An online approach to luring more tourists to the Horsham district is to be adopted, following a discussion on strategy.
Horsham District Council plans to lead the project with a dedicated tourism website, moving away from printed brochures.
At a cabinet meeting last week, attended by no members of the public, councillors agreed that a tourism boost could generate higher employment for the district and build an arts, leisure and cultural reputation that supports the economy.
Roger Paterson (Con, Pulborough and Coldwaltham), cabinet member for the local economy, said: “We have to build a website that will put the district into the best possible position. We have an amazing offer to make because we have enormous depths of culture and arts.”
He added: “If we do a good job it will be of huge benefit to ourselves.”
Andrew Baldwin (Con, Holbrook East), cabinet member for the environment, said plans had a lot of potential and questioned if they could ask residents to come up with a unique Horsham district annual event.
Mr Paterson replied: “We do have unique events in Horsham, Piazza Italia, and the fact is large numbers of people, 6,000, are visiting it, and The Big Nibble has grown in stature.”
Leonard Crosbie (LDem, Trafalgar), chairman of HDC, said: “My feeling in the council as a whole is that we have had a rather jaundiced approach to tourism. I think if we can go down the website route it’s a very positive step.”
HDC agreed to audit the current arts, heritage and leisure provision in the district, work with other groups, such as parish and neighbourhood councils to promote short break packages, and set up an advisory group to guide further work on promoting tourism.