Star gazing tourism is growing in popularity across the UK and Durham has a number of dark sky discovery sites on its doorstep. Visit County Durham currently have a number of initiatives in place to support businesses to ensure that they have all the skills and information they need to welcome visitors who will incorporate star gazing as part of their visit.
Due to the nature of star gazing, it helps to support the rural economy and off peak occupancy. You do not need to change your business model – simply include dark skies alongside your business description in your promotional material. A toolkit will soon be launched which will give you all the information you need.
In the meantime, a Dark sky business development workshop is taking place on Tuesday 25th September 1-4pm at Durham Dales Centre in Stanhope.
The workshop will offer advice for anyone who is keen to find out more about our dark skies and the visitors who come to the area because of this. The workshop will include why dark skies are so important, evidence for the expanding astro tourism market and case studies, tips on marketing and key messages, making your business dark sky friendly and advice on equipment and resources and a crash course in basic astronomy. We will also be launching the self-assessment scheme – where you can become a dark sky friendly businesses and use the logo in your promotional activity.
There is also the opportunity to attend a familiarisation visit on Tuesday 2nd October at 8-11pm where you will be given the opportunity to visit some of the key star gazing sites across the county to find out more about what we have to offer. There will be a central meeting point, from where you will board a coach and visit the sites hosted by a star gazing specialist.
Places on both events are limited and are therefore on a first come first served. Attendance is free of charge.
Booking via firstname.lastname@example.org or 03000 261225