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Visit Kent, the official destination management organisation responsible for supporting and growing tourism in Kent, has appointed GMS as its marketing agency for an upcoming campaign focussed on The 149th Open.

With the domestic golf tourism sector experiencing unprecedented demand, Visit Kent through its dedicated ‘Golf in Kent’ partnership, is looking to use the staging of Europe’s most significant golf event to amplify the breadth of offering in the area, and ultimately bring more visitors to one of England’s most spectacular and historic golfing destinations.

GMS will be tasked primarily with growing brand and product awareness, multi-channel content creation, social media growth, and multi-faceted marketing consultancy. The pandemic has brought uncertainty and disruption to the tourism industry but, with the golf sector booming and consumer confidence beginning to make a return, Visit Kent is looking ahead to an exciting second half of 2021 and beyond.

With the county set to host the return of The Open to Royal St. George’s after last year’s postponement, Visit Kent through Golf in Kent aims to use the spotlight to generate renewed interest and to showcase the full offering of amenities to golf tourists.

The forthcoming Golf in Kent campaign is being supported by recent funding secured by Visit Kent and partners at Kent Downs AONB as part of a four-year European project. Interreg EXPERIENCE will support businesses across the county to adapt to changing consumer trends and become more resilient by creating new innovative visitor experiences. This summer’s campaign activity will aim to showcase the range of new visitor experiences on offer, inspire those watching The 149th Open from home, and encourage spectators to return to the county outside of the peak, summer season.

“Whilst the last 12 months has certainly created new challenges for the tourism industry, and undoubtedly has been difficult for many counties across the UK, we now have a renewed sense of optimism with The 149th Open coming to the Garden of England,” commented Visit Kent CEO Deidre Wells, OBE.

“We want to truly make the most of the added buzz surrounding our region and use it as a platform to showcase our unrivalled offering to golfers. Partnering with GMS will allow us to drive forward our ambitious plans for the coming months, and we’re excited to utilise their industry expertise to make the most of the opportunity that The Open provides.”

“Partnering with Visit Kent is a brilliant opportunity to enhance the awareness of an area we’ve always seen as perhaps the strongest and most accessible place to experience world class golf in England,” commented Sam Elder, Director of GMS.

“We’re very well acquainted with its offering, so we’re excited to work with the team at Visit Kent to build a campaign that will enhance its reputation and allow even more golfers to come and sample what the county has to offer.

“The team at Visit Kent have infectious enthusiasm and some exciting, forward-thinking plans to drive golf tourism to the area, and we are very much looking forward to helping them achieve that goal.”