Discover England

Discover England Fund

Details of seven projects to be funded by the Discover England Fund were outlined in GTO Magazine issue 267 (page 94) and more have since been announced in the first year of funding –
making 21 projects in all. These include:

A GREAT WEST WAY Looking at developing, branding and marketing a long distance touring route between London and Bristol.

BRITRAIL ENGLAND PASS M-TICKET The Rail Delivery Group with technical support from Trainline will be fast tracking the migration of the BritRail England pass to a mobile or m-ticket to help visitors buy up to the day of departure and to expand the BritRail retail network.

BRIT FIX(-ED) STA TRAVEL STA Travel will develop a range of easy-to-digest packages forthe international youth market.

CULTURAL ENGLAND FROM HULL TO LIVERPOOL Hull will lead on this project highlighting the offer of Northern England – from Hull to Liverpool – accessed by German and Dutch visitors travelling with P&O Ferries and arriving in Hull. It will look at the introduction of a Transpennine Cultural Rover rail ticket.

DELEGATE ENGAGEMENT The Core Cities group, led by Marketing Liverpool, will develop and test an online booking mechanism to encourage international conference delegates to stay in England for longer.

DISCOVERING THE MIGHTY RIVERS AND MAJESTIC CANALS OF ENGLAND This targets visitors from Germany and Scandinavia, and will develop two itineraries along the ‘Warwickshire Ring’ waterways.

ENGLAND’S SEAFOOD COAST The English Riviera Tourism Company working with DEFRA and local partners to assert the Riviera’s status as an international seafood destination.

GARDENS AND GOURMET is a new, bookable visitor pass that will enable visitors from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the US staying in London to explore the gardens and gourmet offer in Kent, Cheshire, Hertfordshire and The Peak District.

GOLF TOURISM ENGLAND will work with a range of stakeholders to develop an online platform that brings together England’s golf-related businesses for the Asia, Europe and North America markets.

GROWING NEW AUDIENCES FOR ENGLAND’S HERITAGE PROJECT This Augmented Reality project across 12 Heritage Cities – Oxford, Lincoln, Cambridge, Chester, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, York, Lancaster, Carlisle, Salisbury, Greenwich, Bath and Durham – is aimed at bringing heritage to life and to increase the cities appeal to a younger audience.

GROWING MANCHESTER AS AN INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY Led by Marketing Manchester this looks at developing leisure excursions and business extender trips for visitors flying into the city, developing a city-sightseeing itinerary and identifying ways for Manchester to act as an international gateway to Northern England.

INCENTIVE ENGLAND Aims to grow the volume and value of the incentive travel market in England from China, North America and the Middle East with all-encompassing incentive itineraries working with coach tourism businesses.

LONDON AND MANCHESTER: GATEWAYS TO ENGLAND The project is aimed at developing two-centre holidays and open-jaw ticketing.

PASSPORT TO THE COAST Using the Netherlands as a test market this seeks to produce thematic itineraries for coastal travel from Hull to Harwich.

SELF-GUIDED ACTIVITY APP Upgrading Compass Holidays’ current mobile app to provide visitors with more content on the local area and enable them to make bookings easily – without a data connection.

SOUTH WEST COASTAL PATH – AMAZING EXPERIENCES AND MAKING MEMORIES Developing bookable experiences using new technology along the South West Coastal Path for German and Dutch visitors who want to explore by foot or by bike.

THE FRIENDLY INVASION This will package a range of experiences in the East of England targeted at US visitors interested in tracing the footsteps of their compatriots who were based in the region as airmen during the Second World War.

THE LAST MILE BY E-CAR An e-car club will place electric car club vehicles at convenient locations to combine public transport and car travel to explore countryside with Oxford and the Cotswolds as pilot centres.

TELLING THE STORIES OF ENGLAND Developing Cultural Tourism Products across England for US Alumni and Affinity Tours.
Led by the tour operator, UK Countryside Tours, it will see the creation of geographic and thematic historical, cultural and countryside tours for the US alumni and affinity (special interest) markets.

TOWN & COUNTRY SuperBreak will takes its domestic product to the Australian and US markets using regional ports of entry as well as London to enable customers to create and book holidays that incorporate accommodation and transport.

Applications for funding for years two and three will open in early 2017.

£40M Discover England Fund Roll Out

A regional engagement programme discussing the new £40million Discover England Fund is being held across England during February and March. The Fund’s primary aim is to ensure visitors explore villages, towns and cities beyond London, by encouraging the development of three or four world class ‘itineraries’, which will make it easier for visitors to book, access and enjoy these destinations, with an integrated tourism experience from ‘start to finish’, that incorporates transport solutions.

The itineraries could run across neighbouring geographical areas or along a theme (eg Shakespeare’s England). Itineraries must be bookable and work for international customers as well as benefit domestic customers and could include group pricing initiatives. The fund has a phased delivery plan with year one looking to develop and support bids and collect market research and intelligence to inform their development as well as try out pilot activity, building best practice and delivering ‘quick wins’. Successful bids will be announced in April 2017.

The Tourism Alliance expresses concerns that there are significant barriers and behavioural issues, (eg currently only 8% of incoming visitors are part of an organised tour) that will have to be overcome for these itineraries to have any meaningful impact on the distribution of overseas visitors around England.