Ambitious plans to boost tourism in Dover by bringing together businesses in the sector were unveiled at a meeting at Betteshanger Park near Deal.

More than 40 local businesses, from small B&Bs and holiday accommodation to large organisations such as the Port of Dover, took the chance to network at this year’s first meeting of the White Cliffs Country Tourism Association and the most ambitious to have been held since the pandemic.

Chairman Graham Hutchison, who organised the meeting with Betteshanger’s food and beverage manager Tyler Christy, unveiled his vision of seeing White Cliffs Country recognised as the world-class destination he believes it is.

He said research showed that the visitor economy in south east Kent was worth £200 million a year and supported 4,000 jobs.

Graham also suggested that the tourism industry should be pushing for UNESCO to recognise the area as a World Heritage Site, pointing out that it met all 10 of the applicable criteria and was at least equal to other UK candidates for such recognition.

Tyler Christy gave an informative presentation about Betteshanger Country Park and plans to create a world class venue by adding a surfing centre and hotel.

Her colleague Madylene Beardmore, manager of the Kent Mining Museum, spoke about the new attraction, which association members were able to visit following the formal part of the meeting. Members also enjoyed a talk by Elspeth Dunn on the work of the charity Wetwheels South East.

Membership of the association is open to anyone involved in tourism in the Dover, Deal and Sandwich area and costs just £25 a year. Graham can be reached at

By Ed

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