Today (Friday), sees the launch of a new ‘Isle of Wight Welcomes You’ social media campaign, to make clear the Island is open to visitors – from this weekend onwards.

With hundreds of tourism and hospitality businesses on the Island set to open their doors tomorrow (Saturday), this initiative is designed to complement Visit England’s ‘We’re Good To Go’standards, which allow those who will be trading to demonstrate that they are adhering to public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place.

This local campaign is for those businesses that have met the industry standard – and been awarded the ‘We’re Good To Go’ consumer mark –  but also wish to promote a locally-led initiative to welcome new and returning visitors the Isle of Wight.

The ‘Isle of Wight Welcomes You’ brand has been developed by a number of business owners on the Island (including Tapnell FarmThe Hut and The Royal Hotel) who have worked together over recent weeks – in dialogue with a range of local stakeholders – to prepare for the remarketing of the Island as a go-to destination.

Barnes Edwards, Director of The Garlic Farm (as well as Island Identity), helped develop the logo with local agency Peekaboo. He said: “The message is simple: the Isle of Wight is ready to welcome visitors. Our tourism and hospitality businesses are open for business. Our Island has so much to offer, and its vital that we promote this message far and wide, as a friendly and welcoming place for people to visit. Working with Visit Isle of Wight and others on the Island, we have developed this campaign to support our local economy and community. We hope this positive message of welcome will be shared widely, alongside the reassurance of our collective adherence to national standards. The Island is ready, we’re good to go.”

Steven Holbrook, Chief Executive Officer of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, added: “The Isle of Wight Chamber is delighted to support this fabulous initiative to highlight that the Island’s tourist market is very much open for business and leading the way in creating a safe and welcoming environment for people to enjoy all the splendours the Island has to offer through both its scenery and mix of local businesses. The food and drinks and entertainment offering on the Island stands proud and this local campaign shows the entrepreneurial spirit running through Island enterprise.”

Will Myles, Managing Director of Visit Isle of Wight, added: “This is a great initiative, local businesses coming together and working collaboratively, supported by Visit Isle of Wight to ensure we get that message over that our amazing island is such a welcoming place for visitors, sitting alongside the Visit England “We’re Good to Go” national standards it just shows that the island works as Team Isle of Wight.”

Cllr Dave Stewart, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, added: “This weekend marks an important milestone in getting our Island back on its feet. We have so much to offer, and because of restrictions with holidaying abroad, people can look to the Isle of Wight for a safe and relaxing break after all the turbulence and stress of the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown. This social media campaign will help show that the Isle of Wight is ready to welcome visitors – and I urge all businesses to get behind it.”

Bob Seely MP, added: “Over recent weeks, I have been in active dialogue with representatives of many businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector. These individuals are passionate about the Island and have informed the approach I have taken in making our case to Government for support. I’m delighted that they’ve now joined forces to develop this grassroots campaign to show that the Isle of Wight is a welcoming and friendly place to visit. I will be sharing the graphics and encourage others to do the same.”

The assets for the campaign (for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) can be downloaded here:

The following hashtags should be used: #isleofwightwelcomesyou and #goodtogoisland

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