Residents’ Week best yet

The 13th annual Dorset Residents’ Week promotion took place from 23 – 29 April 2018.

Despite mixed weather conditions over the week it was the most successful event to date, with over 4100 vouchers redeemed across the 53 participating attractions, generating an estimated additional income value of more than £40k to the Dorset economy.

The week-long event aims to encourage local people to explore Dorset’s fantastic variety of attractions.  ‘Word of mouth’ promotion is an important way of encouraging new visitors and a significant number of people stay with locally based friends and relatives for a holiday in Dorset. The dates of the promotion are chosen to avoid the main holiday periods when the attractions are already very busy.

The Visit Dorset team made some improvements to the campaign for 2018, primarily highlighting the Visit Dorset brand more prominently within the promotion and increasing the online content used to support the promotion.

The main distribution method was a four-page feature in the Spring edition of ‘Your Dorset’ publication, produced by Dorset County Council and delivered to over 200,000 homes in Dorset. The feature included details of all participating attractions and discounts offered, together with five vouchers for residents to use.

Details of the promotion were replicated on the Visit Dorset website by creating individual event listings for each participating attraction, providing offer details, admission costs, opening times and a downloadable version of the voucher. All the 53 offers were listed under a campaign page which provided an overview of how the promotion works together with a call to action to browse the promotional offer pages.

The week-long event was supported by a variety of promotional channels targeting Dorset residents, including social media, editorial coverage in local press, a radio airtime campaign with Wessex FM and promotional posters in the Dorset Tourist Information centres and Weymouth Esplanade sites.

Nick Thornley, on behalf of the Visit Dorset Tourism Partnership, said: “We are delighted that so many of our local attractions continue to support this initiative and find it works well for them in terms of attracting new business.

“The Visit Dorset Residents’ Week continues to grow year on year.  This now well-established event provides an opportunity for local residents to visit the many high-quality attractions we have that are an essential part of our visitor economy.  I would like to thank all the attractions that took part for once again making it such a huge success”.

Feedback from the participating attractions was positive, highlighting the extra visitors that this promotion brought through their doors:

“Although the weather has not been kind to us last week we were very happy with the numbers and the fact for many of those visiting us it was their first time to Forde Abbey.”

“We are very pleased with the turnout and many visitors said they would not have visited if it wasn’t for the Residents’ Week promotion.”

For further details on the campaign visit

  • The Visit Dorset Tourism Partnership is made up of the district and borough councils from West Dorset, North Dorset, Christchurch, Purbeck, East Dorset and Weymouth & Portland. The tourism team of the Dorset Councils’ Partnership co-ordinates this activity on behalf of the other rural Dorset local authorities.