Tourism works hand in hand with a wide range of sectors across England, including farming, transport, retail, sport, museums and the arts.
The Chilterns Tourism Network (CTN) is a group of 200+ Chilterns tourism businesses, representing a broad range of products and services including; accommodation providers, visitor attractions, theatres, pubs, specialist food providers, museums, tour operators, countryside sites, market towns and statutory tourism bodies. We work collaboratively to promote the Chilterns as a visitor destination; somewhere to stay, explore and enjoy throughout the year.
This website is our editorially-led platform that sets out the unique story of the landscape, people, history and heritage that has shaped the Chilterns. We use digital marketing, extensive B2B collaboration and brand building to grow the visitor economy because the Chilterns is one of the least-well known visitor destinations in the country and already adds annually from £79m directly and indirectly in the visitor economy. How many more jobs could be created and small businesses thrive if the coherent promotion of the visitor economy reached the target markets?
The network is free to join for those businesses who have an interest in the working with us to promote this wonderful destination. Please contact us if you would like to be involved.
CTN’s mission and activities
We all know and love the Chilterns and in our promotion and drive to increase awareness of the Chilterns as a desirable destination to visit, experience and stay throughout the year, we are mindful of capacity, demand and supply and clusters that are still developing their visitor offer. Talk to us about what challenges your business faces, and we can most likely provide solutions or contacts. The CTN is focusing on leisure visitors and in particular the short break market for sustainable tourism ‘get out of town breaks’ based on six brand themes, such as Countryside Activities, Historic houses and gardens, food and film tourism. Further details are contained in the CTN's Business Plan.
CTN’s activities include:
- Popular B2B business networking events
- Tourism information exchange and regular e-newsletters that have a high engagement level
- Maintaining and promoting the growing and much used www.VisitChilterns.co.uk
- Reaching ever more consumers through our digital marketing channels.
- Promoting use of the free online marketing resources for businesses
- Press, PR and social media programme
- Assisting market towns and villages in the positioning and communication of their offer
- Working closely with Visit Buckinghamshire through collaboration and strategic focus on the regional tourism committee
- Lobbying for greater awareness of the volume and value tourism can have to a local economy and
- Bidding for tourism and rural grants to extend our strategic communications and marketing activity for the wider benefit of members and the destination.
Composition of the CTN and current governance
The Chilterns Tourism Network is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. It is not a formal membership organisation and there is no joining fee. The businesses on the CTN’s mailing list have shown an interest in the activities of the CTN and on being kept informed via e-newsletters and emails. CTN meetings are well supported, and are hosted at our partner venues across the Chilterns.
The CTN has no paid staff. It is managed by five directors who set the organisation’s objectives and manages the delivery of the work programme on behalf of the network.
Annette Venters, Chilterns Conservation Board
I have been involved with tourism work for 20 years, ranging from tourism development for local authorities to tourism consultancy. I grew up in the Chilterns and returned to work for the Chilterns Conservation Board as Access Officer. My role involves promoting understanding and enjoyment of the Chilterns AONB. The Chilterns is already a popular day-trip destination, our priority now is to increase short break tourism to this beautiful area.
Peter Coneron - Tring Together
In 1982 I moved to the village of Wigginton, overlooking the market town of Tring. Through our retail business I became involved in voluntary work in the local community. I was elected a Councillor on Tring Town Council serving as Mayor of Tring in 2000/2001. During my time on the Council I chaired the Tourism and Transport Partnership and was also involved in setting up a new organisation Tring Together. Tring Together is passionate about promoting Tring and the Chilterns as a destination brand to residents, businesses and visitors. It is a unique Market Town with its own visitor attractions and is also a Gateway to the Chilterns. Tring Together is a founder member of the CTN and it is a privilege to serve as a Director.
Mary Tebje - MTA Tourism Leisure
I am a tourism professional with considerable international marketing, travel trade and PR experience having worked for visitor attractions, emerging destinations and DMO’s in the UK and South Africa! I left the corporate world behind in 2000, having worked at a senior level in customer experience and marketing management for The Tussaud’s Group (now Merlin Entertainments) and Tower Bridge Experience, to set up my own tourism and marketing consultancy. I am proud to be a founder Chilterns Tourism Network member and now Director and really believe the local visitor economy has a bright future offering visitors value for money and amazing experiences!
Sarah Osborne – Tourism Angles
I was very lucky to grow up in the Chilterns, and returned a few years ago to live in Marlow. Much of my 20 years in tourism has been spent working in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire; originally as Tourism Manager for Windsor and now in Location Tourism. 70-80% of the filming locations for ITV’s long-running detective series, Midsomer Murders, are in and around the Chilterns; and the show airs in over 100 countries. Visit Midsomer has been successful in its primary aim to support the rural economy through increased visitor spend in market towns and villages. A five-year period in Asia brought some interesting tourism experiences including working for the national museums in Singapore and looking at B&B potential in Papua New Guinea.
Volunteering opportunities with us
We have worked with some amazing volunteers these past few years, who bring with them so much enthusiasm and insight from their own tourism backgrounds, who have either worked from home and/or from the office in Chinnor. The range of tasks is shown below, from administration to more challenging tasks with a chance to be creative. Even if you can only offer a couple of hours a week we would be interested to hear from you.
- Research and update the ‘Events’ and ‘Places to Visit’ listings on the Visit Chilterns website to keep them fresh, seasonal and interesting.
- Analyse Visit Chilterns web traffic, identify the profile of on-line visitors.
- Keep the CTN mailing list up to date.
- Encourage businesses to use the Chilterns branding.
Person required: someone with an interest in tourism who is computer literate and able to work independently. Knowledge of the Chilterns would be very useful.
What will you get out of it? the chance to undertake varied tasks and gain knowledge of the Chilterns tourism sector, as well as developing valuable working skills.
Contact and further info: firstname.lastname@example.org tel 01844 355508