New project aims to boost number of US visitors to Lincolnshire

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A £500,000 grant from VisitEngland, along with funding from Lincolnshire County Council and other partners, is to be used for a collaborative project to attract US tourists.

The Connections project will produce a series of new, immersive, English-themed visitor experiences specifically for the American market, encouraging visitors to explore regions beyond London.

A large-scale collaboration between 13 destinations, Connections will develop tourism products in the lead up to 2020, the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s historic voyage to the New World.

It also will look into other themes with significant appeal to US visitors, such as Magna Carta and the rule of law, Virginia and early American colonisation, WW2, US military and the ‘special relationship’.

Coun Colin Davie, Executive Member for Tourism, said: “We want to tap into the Americans’ fascination with the many connections between England and the US – our shared history, language, culture and ancestry.

“Our aim is to inspire as many visitors as possible to discover their roots and the authenticity of local English culture.

“Not only is Lincolnshire the home of Magna Carta and an important part of the Mayflower story, it’s also the birthplace of John Smith, the founder of Jamestown – we’re an obvious destination for US visitors.

“And we’ll be working closely with our partners to make sure our Americans cousins know all about the fantastic experiences we have to offer.”

Connections is one of a number of successful projects to receive funding from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund.

The fund is administered by VisitEngland and involves a programme of activity to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry, by offering world-class English tourism products to the right customers at the right time.

The fund is a central government funded programme of activity, supported by match funding by partners in the public and private sectors.

VisitEngland Chief Executive, Sally Balcombe, said: “The calibre of submissions to the Discover England Fund reflects the innovation in product development thriving across the country’s tourism landscape.

“The successful projects will boost international and domestic visitor growth creating a step-change in the industry and spreading the economic benefits of tourism across England.

“Our research shows that many US visitors come to Britain due to historic family connections and these ancestry themed itineraries will inspire them to explore more of regional England.”