Tuesday 3 April 2012

Thanet Council omit key beaches and bays from visitor guides

Leafing through the newly published Isle magazine, a publication aimed at visitors to Thanet, I was left perplexed by the visitor guide maps at the back on pages 74 and 75.

Isle is funded by Thanet District Council and the European Union.

There are individual maps for Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate and the villages. There is a glaring omission: Most of Thanet's key beaches and bays are not on these visitor maps. These same maps are on the Visit Thanet website: http://www.visitthanet.co.uk/maps-and-travel/

This is the list of bays that aren't featured:
Minnis Bay
Grenham Bay
Epple Bay
St. Mildred's Bay
Palm Bay
Botany Bay
Kingsgate Bay
Joss Bay
Dumpton Bay
Pegwell Bay

Many of these bays are Thanet's key beaches. I've long bemoaned the fact that the towers at Reculver are missed off Thanet's visitor maps because it lies within Canterbury's jurisdiction,  which makes no sense at all for a visitor setting off to walk that glorious walk from Minnis Bay to the Reculver. But it hadn't even dawned on me that there would be visitor guides published without even including Minnis Bay or any of the other bays between there and the adventure golf at the Nayland Rock on Margate's main sands.

How does this make any sense?

The Margate map is from the Nayland Rock to Walpole Bay. There are helpful directions indicating 'To Hornby Visitor Centre'. No mention of Quex or the Powell Cotton Museum.

Broadstairs is shown from Stone Bay to Louisa Bay. Even Thanet District Council's own policy of promoting the 'seven bays of Broadstairs' isn't adhered to.

Ramsgate is shown from the main sands to Westcliff Bay.

Birchington is depicted without a coastline at all. The centre of the map features mostly the dual carriageway the Canterbury Road. Not exactly the most appealing part of Birchington to promote to visitors to the area. And where is the sea?

They simply don't depict the coast that connects the towns. Thanet District Council really need to get to grips with what information is relevant to visitors. Marketing by postcode makes no sense at all. Omitting whole swathes of key beaches is a misrepresentation of Thanet's offering for visitors.

After trawling through Visit Thanet's website I find there is a beaches and bays leaflet available as a pdf. Referenced in the main text not as a menu item. This has the map that really should be pushed to the forefront. it shows the whole coastline with all the bays. Those of us who live here know how close the bays are to the individual areas, a visitor doesn't. They rely on advice.


  1. I guess that this is what happens when, instead of employing a professional full-time PR/Tourist Promotion Manager, we appear to have a succession of muppets/trainees/ 'give it to Flossie as she hasn't anything else to do today' types masquerading as editors/designers/journos.
    I write in sorrow rather than anger.

  2. Agree entirely, Col. It is another example of European money being squandered on sub-standard material. Even worse are the glossy publications aimed at ramblers, which are heavy on logos, self-congratulation and information at the "Canterbury has a cathedral" level, but hopelessly inadequate as a route guide.

  3. It is sooooo sad that negative comments about Isle should be aired in this way. Isle was started by local people as part of regeneration to showcase all that is best in the area. TDC and the EU pay for advertising in the mag but the majority of the funding comes from advertising, suplimented by local writers, photographers and designers who subsidise the mag by taking very small or non-existant fees.
    It is true that TDC supply the maps that are used but why not contact the magazine first and give it an opportunity to right anf wrongs.
    I am devastated that local people want to shoot down an enterpise, started, and maintained with hard work by local people.
    If only the energy in posting this nonsense had been used to help rather than carp.

    David Case

  4. Dear David,

    You are the publisher of Isle and as such perhaps you are misreading my personal opinion about the visitor maps that have been provided to you for publication by TDC.

    You also state that you were happy with the content because you conducted surveys with residents and visitors.

    Why change the maps at all then?

    What negative comments about Isle Magazine are you referring to?