Ambitious plans to lure international visitors to Yorkshire and the North of England have been awarded a share of £40m.
Capitalising on its forthcoming UK City of Culture status, Hull is at the fore of two projects that have attracted funding from VisitEngland.
The city will be involved in a ‘Passport to the Coast’ project which will use The Netherlands as a test market for themed itineraries along the East of England coastline.
The National Coastal Tourism Academy will engage tourism businesses along the east coast between Hull and Harwich, Essex to produce thematic itineraries to inspire visitors to choose the coast. A new coastal pass and video based technology will provide a fresh perspective for visitors to build their trips.
Hull will lead on the other initiative, ‘Cultural England from Hull to Liverpool’, by developing an itinerary that highlights the cultural offer of northern England for German and Dutch tourists who travel to the region with P&O Ferries.
The itinerary will develop Hull as an international gateway, test the appeal of cultural experiences in Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and scope the introduction of a Transpennine Cultural Rover rail ticket.
A spokesman for P&O Ferries said: “We carry 950,000 people across the North Sea to Hull every year and think this is a fantastic initiative for people to see some of the great cities of northern England. We very much hope the figure increases when Hull is UK City of Culture next year.”
The projects are two of five which have attracted VisitEngland backing from its Discover England Fund. Other successful bids include projects that target US visitors with an interest in the Second World War and encourage visitors to explore rural England in eco-friendly electric cars.
Tourism Minister Tracey Crouch said: “This is a brilliant opportunity to share the benefits of our booming tourist industry throughout the country.”