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PROFIT in Essex

The Essex coastline, second longest in England and situated on London’s doorstep, is extremely diverse and boasts many small businesses. The majority of visitors are day visits although we are working on a number of initiatives to encourage longer stays. Essex also has a certain stereotypical image but this isn’t a true picture of the whole county. This project will help to define what is unique to the Essex coast and help businesses to understand their area more and develop their product, innovating to attract more visitors as well as supporting collaboration.


We want to use PROFIT to help entrepreneurs to continue to develop their companies, making sure they can become even more successful and profitable. We develop knowledge and tools, which companies can subsequently get to work with themselves, but we also offer all manner of different training and coaching activities, which we use when working together with companies. Supporting companies like this allows us to make the coastal regions in the Two Seas region even more attractive for tourism and stronger for the future.


WP1a – Determine the DNA (local identity) of our coastal destinations using Southend as a pilot area.
Southend is the most popular coastal resort in the county with 7 million visitors each year. Southend has a certain image that was attached to it however over the past few years they have developed their product to challenge this perception by focusing on culture and improving public realm. The DNA research was piloted in Southend to help define the Southend product and understand its point of differentiation to other coastal resorts.

WP1b Using Big Data and data from SMEs to create insight into consumer behaviour at a destination level, like number of visitors, visitor flows and patterns in behaviour.
This analysis of data across the county has allowed us to understand what others are saying about the county and understand where businesses can improve. As this develops further, it will allow businesses to forecast and plan based on real-time data from internal and external sources.

WP2 Introducing the methodology of service design in the tourism sector. The purpose is to design services according to the needs of customers and the competences of service providers (SMEs).

WP3 Business training & coaching program on Innovation and building an innovation network for SMEs.


Visit Essex’s core aim is to raise the value of tourism to Essex by promoting day trips and short breaks, and ensuring we have a compelling visitor offer that generates income for the county. We do this by being the shop window for Essex tourism businesses, maintaining a high profile for the county through our digital presence, collaborating with travel intermediaries and encouraging collaboration generally between tourism stakeholders, challenging outdated perceptions and being an advocate for high quality products and services with a warm visitor welcome.

The Visit Essex board consists of a team of tourism professionals with a variety of industry experience who work closely with us and together for the greater good of tourism in Essex. Visit Essex is a membership organisation with a range of levels of engagement. We can help businesses up-skill at one of our regular training workshops, meet other tourism businesses at our popular networking events, or have access to market intelligence and industry updates at our annual tourism conference

Visit Essex is a deliverable arm of Essex County Council. Essex County Council is the match funding organisation for this project.

Other coastal destinations, for example Southend-on-Sea, along the Essex coast are working with us on this project to gain maximum benefit for the whole county.


If you are a business based within 10 miles of the Essex coast and would like to participate in these activities or are an operator that is thinking of starting a business on the Essex coast, please get in touch with Anna Boon: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..