Welcome to the South Somerset Tourism Trade Page
This page contains information for existing tourism businesses plus anyone thinking of starting a tourism business in South Somerset.
As part of the South Somerset District Council team we are able to offer a variety of initiatives and support, please do Get in Touch if you think we might be able to help.
South Somerset Tourism Newsletter
The South Somerset tourism newsletter is emailed to accommodation providers, attractions and other interested parties and is an easy way to keep uptodate about networking events, grants, training opportunities, business support and awards. It also includes a news section, which can include events and award celebrations, please Get in Touch if you have a news story to share.
Generally the newsletter is published quarterly with additional editions if there is important or timely information specific to tourism businesses. If you would like to receive a copy of the newsletter direct to your email address, please sign up Here
Previous editions of the newsletter can be accessed below
Tourism newsletter August 2021 update with details of the new website launch. Please note that Shopping & Retail do not have individual listings on the website. Please explore our Things to Do guide for some suggestions.
Tourism Newsletter Summer 2021 introducing the hospitality recruitment service and update on the A303 Sparkford to Ilchester roadworks
Tourism newsletter Spring 2021 including a reminder about the offer of a FREE website listing, free events during the Recover, Restart and Grow 15-19 March 2021 and details about the Visitor Economy Support Programme (VESP)
Tourism Newsletter April 2021 (special edition) with details about the 2021 Leaflet Exchange
TOURISM NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2021 (SPECIAL EDITION) containing important information about applying for a free listing on the Visit South Somerset website and the SSDC Food and Drink Directory
tourism newsletter January 2021 (special edition) - Press release about the latest round of tourism and lockdown grants and the Visitor Economy Support Programme launch
tourism NEWSLETTER WINTER 2020 This edition includes Tier 2 Business support grants, Visit England/ Visit Britain business support webinar, listing in the SSDC Great Green Directory and Carbon reduction business grants
South Somerset Tourism Resources - here to help you
South Somerset District Council operate two Visitor Information Centres; the South Somerset Visitor Information Centre & Gift Shop at the Cartgate Picnic Site on the A303 and the Yeovil Tourist Information Centre in Yeovil (currently closed due to the COVID-19 restrictions). The team that work in the centres are very knowledgeable and passionate about the local area and are a vital point of contact for visitors to the centres themselves and the wider communication streams. Both these sites accept appropriate brochures and publicity leaflets for display - all materials are at the discretion of the centre supervisor. Please note that no individual accommodation leaflets are displayed as there is simply not the room, though staff are happy to take details and keep on file should they receive enquiries.
Visit South Somerset website listings
If you have looked at the website and its listings and can see that you meet the criteria as a tourism focused business, please contact us for a FREE listing by completing this simple online form Here.
To qualify, businesses must be located in South Somerset (there will be a few exceptions in terms of attractions and these are at our discretion), offering a service to visitors in the area and be registered and approved by the appropriate bodies, such as the SSDC Environmental Health.
We reserve the right to reject applications which we consider inappropriate in any way.
Please note that Shopping & Retail businesses do not have individual listings on the website and suggestions are noted in our Things to Do Guide which is produced separately. If you wish to be featured in here for the next edition in a relevant section, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Food and drink businesses can apply for a listing in the food and drink directory which also appears on this website. Details for the directory can be submitted here
The SSDC Economic Development team who will process the application and check the necessary information submitted.
If you are interested in taking advantage of the Special offer currently in place for advertising on the two digital screens at the South Somerset Visitor Information Centre, all the details can be found on the Digital screens rate card
Publications and itineraries
Download and Access FREE Guides
The team have been working hard behind the scenes to produce visitor information based on feedback gained from the centres. This has resulted in producing a handy Things to Do guide packed full of what to do, where to go, eat, drink, shop and so forth. It is not exhaustive and by inclusion does not imply recommendation. It is more a handy hints and tips guide that we intend to edit and update every year going forwards. Feedback from the Leaflet Exchange was extremely positive for these free guides. We have also produced a Dog Friendly Days out in South Somerset and an Accessibility Guide and intend to produce 'Free Days Out' and 'Rainy Day Ideas' too. If you would like to be included in future editions, please get in touch.
Please feel free to send your guests these website links that are easy to read flipbooks - planning ahead just got a whole lot easier!
Download and Access FREE enticing itineraries
In addition, the team have created and refreshed a number of enticing itineraries to enjoy and we have created a library of free leaflets, maps and brochures to download too. There really is something for everyone to make the most of their stay here. Please feel free to send them the link from our website, all the itineraries can be found here.
If you would like printed copies of the FREE guides for your visitors, do let us know and we will make a note and do our best to meet your needs.
General business support and advice
Whether you are looking to start a tourism related business in South Somerset or to grow and expand your existing business there is a wide selection of help and support available from South Somerset District Council and other organisations.
SSDC Economic development is here to support you, your business and your employees. We work with partners to help you with advice and support in the following areas:
- Business support,
- accessing grants and loans,
- broadband, employment and skills,
- relocating to the area,
- regeneration of our towns
- general business guidance.
If you would like regular updates on events and support that is available, subscribe to our newsletter by contacting us at email@example.com
SSDC Environmental Health can help with queries regarding registering any new business, especially those offering a food and drink business. This would for example include hotels, bed and breakfasts and guest houses. They can offer advice about what new and existing businesses need to do and how to ensure that you are safe and legal.
SSDC Planning assist with all planning and development management from the pre – application stage to completion.
SSDC Business Rates for details about what is required by law and how to apply for Business Rate relief.
External links and sources of information
Heart of the South West Growth Hub has a wealth of information on their website from Covid toolkits, GDPR resources to information about starting up or scaling up a business. The event and workshop pages offers a selection from cyber and digital skills to women’s networking events
Visit England/ Visit Britain trade pages have research statistics, promotional opportunities, latest information about COVID-19 and Industry standards. There is also a comprehensive section on starting a business, legal obligations, understanding health and safety.
We highly recommend all visitor accommodation and tourism businesses are accessed and registered with one or more of the relevant accreditation bodies, not only does it maximise promotional and commercial opportunities but also offers reassurance to the customer. Whichever scheme you opt for, please let us know and we can make sure your listing is up to date.
AA Assessment Scheme have been assessing businesses since 1908 and cover hotel, guest accommodation, caravan and camping, self catering and serviced accommodation as well as the restaurant rosette awards. As well as the assessments they offer different packages of membership and advertising.
Visit England Quality Assessment cover a wider range of accommodation categories as well as the national accessible, taste scheme and the various welcome schemes; walkers, cyclists, families, welcome pets and One Step ahead.
Quality in Tourism have a more flexible approach, which might be more appropriate and in addition to the assessments offer a basic package called Safe, Clean & legal, Great4 accolades for accommodation, activities and events, mystery shoppers and REST for businesses wanting to measure and promote their sustainability ethos.
Green Tourism is available for accommodation and attractions and includes a handy green check quiz to complete before starting the application process.
COVID-19 specific support
SSDC special Coronavirus page details the business and personal support available at a more local level.
The South Somerset Tourism team are here to help both established and new tourism businesses, please get in touch - we love hearing and meeting new businesses.