Tourism providers in and around Exmoor and Dartmoor are being invited to a free session this month as part of a £1.4 million project to develop new products and experiences that will attract more overseas visitors to explore England’s National Parks.
Dartmoor and Exmoor have worked with other English National Parks to secure the funding from Visit England’s ‘Discover England Fund’. Whilst initially the project will be targeting German and Australian visitors, the new products created would be available to all markets.
The sessions are being held as follows:
· Dartmoor – Tuesday 24th April. 10am-12noon at Islington Country House Hotel and 5.30pm- 7.30pm at Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centre, Princetown
· Exmoor – Thursday 26th April. 6-8.30pm at the White Horse Inn, Exford (there is an additional drop-in session from 4pm to 6pm for anyone unable to join the main session).
Dan James, Sustainable Economy Manager at Exmoor National Park, said, “Through this project, we are seeking to offer unique, immersive visitor experiences, which stand out in the global marketplace and tell the stories of our landscape, history and heritage. We want to support our local business to develop experiences which can be packaged together, adding value to the many unique experiences already attracting millions of visitors to our National Parks every year.”
Significant research has been undertaken to identify the most compelling experiences available in each National Park, which reflect the local character and distinctiveness of these jewels in the crown of the English countryside. These include wildlife encounters, opportunities to meet with local farmers and producers and to discover England’s great history within our National Parks.
The next step is to recruit businesses who will benefit from a significant support programme (including workshops and one-to-one sessions) to help develop their products, engage with the travel trade and welcome overseas visitors. At the end of this process the National Parks hope to have a suite of over 50 top experiences within the English National Parks for tour operators to utilise in their programmes – the English National Park Experience Collection.
Richard Drysdale, Visitor Services Manager at Dartmoor National Park, said, “There will be opportunities for all types and sizes of business to get involved from small activity providers to large accommodation providers. A core part of the project will focus on packaging individual components to create compelling stories, so you may want to get involved in either leading or supporting one of the identified experiences. These open sessions are free to attend and we would encourage anyone wanting to find out more to come along and get involved.”
Each session will cover the background and context to the project, provide some examples of the experiences being developed and the step changes required to deliver these on a global platform, as well as details of how businesses can apply to be a part of the programme and the benefits they will receive.
The business support element of the project is being supported by Visit Exmoor and Visit Dartmoor (the Destination Management Organisations for the National Parks) with expert support and training from Max Lawrence (Inspire Hospitality) and Jo Butler Consulting.
To sign up for the Dartmoor sessions please email Jenny@VisitDartmoor.co.uk or for the Exmoor sessions contact firstname.lastname@example.org