Building product development and distribution capability

Creating new bookable itineraries
Developing tourism products for the trade
Making it easier for people to explore

In 2016/17 we worked actively with industry, the travel trade and partners to develop new bookable tourism products. We brought new bookable products, including tours and itineraries, to market, to enable visitors to experience more of what the nations and regions of Britain have to offer.

Encouraging visitors to explore with new product ideas

Our new product development strategy has seen us facilitate new bookable products and itineraries for distribution through the overseas travel trade. At the heart of the strategy is finding ways to encourage wider exploration across the nations and regions, spreading the economic benefit of tourism around Britain.

A new thematic approach saw us work across Government departments and industry to develop new product ideas, and supported the development, delivery and distribution of new products from the Discover England Fund projects. We collaborated with transport providers to show just how easy Britain is to explore, and we enabled the creation of innovative food and drink hubs to enhance regional appeal, working to proactively influence and develop solutions to key areas of challenge for international visitors.


Developing new bookable tourism products

In 2016/17, we developed a new range of bookable products in two of our four key thematic areas: rail travel, and food and drink.


Making new connections

The GREAT rail project brought together industry and local enterprise partners to make Britain easier to explore by train.

New consumer and trade brochures, along with a suite of new videos, promoted 14 bookable rail itineraries to the trade. These packages join up visitor experiences across the country, making it simpler than ever to access the unique experiences on offer in Britain.

  • Two Highlands itineraries linked the major tourist hubs of Edinburgh and Glasgow with other centres across Scotland, including Perth, Inverness, Fort William and the Isle of Skye
  • A five day package for southern England connected Bath, Portsmouth and Brighton, encouraging visitors to explore beyond London
  • New ideas for day trips to Liverpool and the south coast from the capital showed just how easy it is to move around Britain
  • Extended itineraries enabled visitors to explore the cities and countryside of Northern England

Our aim of improving the experience of overseas visitors also resulted in the publication of ‘final mile’ best practice guidance for train operators, DMOs and attractions. Designed to simplify the journey from train station to attraction or final destination, the guidelines included practical advice and case studies on how operators can improve the experience of visitors as they travel from London to the regions of Britain.


Putting Britain’s cuisine on the map
We launched a three year collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), to boost overseas perceptions of British food and drink.

Fresh consumer research in GREAT markets helped us understand overseas perceptions of British food and drink, and test concepts to inform new itineraries. We mapped a range of food and drink experiences, from vineyard tours to fishing trips, and supported transport and accommodation tourism products.

Six global ‘best in class’ food tourism case studies, from Melbourne to Nova Scotia, helped us develop ten trade-ready itineraries for four pilot ‘food hub’ regions in Devon and Cornwall, Yorkshire, Scotland and London. The resulting bookable itineraries showcased the best of Britain’s cuisine, including:

  • The West Country Foodie Escape, taking in Exeter’s history as well as its top cafes, restaurants and markets
  • A new itinerary showcasing Yorkshire’s finest food, culture and historic pubs
  • Wide-ranging trips around London, enabling visitors to discover the capital’s world-class craft beer breweries and gin distilleries
  • A five-day package encompassing in Scotland’s attractions, restaurants and the famous Speyside whisky region


Looking ahead, VisitBritain has commissioned research and case studies in order to understand the potential of Britain’s luxury travel offer, whilst we have laid the foundation for creating new ‘Gateway Cities’ that will encourage wider exploration across Britain. Both projects will see further development in 2017/18.

Encouraging visitors to travel by train through the new BRITrail pass
Food is GREAT event with DEFRA
Launching the Food is GREAT research and food hubs with DEFRA
New itineraries available to international travel trade on the new trade website

Distributing new products from the Discover England Fund

The £40m Discover England Fund saw the creation of a range of exciting new products to boost tourism and promote exploration in England. As part of our joined-up product development and distribution strategy, VisitBritain enabled DEF projects to refine, enhance and bring innovative new products to market.

  • Golf Tourism England – Golf tours developed and distributed through niche operators in Scandinavia
  • Rail Delivery Group – New mobile ticketing technology embedded with ISLs, now live with Rail Europe in the USA
  • London & Partners and Marketing Manchester – Open-jaw packages based on luxury, sport, family and shopping experiences, available through Dnata in Gulf Cooperation Council countries
  • STA – Air and rail passes for younger travellers, plus an England magazine distributed in Australia, Germany and USA
  • Superbreaks – City rail packages contracted and distributed via Tempo in Australia
  • South West Coast Path – Six ‘hero’ walking itineraries showcasing some of England’s best coastal trails, developed and distributed through specialists tour operators in Germany
  • Telling the Stories of England – Over 40 educational itineraries charting England’s rich history, created and distributed through alumni tour operators in the USA


"In 2016/17, we developed a new range of bookable products in two new thematic areas: rail travel, and food and drink."