VisitEngland has announced the latest bids to secure funding from the Discover England Fund for tourism product development.
The two successful large-scale projects, worth up to £1 million each, will enhance England’s competitive tourism offer and target visitors from China, France, Germany, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), India and the Netherlands.
VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “The Discover England Fund has already delivered exciting new tourism products and these winning bids add to our ambitious plans for tourism in England. Innovative projects such as these, with twin centre holidays and off the beaten track food and garden trails, showcase aspects of England in exciting new ways, getting visitors exploring more of the country.”
The successful projects follow the 36 bids that have secured funding to date from the Discover England Fund.
The two successful applicants announced are listed below.
Experience England, led by London & Partners in partnership with Marketing Manchester and the West Midlands Growth Company
This project will create and promote a new England tourism experience, making it easier for first time visitors from China, India and the GCC to visit London and discover other parts of England as part of the same holiday. Experience England offers a variety of iconic, immersive itineraries spanning cities and countryside and enabling visitors to discover real icons of England and the real English way of life. The project will remove barriers to multi-destination travel and will include open jaw-ticketing, travel between destinations and seamless baggage transfer. Visitors will depart from a different English city to the one they entered ensuring minimal travel and maximum holiday time.
The Gourmet Trails of England, led by Go To Places
Go To Places has packaged up accommodation, courses, winery and brewery tours and visits to English gardens for tourists from Germany and the Netherlands. Building on a successful Discover England funded year one pilot, visitors will discover rural England through heritage and country gardens and artisanal food and drink that showcase the tastes of locally-grown produce and offer experiences that show off the beauty of England’s countryside.
The three-year £40 million Discover England Fund, which runs from 2016-19, improves England’s competitive tourism offer by building world-class, bookable tourism products and getting them to the right international customers at the right time, benefitting the domestic market and making it easier to explore the country.
In Years 2 and 3, the fund is supporting destination-led collaborative bids worth more than £1million, and a series of pilots. It continues to fund existing Year One projects that demonstrated early success.
VisitEngland announces winners of attractions accolades
VisitEngland also announced the winners of its 2017 ‘attractions accolades’ in recognition of the quality visitor experiences on offer.
Attractions across England have been awarded VisitEngland Accolades in appreciation of the outstanding experiences they provide. There are 86 attractions to receive accolades, highlighting all aspects of the overall visitor experience from story-telling to food and drink and from customer service to overall winners. The attractions have achieved these accolades based on the score they obtained following their annual assessment by VisitEngland.
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “These attractions offer a warm welcome, unique story-telling, high quality food and drink and unparalleled customer service and rightly deserve these accolades. They provide visitors with amazing experiences and create reasons to travel the length and breadth of the country, increasing the economic benefits of tourism.”
Introduced by VisitEngland in 2014, the accolades are available to members of the Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme. They include the Welcome accolade, Hidden Gem, Best Told Story, Quality Food and Drink and the Gold accolade for all-round top-scoring attractions.
Members of VisitEngland’s Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme represent a wide range of tourism experiences across England, from museums and galleries, farm attractions, historic houses and gardens to churches, cathedrals and country parks. They are supported by a network of highly trained assessors who advise on improving and promoting the quality, accessibility and sustainability of their offer.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.