TOURISM is set to receive a massive push on Canvey and across Castle Point - with council leader confident the borough can challenge Southend as the go-to summer destination in south Essex.

The ambitious claim comes as Castle Point Council prepares to appoint its first ever cabinet member for tourism next week.

Council leader Norman Smith has highlighted a new social media strategy and online promotion campaign as the borough aims to get serious about getting on the tourism map.

Mr Smith highlighted vital areas such as the Olympic legacy created in Hadleigh Park, Canvey seafront and its upcoming £1.5million regeneration.

He also sais the borough’s sites of special scientific interest, such as Canvey Wick on Canvey and Hadleigh Country park, could make the difference too.

He also points out how he is regularly approached by visitors who give him rave reviews compared to Southend.

Mr Smith said: “We need to advertise in a much bigger way. At the moment if you google tourism in south Essex, everything is Southend, what you can do in Southend in the summer, what you can do this weekend.

“But when I speak to people who have visited Castle Point, they all say it is beautiful and has a lot to offer.

“People are going to Southend for the day, paying £10 for parking for the day, queuing in traffic to get to Southend then queuing to get out again.

“Or they can come to Canvey seafront, pay £4 for parking all day, use the facilities and then have an easy trip back to London.”

Mr Smith said it was main goal for the council was to get a cabinet member for tourism in place.

He said: “And Wayne Johnson is the perfect man for that, and is very well-suited to be our cabinet member for tourism.

“When you think of the tourism attraction in Castle Point, we have a lot to offer.

“There are multiple ways to push tourism, we do not promote ourselves at all really at the moment.

“We will put together a social media strategy, and we will have a real push to promote ourselves.”