. 

Read A Shared Story for Thanet