The project – encompassing the wider Cotswolds, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Forest of Dean and Wye Valley – is to benefit from Year 5 funding from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund, administered by VistEngland.
Working together since 2018, Uncover the Cotswolds has already brought together authentic local experiences from across the wider region into a new travel trade website to enable tour operators to have easily bookable products to choose from.
With the impact of Covid-19, for Year 5 of the fund, the project will now refocus activity and support, to help businesses from the domestic market, as well as plan ahead for reaching a wider global audience longer term.
A key part will be encouraging businesses to become bookable via local destination websites and Tourism Exchange Great Britain (TXGB), VisitEngland’s new one-stop online platform which will help raise awareness of the range of products and help businesses increase bookings.
Longer term the project is aimed at driving inbound tourism with a focus on attracting visitors from the Nordic markets, Italy and Spain dispersing visitors across the wider region and provide them with greater access to authentic local experiences.
Project leader for Cotswolds Tourism, Sally Graff said, “I am delighted that we have secured this funding from VisitEngland and I would like to thank everyone involved in our successful bid. We will focus on encouraging all visitors to explore out of season, including our lesser known places in the wider region such as Witney, Woodstock and Cirencester, as well as unique bookable experiences that can connect visitors bringing the area to life.”
David Jackson, Manager of Marketing Cheltenham commented, “This is a great opportunity for Cheltenham businesses to work together with other destinations across Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire to encourage more visitors to stay in the area. Cheltenham is already a popular gateway to access and explore the Cotswolds, so it’s great to be able to build on this and incorporate more of our own cultural and food & drink offer into the mix. It’s also a really timely opportunity to provide additional, targeted support and guidance to businesses to help them through these challenging times and to continue to adapt to the changing market conditions.”
VisitEngland Director, Andrew Stokes said, “Millions of jobs and local economies depend on tourism right across the country and the industry needs all of us to make sure it gets back on its feet. This funding will encourage people to get out and discover the outstanding destinations and quality attractions on our doorstep and also keep England’s tourism products and experiences front-of-mind for future international travelers. Now in its fifth year the Discover England Fund is all about embedding these amazing tourism products and reaching new audiences to drive visitor growth and boost local economies.”
For more information, please visit Cotswold Tourism’s website.