The Isles of Scilly today (March 20) launches the long-term vision for its vital tourism industry.

The Destination Management Plan sets out to help revitalise what is the islands’ principal industry, supporting around 85% of all employment.

The plan has been developed by the Islands’ Partnership, the lead body for tourism and business on Scilly, and has been supported by all of the islands’ major stakeholders and funded by the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Alongside new investment in transport, quality and service, the plan calls for a stronger emphasis on its hidden cultural heritage, its potential as an eco-destination as well as the need for increased collaboration to help extend Scilly’s comparatively short tourist season.

James Berresford, chairman of the Islands’ Partnership, said: “As a destination, the Isles of Scilly is blessed with some of the most outstanding natural assets of anywhere in the UK. We have a wonderful opportunity to harness these assets in a way that repositions the islands as the escape destination, meeting the growing demand for discerning, authentic, experience-led tourism.

“The Destination Management Plan will be instrumental in bringing the islands together behind this shared ambition, helping to ensure our industry is both sustainable and fit for the future.”

David Jackson, executive director of the Islands’ Partnership, added: “Today’s launch marks a really significant moment for the islands. The Destination Management Plan, alongside the emerging Smart Islands programme and a new Local Plan, represents a genuinely exciting opportunity to trigger a real step-change in our industry and for Scilly to become a truly sustainable destination that’s economically resilient yet protective of its precious environment and unique sense of place.”

Tim Bagshaw, head of operations at the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP, said: “Tourism is one of the region’s priority sectors and has been recognised as such in our 10 Opportunities prospectus. For the Isles of Scilly in particular, there’s real potential for Scilly’s tourism industry to grow and become more competitive and we’re confident that the new Destination Management Plan will be a vital mechanism to help drive this growth.”

The launch event for the new Destination Management Plan is being held this afternoon at Tregarthen’s Hotel on St Mary’s and will bring together many of the islands’ leading tourism businesses, coinciding with the national English Tourism Week.