We Are Weymouth agree with the message to dissuade visitors from Weymouth. It is absolutely the right approach to take.
However, we take the view that, encouraged by the government statements on the relaxation of lockdown restrictions, people will choose to visit Weymouth and they should have the basics; car parks and public toilets because as the sunny days continue, day trippers will surely arrive.
Many businesses have remained open, some are reopening, some reinventing themselves, they all need customers.
Beach cafes are open, Quayside businesses are open, albeit in a remodelled fashion but clearly seeking customers. The staff of these businesses need to park.
Although not encouraged, visitors are arriving and keeping visitors facilities shut has major effects:
Many of the people visiting Weymouth Town Centre will be those living on the outskirts of Weymouth itself who, up until now have not been permitted to drive to exercise.
We want to manage our resort in a way that balances visitor expectation with reality in these difficult times. We have a Duty of Care to provide these facilities.
We have asked the Local Authorities to:
i.) Open Car Parks.
ii.) Open Public Toilets with new Hand Sanitiser stations at the entrances, clearly displayed information on safety guidelines and full explanations of the new cleaning regimes that will be in place.
Marketing and Promotion for Weymouth
For the immediate future, WeAreWeymouth will continue to promote the message ‘Come Back Later’ and we are also happy to use ‘Think Twice’.
In the near future we will be using some promotional videos from local businesses explaining how each of them are preparing for visitors, the message being:
This is what’s different.
This is how we are keeping our staff safe.
This is how we are keeping our customers safe.
When it is the right time to market Weymouth as a destination again we would like there to be a joined up campaign from all agencies with emphasis on safety where ‘Your safety is important to us’ uses the same message, ie
This is what’s different.
This is how we are keeping ourselves safe.
This is how we are keeping our visitors safe.
*We will also be promoting a “Book Direct” message to support our hotels and guest houses.*
As Partners in the Community Safety Officers project we are also open to discussion on whether the CSAS officers should have a role to play in “advising” visitors on Social Distancing, as it may be that part of the future message should be that Weymouth is safe to visit but we expect you to follow the guidelines and help keep us all safe when you are here.