Just ahead of the first anniversary of the Lake District attaining World Heritage status, Tourism Minister Michael Ellis has confirmed exciting plans for Cumbria Tourism to lead a major project to help attract international visitors to World Heritage Sites across the North of England.
The ‘Northern World Heritage Collection’ is one of a select number of successful projects to receive funding from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund, which is administered by VisitEngland and aims to ensure England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry.
The new £250,000 project will tell the story of England’s culture and heritage through the North’s outstanding UNESCO World Heritage Sites and will enable Cumbrian businesses to better target both groups and independent travellers from the USA and Ireland.
Cumbria Tourism plans to work with Northern World Heritage sites such as Liverpool and Durham, surrounding businesses and other tourism bodies over the next 9 months to help maximise a joint approach to attracting and welcoming these two key markets.
Activities will include business and itinerary development, a programme of training and trade shows, alongside marketing, online content, film and PR. It will also include working alongside tour operators and agents to help visitors book their trips to multiple World Heritage sites across the north quickly and easily.
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “World Heritage status has huge resonance with overseas markets and it’s been shown that many international visitors treat World Heritage Sites as ‘must dos’ as they travel around the globe. It’s great timing with the imminent opening of Carlisle Lake District Airport, as well as new routes coming into Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle.
“We are proud that Cumbria Tourism has been chosen to bring together key sites from across the North to work more collaboratively and help attract higher-spending international visitors who want to tick these prestigious locations off the list. With two World Heritage Sites in the county, we feel we are perfectly placed to up the ante both for Cumbria and our Northern neighbours on the global stage.”
VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe, says, “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. The ‘Northern World Heritage Collection’ will attract a higher quantity of international visitors, stimulating sustainable growth around World Heritage sites in the North of England. This opens up the potential to extend the visitor season and encourage more people to stay longer.”
Work will be getting underway on the ‘Northern World Heritage Collection’ this month, with Cumbria Tourism announcing how business can get involved in the coming weeks.