England’s Great West Way, a multi-modal touring route between London and Bristol, has received further funding from the Discover England Fund, administered by VisitEngland. Great West Way is one of 12 initiatives to have been chosen in Year 5 of the Discover England Fund, to help aid tourism recovery.
The Discover England Fund, announced by Government in 2015, was created to ensure that ‘England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry, and offers world-class English tourism products to the right customers at the right time’. Over a 5-year period a number of large-scale initiatives, as well as some smaller initiatives, put forward a bid to receive a percentage of £40million in funding which is administered in stages between 2016 and 2021.
Great West Way has benefitted from DEF funding since 2016 and attracted additional support from 270 investing businesses and destinations on the route.
The funding will allow Great West Way to undertake domestic-focused marketing and PR activity to aid the recovery of the tourism sector, and help maintain travel trade relationships in international markets. In recent months, Great West Way has launched its ‘Don’t Follow the Herd’ marketing campaign, raising awareness of the route and encouraging travellers to explore England’s countryside. This month, the Great West Way will also unveil a virtual travel magazine, highlighting destinations, attractions and tourism businesses ready to be explored on the route.
David Andrews, Director at Great West Way, said, “The Discover England Funding will go a long way in aiding tourism recovery by helping us showcase to UK travellers what the Great West Way has to offer. Recent research by VisitBritain has forecasted that due to Covid-19, tourism revenue will decrease by *£68.8billion, which equates to a loss of over 1million FTE tourism-related jobs.
“Having the resource available to undertake Great West Way marketing activity, as well as supporting VisitEngland’s Escape the Everyday campaign, which Great West Way is included, will generate additional visitor spend and help secure jobs on the route.”
VisitEngland Director, Andrew Stokes, added, “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 travellers.
“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.”
Great West Way is the first touring route of its kind for England and joins up many of England’s iconic destinations and attractions between London and Bristol. Since its launch, Great West Way has created the Rough Guide to the Great West Way and alongside one of its Title Ambassadors, Great Western Railway, it has launched the Great Western Railway Great West Way® Discoverer Pass. It has also launched several maps available to travellers on the route, an annual travel magazine as well as a travel trade directory.
Great West Way has also held two Travel Trade Marketplace events in recent years, connecting domestic and international buyers with tourism suppliers. Great West Way’s ongoing partnership work with 80 Tour Operators secures commitment to develop, market and distribute on-brand Great West Way programmed to travellers in the UK and around the world.