Illustration by ‘graphic scribe and doodler’ Emma Paxton


The Festival was delighted to be invited to join the newly-formed Dorset Tourism Association recently;  John & Jacqui Baker, along with Liz Burt, attended its inaugural conference on 28th March 2017. Sherborne Abbey Festival and its volunteer team are proud winners of many tourism awards. We aim to contribute all year round, not just at festival time, to local and Dorset-wide tourism – with an emphasis on local arts.  We are therefore pleased that the county now has an association to represent everything that is great about visiting this part of the UK.



Find out more about the DTA

Established in 2016, the purpose of the Dorset Tourism Association (DTA) is to promote, market and develop tourism in Dorset.

Tourism is a strategic sector for Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (Dorset LEP).


Dorset Tourism Association is a ‘free to join’ membership organisation working with tourism trade membership associations, partnerships and individual businesses.

To promote trade and commerce in tourism, and improve the overall awareness, effectiveness and quality of tourism provision, in Dorset for and to the benefit of the members, Dorset’s residents, tourists and visitors.


The Dorset Tourism Association is:

  • Representing and communicating with tourism trade members across Dorset using website, annual conference, e-newsletter, social media and PR.
  • Gathering intelligence (e.g. research, data, case studies, trend information) for market and visitor analysis.
  • Understanding changes in tourism trends, economic or other factors (e.g. technology and connectivity) and how these impact Dorset tourism businesses. Supporting initiatives that maximise the opportunity for Dorset tourism.
  • Lobbying and helping with co-ordination of activities to maximise grant making and other funding opportunities.
  • Encouraging close working and co-operation between all the Destination Management Organisations, economic development teams in the local authorities and the tourism trade throughout Dorset.
  • Providing a link into Dorset LEP and other public sector bodies as well as a point of coordination for other organisations in Dorset.

Dorset Tourism Association Board 

The aim is to have representation across tourism in Dorset, to cover the range of tourism trade businesses and organisations including accommodation, attractions, food and drink, arts and culture as well as senior local authority representation.

The Dorset Tourism Association Board is Chaired by Richard Smith, Director, The Tank Museum and Dorset LEP board member.


Dorset Tourism Association is a ‘free to join’ membership organisation working with the tourism trade membership associations and partnerships in Dorset. Any Dorset tourism business or organisation is welcome to join the DTA, either as an individual business or as part of a group or association.

Member organisations and benefits.

Annual conference for members

The first conference of the DTA was on Tuesday 28 March 2017 at Kingston Maurward College.


If you are interested in joining the DTA please contact Janet Schofield at

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