Sandie Dawe, Chief Executive of Visit Britain, samples a Kent Welcome
As thousands of overseas visitors head into the county via ferry, Eurotunnel and Eurostar for the Olympic Games, Sandie Dawe, the chief executive of VisitBritain, has been sampling the welcome awaiting Games guests.
Sandie made Ebbsfleet International her first stop where she met Sandra Matthews-Marsh, chief executive of Visit Kent, and Nicola Shaw, chief executive of HS1 Ltd, the owners of Ebbsfleet International and the high speed railway line.
Kent residents and visitors alike will be taking advantage of Ebbsfleet Park & Ride and the high-speed trains that will transport them to Stratford and the London Olympic Park in 11 minutes.
Sandie was particularly impressed by the display of GREAT images of Kent. Pictures of some of the county’s key destinations have been incorporated in VisitBritain’s international GREAT marketing campaign and are on display at the station to alert visitors to the wide range of attractions and places to visit across the county.
Following her tour of Ebbsfleet, Sandie joined Mrs Matthews-Marsh and Amanda Cottrell, chairman of Visit Kent, to greet the Olympic Torch as it arrived at Canterbury Cathedral.
Mrs Matthews-Marsh said: “It was a great day and the streets were crowded with people waiting to see the Torch in Canterbury. Sandie was introduced to representatives of our volunteer Games Time Kent Greeters, who will be assisting everyone taking advantage of our key travel routes to the Games and letting visitors know just how much Kent has to offer.”
Sandie said: “‘Kent has so much to offer the visitor and I was delighted to experience some of its attractions during my trip.
“As the Garden of England you’d expect the food to be good and I was able to verify that in person at the fantastic Goods Shed Farmers Market in Canterbury. It’s clear that Visit Kent do a really good job developing tourism and promoting the county – they’re a small team who punch well above their weight.”
Ms Shaw said: “What an experience our Olympic visitors are in for! During the Games, we look forward to showing new customers the benefits of Ebbsfleet International and the high speed line. It is wonderfully quick and convenient to travel from Kent into the capital.
“We also look forward to the continued partnership with Visit Kent and Visit Britain beyond the Games – we all recognise that transport plays a key role in encouraging more leisure visitors to get out and about exploring.”
Visit Kent Limited is a public/private sector partnership supported by Kent County Council, Medway Council, the district and borough councils, and the leading sector tourism businesses in Kent. Visit Kent champions Kent’s £3.2 billion tourism industry by targeting UK and overseas markets, improving quality and skills, and growing investment in the tourism product. For further information, go to www.visitkent.co.uk or www.visitkentbusiness.co.uk.
For images of Kent, go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/visitkent/