New '˜English Coast' project set to pull in international visitors

An exciting new tool to help attract a greater number of international visitors to the English coast has been awarded funding by Visit England's Discover England Fund and East Lincolnshire looks set to benefit.

The East Coast, which includes Mablethorpe hopes to see a big benefit from the new project.

The National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) is thrilled to be able to develop a new product on England’s Coast for international visitors, building on its successful pilot project, the Coastal Pass, which promoted the East coast of England to Dutch nationals.

The new ‘England’s Coast’ project will focus on German, Dutch and French visitors.

It will continue to promote the East coast, from Hull to Harwich and build to attract a new audience.

England’s Coast will harness the interactive video technology trialled in the Coastal Pass which allows holidaymakers to create their own itineraries, but the scope of the project will be expanded to target travel trade through FIT (Fully Independent Travel) and group itineraries showcasing the very best of England’s coast.

The project will also create a series of online learning programmes to educate international travel trade about the coast, as well as product knowledge and customer service courses for local businesses on the coast.

“The award from VisitEngland’s Discover England Fund is a fantastic opportunity to develop and connect product on England’s coast into bookable itineraries for international visitors,” said NCTA director Samantha Richardson.

“We now know from our pilot on the East coast that the coast appeals to international visitors once they are made aware of the product and England’s Coast provides a new reason for many seasoned travellers to discover England.

“Our primary focus will initially be the German market, whilst also continuing to work with the Dutch, building on our East coast project.

Ms Richardson added: “The project will create bookable short-break itineraries to highlight the very best on the coast and focus on couples travelling without children to encourage trips off-peak and help to reduce seasonality.

“It supports the wider Vision for the Visitor Economy on the Coast and the project will work with a number of partners from both the public and private sectors, including P&O Ferries, Hertz, Green Traveller, and a number of destination management organisations on the coast.”

The itinerary builder for independent travellers, created as part of the round one project, will also be expanded to enable accommodation, activity and attraction providers, retailers and destinations across the relevant stretches of coastline to add their businesses so that international visitors can create bespoke personalised itineraries.

Portfolio holder for coastal economy at East Lindsey District Council, Councillor Steve Kirk, said: “East Lincolnshire was pleased to be part of the pilot project for the Coastal Pass, which resulted in a number of Dutch journalists coming to the area and raising the profile of the offer we have to people living in Holland.

“The popularity of our coastline continues to grow and the ‘England’s Coast’ project gives us the opportunity to work with partners to promote the visitor offer to international markets.”