Page 40 - MarketTimesDecember2019
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40 MARKET TIMES • DECEMBER 2019 The market that’s marketing
markets to the tourism industry
  HUNDREDS of group travel and tour organisers attending a flagship event at London’s Alexandra Palace on January 25 next year to find out about the best attractions to take their groups to in the South East will be able to experience the market shopping experience at first hand.
Last year the organisers of Excursions, a Group Travel Fair, decided to stage a real life market at the one-day event to encourage people to include a visit to a market as part of their tour.
It was such a success that Berks Bucks & Oxon Tourism South East are planning another market at the popular travel fair they organise, which attracts 1,200 group travel and tour organisers and features more than 250 exhibitors.
Jeanette Howse, the organisation’s business develop- ment executive, has been at the heart of the imaginative initiative and will also be standing the market, selling the jams and preserves she makes and sells at markets and events under her brand Well Preserved.
Jeanette said: “Our job is to promote tourism in the south east and Excursions is our big event that attracts hundreds of group tour organisers.”
Basically, anyone who organises a group tour, from a scout trip to a large operator, can attend, she said.
Top tourist attractions like Blenheim Palace exhibit at the event, but the organisers also wanted to promote markets in their region, some of which are struggling.
“We believe markets are free local attractions where tourists can enjoy the market shopping experience and buy produce or a gift to round off their day out,” Jeanette said.
So when a colleague came up with the idea of actually staging a market at the fair to hammer the message home, Jeanette was only too happy to organise one.
jam — it would never set, but when I had a go it set perfectly.” FAST FORWARD
Fast forward to adulthood when Jeanette was working at Didcot Railway Centre and she once again took up jam-making because there were so many apple, pear and plum trees and blackberries at the visitor attraction in Oxfordshire.
“I began selling my jam and preserves to fund a Christmas street fair in Didcot and it just snowballed from there,” Jeanette said.
She helped to set up and then stood Didcot Farmers Market in the early 1990s, and she has continued to make and sell her Well Preserved jams and preserves at farmers markets and events, building up a loyal following.
So Jeanette was the ideal person to make a go of the event market.
“We hired proper striped market stalls so it really looked like an authentic market,” she
said. “I sold my jams and we had about 20 traders who each paid £50 to stand the market including fruit and veg traders, biscuits, sweets, breakfast cereals and jewellery.”
The traders were happy with their takings and the attendees thoroughly enjoyed their market shopping experience, so they are staging another market at the January 25 event.
“Markets are such an important part of our history and heritage and we need more people to shop at them. Adding a market to a tour costs nothing and creates an authentic experience for the tourists.”
Jeanette and her colleagues believe staging a market to market markets is a win/win initiative which tourist organisations around the country might like to consider.
If you’re interested in trading at the event you can email: or telephone 023 8062 5516 or 023 8062 5419.
 And as a seasoned market trader, she had the knowledge and the contacts.
For Jeanette, it all began as a child of 10 or 11 when she was an enthusiastic Brownie and used to go blackberry picking.
“My mum used to make apple and blackberry pies but somehow she could never make

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