THE Falkland Islands Tourist Board has given an assurance that the Falklands will still be promoted internationally despite the cutting of the post of Director, International Communications.
Penguin News contacted the Tourist Board following the submission of a letter to the paper from the Managing Director of Wildfoot Travel Simon Rowland in Cheshire expressing serious concern at the news.
He said the Falklands would not have been on his company’s radar without the intervention of Tony Mason, the Director of International Communications based at the Falkland Islands Government Office in London.
Mr Rowland indicated Mr Mason had been vital to the growth of the relationship between his company and Falklands tourism and expressed worries that things would ‘return’ to a, “telephone number and info@ email address, unresponsive and generally not fit for purpose.”
He described the Falklands UK office as a one stop Falklands shop for UK tourism operators.
Penguin News invited the Tourist Board to respond to the concerns and Interim Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Middleton responded as follows: “The Tourist Board recognises its role in and the importance of promoting the Islands internationally. We remain fully committed to that and we would like to reassure all of our local and overseas partners that, whilst the format may change, our support to them will remain. In line with the Islands new Tourism Development Strategy, we are reconfiguring our marketing efforts, with a particular focus on cost-effective digital marketing. Over the coming months stakeholders will see positive changes to our website and our digital output."
However, FITB recognises the need for direct contact with key travel agents and operators and this role will continue to be undertaken by FITB staff and contractors. The Board are yet to finalise the exact structure of our presence in the UK, but it will continue in some form.
“In the meantime, the team here in Stanley are happy to help and we will maintain a virtual presence in Falkland House in Westminster as we tie down our full marketing plan early next year.”