VisitEngland awards funds to attract inbound visitors

VisitEngland awards funds to attract inbound visitors

Nine new applicants, including STA Travel and SuperBreak, have secured year one funding from a £40 million Discover England Fund.

The winning bidders have been announced by VisitEngland after a “rigorous” application process.

They include projects to get international visitors exploring England’s waterways, initiatives that drive visitors across the north on sightseeing trips and the development of transport links and user-friendly travel booking systems that make it easier to book travel across the country.

STA Travel will develop a range of inbound packages designed to address the lack of regional accessibility and to improve the movement of visitors across England.

The packages will be provided and promoted to the international market via traditional and digital platforms.

SuperBreak will be able to market its domestic offering to the Australia and the US.

Using regional entry points as well as London, customers will be able to create and book holidays in England’s regions that incorporate accommodation and transport. Multi-currency functionality to make online booking easier for international visitors is a key innovation in the SuperBreak project, VisitEngland said.

Today’s announcement follows the seven projects awarded funding earlier in August. The successful bids announced to date are worth a combined £3 million.

The successful applications focus on attracting visitors from established inbound visitor markets such as the US, Germany, France and Holland as well as growth markets including China and the Middle East.

Tourism minister Tracey Crouch said: "These exciting projects will help encourage even more visitors to experience the wonderful sights and scenery we have across the whole country.

"We are committed to strengthening tourism outside London and these innovative programmes will help build world-class attractions that will draw tourists and benefit local economies."

VisitEngland chief executive, Sally Balcombe, added: “The successful round-one bidders demonstrate the outstanding quality and innovation thriving across England’s tourism landscape.

“We received an exceptional number of high quality bids, far outweighing the allocated funding available for year one, and we are looking forward to working together with the successful applicants as we develop England’s competitive tourism offer.”

In years two and three the fund will be calling for larger scale, destination-led collaborative bids worth more than £1 million.

A smaller funding pot for new one-year projects and pilots, and continuation funding for existing round one projects that can demonstrate early learnings, will also be available, according to the tourist authority.

The Discover England Fund is part of the government’s Tourism Action Plan announced in August.

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