Opening Up England’s Coast To Win International Visitors!

An exciting new tool to attract a greater number of international visitors to the English coast has been awarded funding by VisitEngland’s Discover England Fund.

The National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) is thrilled to be able to develop 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 target the Yorkshire Coast, including Scarborough, Whitby, Bridlington and the North York Moors National Park; Northumberland on the North East coast; the South coast, including Brighton and Eastbourne; Devon and Cornwall in the South West; the Jurassic Coast in Dorset and East Devon, and will continue to promote the East coast, from Hull to Harwich, to 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,” commented NCTA Academy 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.

“Our research demonstrates that although the number of international visitors to the coast has historically been relatively low, this is largely because international consumers simply aren’t aware of what the coast offers or how to book.

“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.