Worcestershire has officially been appointed as the launch destination for Tour England, an Anglo-American ‘Connections’ project promoting the growth of one of England’s most successful export industries; inbound tourism.
‘Connections’ is one of a number of successful projects to receive funding from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund administered by VisitEngland to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry, by offering world-class English tourism products.
Fionn Davenport, esteemed Lonely Planet author and award-winning travel journalist who has been appointed as the content creator for Tour England ‘Connections’ project will visit Worcester Cathedral, King Johns Grave, Elgar’s birth place, Museum of Royal Worcester, The Hive, Fort Royal Hill and The Cardinals Hat (the oldest pub in Worcester from the 14th Century) during his time in Worcestershire.
Emma Wheeler, Tourism Officer, Visit Worcestershire comments, “We’re absolutely delighted to have been appointed as the first Tour England destination and we’re really looking forward to welcoming Fionn here and sharing the regions history and Anglo-American connections.
King John’s great tomb, the oldest royal effigy in England is here at Worcester Cathedral and gives Worcestershire a direct link to the Magna Carta and to the story of liberty and democracy that is so unique, making it the perfect starting point for this tour and what better date to start than US Independence Day, another monumental day - in US history.”
Itineraries will also highlight local English produce, film and TV connections and quirky aspects of each local area, making them unique in their own right. “Fionn will have the chance to learn more about Gus – the Asparagus Man who made his debut to the world at the opening event of the 2008 British Asparagus Festival in the Vale of Evesham. He’ll also be able to sample some of the finest cider that Worcestershire has on offer and let’s not forget Worcestershire Sauce!” concludes Wheeler.
Colin Boden, Group Financial Director of The Morgan Motor Company commented, “The Morgan Motor Company Factory experience poses a very unique and interesting opportunity for visitors. As thriving British automotive manufacturer that have been in business for 109 years, we are delighted to welcome American visitors to tour the factory or hire a Morgan to explore the idyllic surroundings of the Malvern hills and beyond. Morgan is a truly unique experience to witness true craftsmanship unlike anywhere else in the world.”
The outcome of Tour England will be new themed itineraries that showcase bookable product, access and motivations to visit. Each of the itineraries will be centred around the themes of ancestral tours, Faith and Religion, Wartime and the Special Relationship and the Great Migration period including Mayflower.
Amanda Lumley, DEF US Connections Project Director comments, “US Visitors are increasingly seeking immersive experiences; they want sight doing not just sight-seeing and want to be able to steep themselves in local cultures and traditions. We know that US visitors love and want to experience the heritage and history of England – which is why we have set out to develop these bespoke, bookable itineraries.”
Fionn Davenport, Product Creator for Tour England, DEF US Connections Project comments, “I can honestly say I haven’t looked forward to a project as much as this one for many years. The opportunity to explore a chunk of England at a granular level is very exciting. I’ve been a travel writer for a long time, and it is these kinds of experiences, travelling around a country exploring attractions big and small, visiting famous sites and discovering less well-known ones, that remind me I have one of the best jobs in the world.”
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Notes to editors
About DEF US Connections Project
DEF US Connections is a project that will develop newly packaged tourism products around identified and tested themes that will attract the US inbound market. The project covers a wide geography with 13 English destination partners and a number of product themes. These themes will connect the destinations through the development of new itineraries and an enhanced visitor offer including the guided tour offer and themed experiences.
Connections Destination Partners
Destination Plymouth Ltd.
Destination Bristol Ltd.
English Riviera BID Company Ltd.
Essex County Council
Hampshire County Council
Lincolnshire County Council
Marketing Gloucester Ltd.
Visit Cambridge and Beyond
Visit Cornwall CIC.
Visit Hertfordshire Ltd.
Visit Kent Ltd.
About the Discover England Fund
- In November 2015, the Government announced a £40 million Discover England Fund; an unprecedented opportunity for English tourism. The Fund aims to deliver world-class bookable tourism products joined up across geographies and/or themes; including integrated transport solutions to provide an end-to-end customer experience.
- The Fund supports the growth of one of England’s most successful export industries, inbound tourism. Tourism is an industry that delivers jobs and economic growth across the English regions – contributing some £106bn each year to the economy and supporting 2.6 million jobs.
- The Fund supported a number of pilot projects in year one (2016/17) that tested product development approaches. In years two and three, 2017-19, the fund will support:
- A number of large-scale collaborative projects to be delivered over the two year period 2017-2019 that will create a step-change in bookable English tourism product for international consumers,
- 2 rounds of smaller funding for piloting new ideas (in year two), and delivering on new themes/ target markets (in year 3)
- There have also been opportunities for existing smaller projects to receive support in each following year to upscale their activities
VisitBritain/VisitEngland is the national tourism agency – a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)
Working with a wide range of partners in both the UK and overseas, our mission is to grow the volume and value of inbound tourism across the nations and regions of Britain and to develop world-class English tour-ism product to support our growth aspirations. For further information and to access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics visit www.visitbritain.org or www.visitbritain.com and www.visitengland.com for consumer information.
About Fionn Davenport
Fionn Davenport is an esteemed Lonely Planet author, award-winning travel journalist, radio presenter and golf podcast host. Fionn is travelling across the 13 participating regions of England from 2nd July – 10th August to explore and experience the product that will appeal to the US market and help create bookable itineraries for Tour England www.fionndavenport.com
About Visit Worcestershire
Visit Worcestershire is a Visit England recognised Destination Management Organisation delivered by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. Visit Worcestershire mission is to raise the profile of it members and the broader attraction of the county to visitors locally, nationally and internationally. This work is supported through partnerships with Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, Worcestershire County Council and six District Councils.