We are working with our partners to re-position Torbay as a year-round, popular tourism destination by developing a shared cultural narrative and tools which integrate culture into place marketing and branding. 


In 2017, Torbay adopted a new, five-year Destination Management Plan. Torbay’s tourism industry is already worth £450m and provides 21% of our jobs.  Yet the Destination Management Plan highlights an over-reliance on repeat visits (87%) and a sharp drop off in visits outside of peak season. Cultural tourists are a key new market but we must address the gap between what people want and what they expect to find in Torbay.  Two thirds of non-visitors seek heritage, history and culture, but only half think they’ll find it here.

In addition, the long awaited South Devon Highway opened in 2016, halving travel time from the M5 to Torbay and transforming access to the Bay for visitors and businesses. The new road will only deliver its estimated £1billion impact to the area if we work together. 

The Destination Management Plan focuses on market growth and an increased profile for Torbay as a quality destination, with an emphasis on partnership working, product development (including cultural tourism products) and communications. It aims to develop the destination, the visitor experience, local businesses and employee skills.


We will work with partners to deliver the key initiatives defined in years 1-3 of the Destination Management Plan and the Great Place Scheme, namely:

  • Setting up a new, strategic Destination Management Group, bringing together stakeholders with a role to play in developing and managing the English Riviera as a whole destination. The Destination Management Group will lead the implementation of the plan and meet quarterly to review progress.

  • New cultural tourism products such as trails, itineraries, immersive experiences and visitor interpretation, to make the most of cultural and heritage assets

  • Market development and communication:

    • a new English Riviera website and social media for increased digital presence

    • new cultural tourism marketing and communications.


The Destination Management project will deliver:

  • A robust infrastructure for joined-up working on destination management, so the sector as a whole has a greater impact

  • A defined cultural offer in Torbay which attracts new visitors (including international visitors) and supports a year-round visitor offer

  • A higher quality visitor destination with broader appeal and improved visitor experience.


Our lead strategic partner in this project is the English Riviera BID Company. The Destination Management Group brings together all stakeholders with a responsibility for Torbay as a visitor destination and is co-ordinated by TDA.

We have commissioned Wonder Associates and Canny Marshall as our cultural tourism product development partners following a competitive tender process.

If you have a question about this project, feel free to email

Our Destination Management work is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, as part of Torbay's Great Place Scheme.


The outline timescales for this project are:

October - November 2017: Develop initial cultural content for new English Riviera website and launch the new site (complete)
December 2017 onwards:  Continue to develop the cultural content on English Riviera website (underway)
February - May 2018: Appoint Destination Management Group co-ordinator and form the Group (complete) 
July - August 2018: Commission partner to develop new cultural tourism products (complete)
September-November 2018: Consult with tourism and cultural sector partners on approach to cultural tourism (complete)
December 2018: Sharing of new vision for cultural tourism in the English Riviera (complete) - read the visioning document
January 2019- March 2020: Develop and roll out new cultural tourism products (underway). Read about the Writers On The Riviera trail guide.


“Torbay Culture is proactively helping to identify new product development opportunities to extend the traditional season, which is a primary objective of the ERBID.”

– Carolyn Custerson, Chief Executive Officer, English Riviera BID Company Ltd