Leader's from across Somerset's tourism bodies have met to discuss new plans to boost the trade in the county.

The meeting, held in Taunton, followed a government review of how the sector is managed across the country. It recommended the creation of new 'Local Visitor Economy Partnerships' which would work with Visit England to create new opportunities for fresh projects.

The shakeup would see Somerset's tourism network comprise Visit Somerset, Visit Exmoor, Somerset Council and a number of other stakeholders including town councils and other groups.

Giles Adams, Chair of Visit Somerset commented, “We are delighted at the opportunity that has been greatly assisted by the Heart of the South West LEP who have funded this in-depth exercise by expert consultants Tomorrow’s Tourism to develop a framework that can form the basis of a LVEP application to Visit England later this year.

"If successful, it will mean for the first time ever that Somerset will have a significant representation at national level to increase its impact as a visitor destination, greatly assisting the county’s economy.

 Emma Thomasson, Chief Executive of Visit Exmoor stated, "Our collaborative efforts with Somerset Council are part of an ongoing journey to work more strategically together. This approach enables us to better elevate and grow Somerset and Exmoor's visitor economy. Visit Somerset and Visit Exmoor, already work well together where appropriate and have a shared vision aim to inspire visitors and bolster our visitor economy businesses.

"With the introduction of the LVEP and the invaluable support from the LEP, we're poised to take our collaboration to the next level. As an LVEP, our shared vision is not merely about growth, but about supporting uplifting the remarkable businesses that are the foundation our visitor offering. This alliance underscores our commitment to the continuous growth and prosperity of Somerset and Exmoor's visitor economy.”