Tunbridge Wells Borough businesses are invited to take part in multi-million pound project, developing year-round, experiential tourism offers.
The devastating effects of the current Covid-19 crisis across the country have meant that many organisations, particularly those in the tourism and hospitality sector will have to diversify their offer and adapt their product in order to re-open and rebuild successful businesses. In addition, the timing of the current situation during the peak tourist season has also exposed the vulnerability of seasonal operations, and business owners will need to look to develop products and experiences that are available all season to drive business growth and future-proof their organisations.
To support the destination’s recovery, Visit Kent (in partnership with TWBC and other local authorities) has launched a brand-new Experience Development Programme [pdf], aimed at supporting traditional tourism businesses alongside businesses across other sectors in the region to adapt and develop new tourism products for business recovery. Think everything from attractions and accommodation providers to artists, food producers, fishermen, musicians and more!
Eligible businesses will receive a range of support to build and launch their new products from specialist 1:1 consultancy and business planning, to new photography, marketing campaigns and proactive testing and sales with the travel trade.
One of the key emerging trends in travel over the last few years has been a rise in experiential tourism, with visitors looking for off-the-beaten-track, personalised and unique experiences that will create those once-in-a-lifetime memories. By tapping into this trend and successfully developing new experiential product now, it allows businesses to not only recover from the impact of the pandemic, but bounce back stronger than ever.
Tourism has an increasingly important role within the Tunbridge Wells economy, generating £296mn a year and supporting more than 9% of jobs1.
Interreg Experience will help to maximise the tourism industry’s already significant economic impact on the area, focusing on an increase in overnight stays to cultivate jobs and additional spend through high value, low volume tourism in the area.
Tunbridge Wells is one of ten organisations to have committed to match fund the Visit Kent and Kent Downs AONB budgets for the Interreg Experience project, alongside colleagues at Kent County Council, Medway Council and district authority partners in Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone & Hythe, Gravesham and Thanet.
To find out more about the Experience Development Programme, visit the Visit Kent Business website. If you’re ready, here’s the application form [editor’s note: not available any more].
The deadline for phase 3 is 26 February 2021
NOTES FOR EDITORS
For Tunbridge Wells press enquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further media information on Visit Kent and images please contact Brand Manager Lana Crouch on email@example.com or call 01227 812914.
About Visit Kent
Visit Kent Ltd is the Destination Management Organisation for Kent (the Garden of England), welcoming 66.5 million visitors a year, championing the county’s £4.1 billion tourism industry and supporting more than 81,000 jobs.
It is recognised as one of the country’s leading DMOs, targeting UK and overseas markets to raise Kent’s profile as a premier destination, improving quality and skills within the industry, and growing investment in tourism. Visit Kent is a public/private sector partnership supported by Kent County Council, Medway Council, district and borough councils, and the leading sector tourism businesses in Kent.
The Interreg Experience project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg France Channel England programme 2014-2020. For more information, visit https://www.visitkentbusiness.co.uk/about-us/european-funding/experience/.
See also www.visitkent.co.uk (consumer) or www.visitkentbusiness.co.uk (business), or tweet @visitkent.
1.2019 Cambridge Economic Impact Study – the most recent.