Monday, December 11, 2023

New programme to help businesses create great tourism experiences

A new business support programme will offer tourism businesses in North Kesteven free support in creating new experiences, trails, and tourism products.

Experts in the visitor economy Destination Lincolnshire and Unmissable England are delivering the support, and it’s been secured by North Kesteven District Council through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The project has received £25,297 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

It will start with a launch event taking place on Tuesday 28 November, from 11-2pm at the Natural World Centre, Whisby which will tackle the idea of becoming an Experience Maker and how to develop your own bookable experience.

Unmissable England will then present a range of tourism training workshops in person and online to those businesses with a proactive interest and that sign-up on the day.

Businesses which sign up will be taken on a journey throughout the programme, with a mix of workshops, one-to-one support and collaborative sessions.

In recent years there has been an increased demand for bookable experiences, and so emphasis will be placed on businesses creating or developing a bookable experience.

The programme will also align with other significant objectives such as accessibility and inclusivity, sustainability and being environmentally friendly, diversification and experiential off-season products, through dedicated workshops such as ‘Greening your business’. This type of programme is the first of its kind and has the potential to pave the way for other local authorities to help boost their visitor economy in a similar way.

North Kesteven District Council Economic Development Manager Alan Gray said: “From history and heritage through to arts, culture and more, North Kesteven offers a really fantastic range of things to do.

“It’s important though that it can continue to draw people in with new and exciting experiences and so this training is an important opportunity for tourism-related businesses to either grow their offer or develop something entirely new for people to enjoy.

“By the end of the programme, attendees should have a final product or experience developed which will help strengthen their business and encourage more people to discover all that North Kesteven offers, as well as improving pride of place for the people who live and work here and like to enjoy its many brilliant venues and tourism attractions too.”

Charlotte Goy, CEO at Destination Lincolnshire, says: “Globally, there’s been a big uplift in experiential travel. A change and opportunity that Destination Lincolnshire is keen to see businesses take advantage of.

“Visitors are no longer looking to simply visit a ‘place’, they want to experience it and that’s why we’re so excited to be delivering this programme of events, in partnership with Unmissable England and North Kesteven District Council.

“Through this in-depth programme, businesses will learn how to develop new bookable experiences, appealing to visitor demand; to show them where the locals go, what is off the beaten track, discover the stories of a place, and create lasting memories in the process.”

Chris Brant, Founder and Director of Unmissable England, says: “I’m really excited to get going with this new tourism programme to support businesses across North Kesteven to develop new bookable visitor experiences for domestic and international markets.

“Unmissable England has worked all over the country supporting businesses to design authentic experiences, creating new collaborations and new products for a range of markets.

“We are now about to do the same in North Kesteven in partnership with the District Council and Destination Lincolnshire, providing face-to-face training, and one-to-one business support sessions to fully support businesses to take new experiences into the marketplace.

“The programme’s launch event is a half-day workshop where businesses will broaden their knowledge of Experiential Tourism and begin the initial steps in creating their own experiences for visitors.

“I can’t wait to see what ideas businesses will have and where we can take those ideas in creating new products for the district and wider region.”

The programme of support will run until November 2024 and will avoid peak seasons such as Christmas and Summer.

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