Tourism, hospitality and enjoying our local attractions

What a spectacular bank holiday weekend it turned out to be. With the sun shining again on our fields and beaches, ours is an area of true natural beauty. From the countryside to the cliffs, there are so many unique walking trails to enjoy alone or with one of our local walking groups who host events, such as the White Cliffs Ramblers. Together with sea sports, tennis, cycling and other activities right across our community.  

Last week in Parliament we celebrated our hospitality, food and tourism industries at a Kent Day Parliamentary reception with Visit Kent, supported by the Port of Dover.  Kent is fast becoming known for its wine making. It has been described as ‘England’s wine country’, with more than 50 wineries across the county. Popular brands like Chapel Down are now a regular fixture on supermarket shelves and even rival French and New World winemakers. The chalky soil and, it is said, temperate climate has resulted in a burgeoning wine industry.

Beer is a popular favourite too. With two Bank Holiday beer festivals – at the Crabble Corn Mill and Dover Rotary. Our community is home to some outstanding breweries, including the Breakwater Brewery and Taproom in Dover and Time & Tide in Deal, which has outstanding artwork on its beer cans too.  

On Walmer Green, this weekend the Best of Kent Food, Drink and Craft Festival was in full swing. Festivals such as these are such a great way to showcase local enterprise. As the Garden of England we are fortunate to have such amazing food and drink produced locally.

Meanwhile, Dover Castle has again been attracting high numbers of visitors as one of the most popular attractions in the country. Over 200,000 people visited Dover Castle last year. Having important visitor attractions contributes strongly to our local economy.

In 2021, tourism generated over £200 million in the Dover District. Hundreds of people in Dover and Deal work so hard in our tourism and hospitality sectors, including at hotels and restaurants as well as cultural and historic sites. It is encouraging to see visitor numbers rising, bringing more jobs, money, opportunity, and business to our community.

There is potential to do so much more. I was encouraged by my recent meeting at Techfort, Dover’s Citadel at the Western Heights, with its plans for a five-star hotel and spa on the White Cliffs. New leisure and tourism attractions are under consideration at Betteshanger Park. And, of course, it’s vital to bolster road resilience at peak holiday times so that we can encourage more visitors through the Port to stop, stay and spend money in our local businesses. We’ve secured £45million of Government funding for road improvements and I’m keen to see that work get underway.

We are so fortunate to enjoy such a beautiful part of the world and now is a great time to take full advantage of it.




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