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Exciting new tourism project is launching soon thanks to government funding

A new tourism project led by the Cotswolds Tourism has just secured substantial financial backing from the government’s Discover England Fund, which helps to promotes tourism across the country.

The ‘Uncover the Cotswolds project – encompassing the Cotswolds, Forest of Dean and Wye Valley – is one of a number of projects’ to benefit from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund. The Fund is administered by VisitEngland and involves a programme of activity to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry, by offering world-class English tourism products to the right customers at the right time. The Fund is a central government funded programme of activity, supported by match funding by partners in the public and private sectors.

The Fund backed the project after rigorous scrutiny of the details, including plans to tackle ‘over tourism’ at peak periods and disperse visitors across the wider region.

Project leader, Sally Graff, explains further:

“I am delighted that we have secured this funding and I would like to thank everyone involved in our successful bid.  We will be marketing world-class, authentic local tourism experiences, and creating tours which can be booked in totality or in part, via tour operators, with different budget options available.

“We will focus on showcasing the incredible experiences available throughout the year to encourage more off peak visits and alleviate the pressure at peak times.  This includes dispersing tourists more evenly across the wider region and providing them with bookable itineraries to help them extend their stay.

“Promoting the many small businesses across the destination area is the key to unlocking the wider tourism experience.  We will bring together the wider Cotswolds region incorporating the destination management organisations of not only the Cotswolds but also the Forest of Dean & Wye Valley, Marketing Cheltenham and Gloucester. Longer-term, we aim to extend the programme to Monmouthshire and South Wales, Stratford Upon Avon, Oxford, and Bath.

Maureen McAllister of Forest of Dean & Wye Valley tourism destination organisation adds:

“The money from the Fund will bring to life 12 core thematic itineraries lasting from 2-14 days each. Core themes will include : food and drink; local traditions; history and heritage; arts, crafts and skills; adrenaline adventures; nature and wildlife; royalty; music; film and TV locations.

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe comments:

“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 ‘Uncover the Cotswolds’ will showcase the wonderful experiences available in the Cotswolds and give  visitors the opportunity to discover the charms of the Cotswolds and beyond at all times of the year.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about how to get involved in the ‘Uncover the Cotswolds’ project should email cotswoldstourism@cotswold.gov.uk  or register for updates via www.cotswolds.com/uncoverthecotswolds or speak with their local tourism officer.

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