By its third year, the Discover England Fund had already seen some outstanding and innovative products delivered through over 40 projects. These projects reflect the immense variety of high quality tourism product that England has to offer and it has been inspiring to see the industry react so positively to the challenge of scaling up the inbound offer.
Early successes have brought 14 new, market-ready products across all England’s regions, from the packaging of itineraries along the South West Coast Path to an innovative augmented reality experience in Durham Cathedral and 13 other historic sites across the country. These new tourism products increase the competitiveness of England’s tourism offer both for the consumer and the travel trade.
We have been reflecting on these successes to ensure that the third year of the Discover England Fund delivers additionally and benefits in areas that have so far not significantly featured in grant funded activity.
As such, funding was allocated in Year 3 of the Discover England Fund to support a limited number of projects that could move quickly from development to delivery i.e. achieve outputs and agreed expenditure by 31 March 2019. In this round, there was a focus on projects that responded to identified market gaps and opportunities that are not being explored by current projects, as well as, amplifying existing Discover England Fund activities where value added and sustainability beyond March 2019 can be clearly demonstrated.
These projects would:
- Be of a value of up to £250K
- Develop world class bookable English tourism products to meet the needs of international consumers
- Join up tourism product through a geographical or thematic approach, capitalising on England’s international gateways and hubs
- Drive a collaborative and partnership approach to delivery involving the public and private sectors
- Deliver solutions to barriers to international travel to England.
For all information including key criteria, market gaps and opportunities please download the guidance and criteria document (PDF, 531MB).
The following projects have received new Year 3 funding:
Leisure excursions in Southern England for Cruise and Conference - led by Southampton City Council
This project will maximise the economic impact of the rising number of international cruise passengers who already dock into Southampton and Plymouth. The partnership will target visitors from Germany, the Netherlands, the Nordics and the USA with a suite of bookable, commissionable leisure excursions encouraging visitors to step ashore and explore the ports and surrounding counties.
International market product placement - led by Real Yorkshire Tours DMC
In this project Real Yorkshire Tours DMC (Destination Management Company), a new company launched by Leeds-based Real Yorkshire Tours and tourism marketing agency All About the Story, will develop high-end, themed, experience-driven multi-day Yorkshire packages for international visitors who want insider knowledge-led itineraries. The project will target the Australian and US markets with an aggregate of Yorkshire's luxury all-inclusive tourism products.
Undiscovered England - led by Globus
Aiming to attract visitors from Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and the USA, this project will develop off-the-beaten-track authentic tours for intrepid travellers showcasing the lesser known parts of England.
England's GREAT South West Peninsula - led by Visit Cornwall
Tourism organisations have joined together to create a South West Peninsula Overseas Partnership made up of Visit Cornwall, the Islands’ Partnership (Isles of Scilly), Visit Devon, Visit Somerset and Visit Dorset to deliver targeted experiences including accommodation for family and friendship groups from Australia and the USA.
Attracting Faith Tourists to England - led by the National Churches Trust
This project will develop a bookable product based on faith venues across England to appeal to the US market.
Discover more than just a holiday, led by Marketing Lancashire
This project targets 18-34 year old visitors from the Nordic region with culturally distinct experiences, inspiring them to explore the North West of England whilst acquiring new skills, discovering new tastes or undertaking self-improvement activities.
The Northern World Heritage Collection, led by Cumbria Tourism
Targeting the US and Irish markets this project will tell the story of England’s culture and heritage through our Northern UNESCO World Heritage sites, launching bookable products to the travel trade for both the group and fully independent traveller (FIT) markets.
Buzzing for the weekend, led by Warrington Council
‘Buzzing for the Weekend’ focuses on 18-25 year olds from Spain and Portugal. This project will get tourists flying into Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport and exploring the Liverpool City Region as well as Cheshire and Lancashire with fun, short-break packages revolving around dance, exploration, food and drink.
Manchester Musical Gateway, led by Marketing Manchester
This project will evaluate the appeal of Greater Manchester as a music tourism destination, assessing the city’s music ecology (venues, studios, heritage locations, etc.) and identify opportunities to promote Manchester as the Gateway to the North for music lovers.
Uncover Cotswolds, led by Cotswold District Council/Cotswold Tourism Partnership
Responding to feedback from tour operators, the ‘Uncover the Cotswolds’ project will create tours that bring together authentic local experiences within the Cotswolds, Forest of Dean and Wye Valley into an easily bookable format for tour operators.
Authentic Collections, led by Hotels and More
The ‘Authentic England’ project will develop tours for up to 16, tailored by target market. The small group touring product will allow for bespoke experiences supporting smaller and privately owned accommodation providers as well as local restaurants.
Brilliant Science, led by Marketing Cheshire
Amplification funding will focus on extending the stay of delegates attending scientific conferences in Manchester with thematic packages and bringing new scientific association conferences to Cheshire and Staffordshire.
Horseracing - Sport of Kings, led by Marketing Cheshire
Extending this project, which puts together itineraries incorporating England’s race-courses, ensures that they are precisely targeting GCC visitors by working with destination management companies (DMCs) and Travel Bureaus.
England's Literary Greats, led by Visit Nottinghamshire
The ‘England's Literary Greats’ project will fine tune titineraries based around literary figures, adding associated film locations and deepening trade engagement.
England's Seafood Coast, led by England's Seafood Coast BID
Building on years one and two of the project, ‘England’s Seafood Coast’ is set to transform the profile of England as a world-class seafood destination, curating and showcasing what is available to international visitors and tour operators.
Developing the Urban Food Hub, led by Destination Bristol
The ‘Developing The Urban Food Hub’ project will focus on food and beverage products and activities from businesses that might normally be considered outside the tourism landscape, promoting Bristol as well as the rural area surrounding the city, as a destination of excellence in food and beverage experiences.