The winner of a unique business challenge to attract more overseas visitors to the West of England (Gloucestershire, the Cotswolds, Forest of Dean, Bristol, Bath and Somerset) has been announced on 13 January by South West Tourism in conjunction with Kwintessential, a regional language specialist.
Allium, the celebrated Cotswold Restaurant based in Fairford, Gloucestershire has won a multi-lingual website design package worth £500 to help it attract more Japanese visitors to the award winning restaurant and historic town.
Launched in early December the competition aimed to encourage businesses to improve their marketing advantage and global reach by allowing potential overseas customers to research holiday and business information on the South West in their own language.
Tourism operators were asked to say what they are doing already to attract foreign visitors and/or why they feel they would benefit most from a website translation. Allium husband and wife team James and Erica Graham alongside co-director Patsy Graham have owned the restaurant and adjoining delicatessen since 2004. In 2008, Allium was awarded South West Restaurant of the Year by The Good Food Guide.
Patsy Graham said: “This is great news coming at the start of 2009. We know that the Cotswolds is the number one area outside of London for Japanese visitors and we want them to be able to access information about us online. We have attended a Japanese visitors’ course to learn about etiquette and a little language. The prize translation of the website is going to be the final piece in the puzzle!”
Neil Payne, Kwintessential managing director said: “We are pleased to draw attention to growth opportunities in using language and cultural understanding to attract overseas visitors to the South West. Multi- lingual website translations reach customers in their own language and improve search engine optimisation in chosen markets. We are delighted to help the Allium Restaurant draw more Japanese customers to Fairford and the Cotswolds.”
The strategic importance of looking to overseas markets is emphasised by Malcolm Bell, South West Tourism Director. “Now is the time to be investing in marketing to attract overseas visitors. The Cotswolds is a popular destination for Japanese visitors. Reaching new customers in their own language both at the planning stage and on the move makes commercial sense and promises competitive edge.”
The presentation was hosted by Exeter Airport in their Corporate Aviation Lounge.