Sustainable transport. Digital future. They are two of the key themes at a tourism conference at Shanklin’s Lower Hyde Holiday Park, which is taking place today (Wednesday).

The Isle of Wight did “OK” in 2019, according to Will Myles, Managing Director of Visit Isle of Wight, who says he will not get the final figures until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, he told Isle of Wight Radio that today’s event aims to inspire Island businesses to utilise the trend for online searching and booking to their advantage.

Andrew van der Feltz, Expedia (L) and Will Myles, Visit Isle of Wight (r)visit isle 

Will Myles said,

“Today’s about talking to the tourism businesses across the Island. We’ve got a mini expo. It’s all about giving the tourism industry lots of information about going forward. Key messages are our 2020 campaign, which will be about discovering the Isle of Wight. But also about how people can interact [using] digital. Small amounts of money can make a huge difference to your business.”

Delegates include some of the big players in online tourism, including booking website Expedia.

“Expedia Group is one of the larger online players in the world.”

“The world is becoming more digital…It was a great opportunity to for us to help guide and explain a little bit about the digital world and how data and technology can help the consumers find more venues to visit more easily,” says Andrew van der Feltz, Senior Director Business Development EMEA & APAC at Expedia.

He insists small businesses on the Isle of Wight do not need international marketing budgets to ensure an effective presence online:

“Dip your toe in. It’s not all about big budgets. It’s about the right strategy at the right time. A cooperative approach [on the Isle of Wight] would make a lot of sense.

“We get 2.1 billion data points every month. That allows us to see what people are searching for. It’s about getting the right message in front of the right person at the right time.”