German and European tourists will be targeted using a slice of £1million being allocated to Lincolnshire and specifically North and South Kesteven to enhance the tourism offer in the area.
Visit Lincoln, the organisation responsible for bringing more visitors to the city and surrounding countryside, supported the successful application to the Government’s Discover England Fund.
“Lincolnshire has so much for international visitors,” said Lydia Rusling, Head of Visit Lincoln.
“This is a significant investment and will link Lincolnshire with other Eastern England destinations resulting in more visitors and more money being spent in the local economy.
“We’ve been working on the bid with our partners across the East of England to develop world-class tourism products that responds to international customer demand.
“At a national level we have joined up different tourism experiences and thematic approaches that will attract international customers. We’ve submitted our information into the national bid which is being managed by NewcastleGateshead Initiative.
“Locally we are working with Visit Lincoln partners and colleagues at South Kesteven District Council, North Kesteven District Council and West Lindsey District Council to make sure Lincolnshire businesses will benefit from this latest round of Discover England funding.”
The new East of England Touring Route will create a 300-mile touring route that spans the length of Eastern England from London to Northumberland. It will unite well-known destinations with those that are off-the beaten track, developing itineraries that include attractions, accommodation options, places to eat and activities to provide a rich cultural and quintessentially English experience.
In Lincolnshire it will encourage overseas tourists to visit Lincoln Castle and Cathedral, Doddington Hall, Stokes Coffee at The Lawn, the International Bomber Command Centre, take part in the Mayflower Trail and visit Gainsborough Old Hall, as well as visit other attractions and accommodation close the A1 in Sleaford and Stamford.
Germany is the target market because touring is a familiar and well-loved holiday choice for Germans, and because there is good travel connectivity with Eastern England. The International Bomber Command Centre already has close links with Luftwaffe historians in Germany. The project has an emphasis on helping businesses to operate in the international market and make them bookable by independent travellers as well as tour operators and travel agents who are influential with German consumers.
Andrew Norman, South Kesteven’s Head of Visitor Economy, commented: “It’s an extremely important project with huge potential.
“We put a lot of work into identifying what a great offer we have here and we are delighted to be part of it.
“We will all be working together to promote the whole route, with us focused on individually promoting the South Kesteven stretch. We believe that it will have huge appeal for international visitors and deliver major benefits for our tourism sector.”
He added: “Behind the project is the lure of experiencing the real England, and we have that in spades, from the Georgian delights of Stamford to Isaac Newton’s birthplace, Easton Walled Gardens’ spectacular rescue from dereliction and everything from enchanting castles to village tea rooms.
“All that information went into the national bid. We are now awaiting news of how we move on to help our businesses benefit from new international markets.”
Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “We are delighted to secure this funding and to be working closely with partners on this exciting project. The touring route will bring economic benefits to the region and is a great opportunity for businesses to attract international visitors.
“We know that Eastern England has so much to offer and we look forward to creating a route that showcases our history and countryside, our market towns and cities, and shines a light on a wonderful part of the country.”
The three-year £40 million Discover England Fund, which runs from 2016-19, improves England’s competitive tourism offer by building world-class, bookable tourism products and getting them to the right international customers at the right time, benefitting the domestic
market and making it easier to explore the country. In Years 2 and 3, the fund is supporting destination-led collaborative bids worth more than £1million, and a series of pilots. It continues to fund existing Year One projects that demonstrated early success.