Battle of Hastings not doing enough for Rye


Ten sixty six and all that is doing little to help tourism in Rye a new tourism marketing group claims.

Rye Bay Marketing Ltd outlined plans for promoting the town and immediate area when they gave a presentation to Rye Town Council.

They have already notched up a number of achievements, including creating a web-site and producing the Rye Guide, which actually turned a substantial profit for the first time in years.

But they say the wider 1066 Country marketing campaign, which takes in Hastings, Battle and Pevensey, is not so effective in promoting Rye.

One of the reasons is that the campaign stops at Romney Marsh and does not include Tenterden – areas that are important to Rye tourism,

Chairman John Smith said: “Nothing has been done to develop the 1066 brand.

“I was in the tourist information centre in Bath and asked if they had any information on 1066 Country and no-one had heard of it or knew what it meant.

“It is not the same as promoting the South Downs or Lake District or Peak District which have known identities.

“1066 means something to a certain age group who studied it at school. It has not been on the school syllabus for years.

“The French and Germans and Dutch, who we rely on for tourism, know nothing about 1066 or what it means.

“To just hang your hat on 1066 is not good.”

Mr Smith explained that Rye Bay Marketing group comprises members of from the local retail trade, the Hotels and Caterers Association and Chamber of Commerce.

He says it came about after the Rye Marketing Group folded and that its sole aim is to market the name of Rye Bay into the greater world and especially within a two and a half – three hour drive radius of Rye.

He said: “We are completely open and transparent and things get handled efficiently and well.

“None of us get paid. We are doing this for the benefit of the town and not for our own gain. We exclude our own businesses from marketing opportunities.

“An awful lot of passion, hard work and research has gone into this from our part, based on sound local knowledge.”

He added: “I see Rother Council as helping us in our endeavours but not to dictate the way we do it for they do have the expertise in this area and we do.”

Rye Town Council set up a working group to work with Rye Bay Marketing in promoting the town effectively.