St Ives has broken new ground by becoming the first town in Cornwall to launch its own gift card scheme.
Led by St Ives BID, the St Ives Gift Card is available to buy online as either a physical or digital card and can be spent like a debit card on everything from accommodation and eating out to shopping and leisure activities.
BID manager, Sarah Hooper, said: “St Ives itself has a population of 10,000 and is reliant on tourism. Approximately 5 million people visit Cornwall each year, and around 15% of those people currently visit St Ives, either for the day or staying overnight. International travel in the south-west region is forecast to grow 15% by 2027, and by 3.8% each year through to 2025 in Cornwall itself.
“Encouraging even a small percentage increase in visitor numbers to St Ives through our gift card and giving people the means to immerse themselves in the full range of products and services in St Ives, will have a significant impact on our economy. St Ives is the UK’s best seaside resort for a reason and now, people are able to give the gift of St Ives to others.”
The scheme has been embraced by many local businesses. Richard Boon, CEO of Hub Box, said: “I think it’s great that St Ives is leading the way in Cornwall with its own gift card, especially the fact that you can get a physical or digital version of the card.
“Almost everyone pays using their card or phone now, so being able to load that St Ives Gift Card into your digital wallet and pay using your phone is really convenient.”
Visitors and locals alike can also pick up the St Ives Gift Card in person from the Visitor Information Centre on Gabriel Street. It is also available to buy online.