Funding to boost US tourism to English cities
England’s Historic Cities consortium has secured a £1m investment from the Discover England Fund for an innovative new project to encourage more US visitors to explore regional England.
The Collection brings history to life through story-telling enhanced by augmented reality and will feature itineraries that link the cities by rail, making it easy to plan and book a multi-destination trip. Delivered through the historic cities app, it will act as a central point for local information that highlights places to eat and stay alongside trips, tours and travel options.
Marking the first time that England’s Historic Cities have collaborated in this way, The Collection 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 aims 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.
The project is being managed by a board chaired by consortium member Ruth Connor, CEO of Marketing Lancashire. She said: “We are thrilled to have secured investment from the Discover England Fund. England’s Historic Cities represents some of the best experiences that England has to offer to international visitors and we can’t wait to bring them to the attention of the US market.
“The consortium has a strong track record of working together but this is the most ambitious project we have tackled together. We are grateful for the support of our partners and look forward to showing the results of our work.”
Joining the 13 members of England’s Historic Cities for this project are Truro and Worcester and the City of London. The project is also supported by London & Partners, English Heritage and UK Inbound.
Andrew Cooke, London & Partners’ chief operating officer, said: “London & Partners is delighted to be partnering with England’s Historic Cities’ consortium to promote England’s rich cultural heritage to an international audience. As both the gateway to these cities and a unique reflection of England’s history in its own right, London is central to the visitor experience. We look forward to working with the consortium to help visitors to make the most of London and their onward journeys throughout England.”
Sally Balcombe, chief executive of VisitEngland, added: “The calibre of submissions 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.
“England’s Historic Cities winning project uses augmented reality to place the user at the heart of England’s history, making visiting a compelling proposition.”