North East to become tourist hotspot following £1m Discover England investment
A partnership of destinations from Hertfordshire to Northumberland, including the Tees Valley, has secured a £1m investment from the Discover England Fund.
This is to encourage more German visitors to explore the East of England. The money will be spent on creating a new 300-mile touring route between London and Northumberland that combines well-known visitor destinations with those that are off-the beaten track.
New itineraries will be developed that bring together attractions, accommodation options, places to eat and activities to create a route that is culturally rich and fitting to the area.
Dave Budd, Tees Valley Combined Authority’s cabinet member for culture, said: “From the river that knits our region together and the Roseberry Topping to our action-packed activities and industrial heritage, Tees Valley is something special.
“This Discover England Funding for the East of England Touring Route will help new international visitors find out what makes Tees Valley tick while providing a welcome boost to businesses and our vital tourism industry.
“In this area we already have many industrial and commercial links with Germany, not least through our town-twinning arrangements - starting with Germany as a target market makes good sense.”
The project is being led by destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI), working with other destination organisations and local authorities up and down the country.
Sarah Stewart, NGI’s chief executive, added: ’We are delighted to secure this funding and to be working closely with partners on this exciting project.
“The touring route will bring economic benefits to the region and is a great opportunity for businesses to attract international visitors.
“We know that Eastern England has so much to offer and we look forward to creating a route that showcases our history and countryside, our market towns and cities, and shines a light on a wonderful part of the country.”
Germany has been chosen as the target market because touring is said to be a ‘well-loved’ holiday choice for Germans.
The project has an emphasis on helping businesses to operate in the international market and make them bookable by independent travelers as well as tour operators and travel agents who are influential with German consumers.
The East of England Touring Route is one of a number of successful projects to receive funding from the UK Government’s £40m Discover England Fund.
The fund is administered by VisitEngland and aims to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry, and is also central government funded.