Discover England Fund
The three-year £40million Discover England fund, announced by Government in 2015, will 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 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 - generating £106 billion a year and employing over two million people, with a strong domestic market. England has seen record tourism spend in the past year from both domestic and international visitors. See full details here.
Year 1 - Growing new audiences for England’s Heritage Product with the Discover England Fund
Using new technology to bring heritage to life this project will develop new content to increase the appeal of England’s heritage with the under 35s in the US. Twelve iconic heritage sites and experiences, one in each of England’s Heritage Cities (http://www.heritagecities.com/), will be interpreted using techniques such as augmented reality. This new content will be turned into a set of tools for the travel trade helping them to sell and showcase the breadth and quality of England’s heritage.
By combining human story telling with augmented/virtual reality products we’ll be able to tell stories through a selection of digital products before, during and post booking process. These new digital products will then be available for multi-channel usage, including tour operator websites, travel agents’ desktops and i-phone. Hex Digital are based in London working on the programme implentation for the consortium.
York Minster will spearhead the project for York in Year one, with a brand new APP created for the Minster, making the most of many untold and hidden stories that really bring the Minster to life using AR and video footage.
The APP is now live.
Visit London has targeted its 170,000 strong US database with details of the new APP and a full plan for distribution is now underway.
Year 2 & 3 Discover England Fund
England's Heritage Cities have also got the go ahead to submit a Business Case for Year 2/3 funding. This is for large scale collaborative projects to be delivered over the two year period 2017-2019 and create a step-change in bookable English tourism product for international consumers.
Business cases in by 12 April and decisions will be made in June 2017.