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Opening up England’s coast to win international visitors!

An exciting new tool to attract a greater number of international visitors to the English coast has been awarded funding by VisitEngland’s Discover England Fund.

The National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) is thrilled to be able to develop new product on England’s Coast for international visitors, building on its successful pilot project, the Coastal Pass, which promoted the East coast of England to Dutch nationals.

The new ‘England’s Coast’ project will focus on German, Dutch and French visitors. It will target the Yorkshire Coast, including Scarborough, Whitby, Bridlington and the North York Moors National Park; Northumberland on the North East coast; the South coast, including Brighton and Eastbourne; Devon and Cornwall in the South West; the Jurassic Coast in Dorset and East Devon, and will continue to promote the East coast, from Hull to Harwich, to a new audience.

England’s Coast will harness the interactive video technology trialled in the Coastal Pass which allows holidaymakers to create their own itineraries, but the scope of the project will be expanded to target travel trade through FIT (Fully Independent Travel) and group itineraries showcasing the very best of England’s coast.

The project will also create a series of online learning programmes to educate international travel trade about the coast, as well as product knowledge and customer service courses for local businesses on the coast.

“The award from VisitEngland’s Discover England Fund is a fantastic opportunity to develop and connect product on England’s coast into bookable itineraries for international visitors,” commented NCTA Academy Director Samantha Richardson.

“We now know from our pilot on the East coast that the coast appeals to international visitors once they are made aware of the product and England’s Coast provides a new reason for many seasoned travellers to discover England. Our primary focus will initially be the German market, whilst also continuing to work with the Dutch, building on our East coast project.

“Our research demonstrates that although the number of international visitors to the coast has historically been relatively low, this is largely because international consumers simply aren’t aware of what the coast offers or how to book.

“The project will create bookable short-break itineraries to highlight the very best on the coast and focus on couples travelling without children to encourage trips off-peak and help to reduce seasonality. It supports the wider Vision for the Visitor Economy on the Coast and the project will work with a number of partners from both the public and private sectors, including P&O Ferries, Hertz, Green Traveller, and a number of destination management organisations on the coast.”

The itinerary builder for independent travellers, created as part of the round one project, will also be expanded to enable accommodation, activity and attraction providers, retailers and destinations across the relevant stretches of coastline to add their businesses so that international visitors can create bespoke personalised itineraries.

To see the round 1 Coastal Pass which features more than 350 businesses on the east coast, click HERE

The National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) supports the growth of the visitor economy on the coast through the dissemination of good practice and the creation and interpretation of research that leads to exceptional visitor experiences.

It works with academia and the tourism industry nationally to raise the profile of coastal tourism and deliver solutions that address coastal challenges and help businesses maximise the opportunities for growth on the coast.

For further media information, please contact Sheron Crossman, Marketing and Communications Manager, Sheron.crossman@coastaltourismacademy.co.uk or tel: 01202 962565.

About the Discover England Fund

  • In November 2015, the Government announced a £40 million Discover England Fund; an unprecedented opportunity for English tourism. The Fund aims to deliver world-class bookable tourism products joined up across geographies and/or themes; including integrated transport solutions to provide an end-to-end customer experience.
  • The Fund supports the growth of one of England’s most successful export industries, inbound tourism. Tourism is an industry that delivers jobs and economic growth across the English regions – contributing some £106bn each year to the economy and supporting 2.6 million jobs.
  • The Fund supported a number of pilot projects in year one (2016/17) that tested product development approaches. In years two and three, 2017-19, the fund will support:
    • A number of large-scale collaborative projects to be delivered over the two year period 2017-2019 that will create a step-change in bookable English tourism product for international consumers,
    • A smaller funding pot for new one year pilot projects (in year two), and
    • Continuation funding for existing year one projects that demonstrated early learnings (in year two).

About VisitBritain/VisitEngland

  • VisitBritain/VisitEngland is the national tourism agency – a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)
  • Working with a wide range of partners in both the UK and overseas, our mission is to grow the volume and value of inbound tourism across the nations and regions of Britain and to develop world-class English tourism product to support our growth aspirations. For further information and to access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics visit www.visitbritain.org or www.visitbritain.com and www.visitengland.com for consumer information.

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