PROFIT in Kent

Like with all the regions participating in the PROFIT project, we have decided to divide the project into two parts.

The PROFIT project’s first phase has been conducted in Medway – a key tourism area with a rich maritime heritage. The PROFIT project kicked off by focussing on mapping the DNA of Medway. This DNA work has sought to define and highlight the unique characteristics that make it attractive to visitors, crystallising the story of the destination and fleshing out what the customer-facing themes and key messages should look like.

PROFIT has been asking tourism businesses in Medway about their business needs. Specifically, we have been looking at how the digital agenda can help a wide range of tourism stakeholders.

Big Data, normally the preserve of large organisations, is available to smaller businesses too. PROFIT is helping to understand what information would be useful to tourism businesses in Medway and is working with a small pilot group to see how data available on their social networks and booking/review websites could be collectively interpreted.

PROFIT offers a great opportunity for smaller tourism and leisure enterprises in the coastal and maritime destinations in Kent to benefit from easy access to a wide range of business intelligence and insight. This will make their organisations more innovative, entrepreneurial and profitable.

Objectives

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.

Activities

To respond effectively to the needs of consumers and stakeholders the PROFIT project will deliver the following activities:

Activities include
● A DNA identity study in Medway with a range of tourism stakeholders, including public and private stakeholders, residents and visitors;
● Workshops with tourism businesses in Medway to understand business needs and to see what opportunity big data can provide them;
● Additional opportunities to engage stakeholders from coastal locations to engage with the project activities;
● Build a digital platform that can help small businesses use new digital opportunities to inform their priorities, target key audiences and grow their businesses;
● Building on the above, launch an Innovation framework for Kent coastal tourism economy to involve more tourism businesses;
● Expand and develop a coaching and inspiration programme to introduce tourism businesses in Kent to innovative approaches being developed by our partner regions.

Partners

Visit Kent is supported by two partners. 

Kent County Council is an experienced INTERREG stakeholder and has worked extensively with the business community and delivered a range of training programmes and networking events that will benefit the PROFIT project. The project is of interest to KCC for its insights into innovation strategies for businesses.

Canterbury Christ Church University tourism and events Research Hub provides a clearly defined research and knowledge exchange offer to the visitor economy in Kent and beyond. It brings together researchers with areas of expertise ranging from tourism, stakeholder analysis, UK policy, innovation and entrepreneurship to collaborate on research and consultancy projects. The Hub team have been involved in a range of international projects in the areas of smart specialisation, innovation and entrepreneurship which will provide a useful foundation for the PROFIT project. The University is in a unique position to network with a range of research and knowledge exchange activities and projects which will help to disseminate results and best practices from PROFIT on this platform.

Participation

By participating in the PROFIT project, we aim to help tourism and hospitality SMEs to become more competitive, through a better understanding of the business needs and the visitor experience. Through innovative approaches and a collective way of interpreting existing resources, PROFIT aims to equip SMEs with the necessary tools to help develop successful new products and services.

By combining our strengths and learning about what makes our destinations unique, we can become more competitive. Understanding the customer is key and can only be done through access to a wide range of information regarding consumer behaviour. One element of the PROFIT activity looks at the development of “Big Data” analyses. This will help SMEs access timely information, being able to visualise and benchmark data from various sources allowing businesses to make more informed decisions in the future, by having access to unique customer insights. By participating in this element of the project you will be required to feed data (footfall, bookings) into the dashboard anonymously.

PROFIT is a coastal project so if you are a business located in Medway, Swale, Canterbury, Thanet, Dover or Shepway and you would like to learn more about ways you could get involved, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..