New tourist Pass(port) to the East Coast of England!

New tourist Pass(port) to the East Coast of England!

The National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) has been awarded funding from VisitEngland’s Discover England Fund to trial a Coastal Pass for the east coast of England.

The Pass is new travel tool that allows holidaymakers to create their own itineraries by watching interactive videos. It condenses the marketing and booking process into one, simplified procedure, while its videos draw attention to stretches of coastline little explored by international visitors. It will be trialled initially with holidaymakers travelling from The Netherlands.

The Pass will showcase the beauty of England’s east coast; extending from the port of Hull through to Harwich, taking in the resorts of Skegness and Cleethorpes and hidden treasures like Sutton-on-Sea, spreading across Norfolk’s 90 miles of expansive coastline from Great Yarmouth and Cromer and on to the sweeping stretches of the Suffolk Coast.

“The Discover England Fund encourages international visitors to explore the regions of England. The Netherlands is the joint third largest international market to Britain’s coast and has direct routes into the major ports of Hull and Harwich, so targeting this market and highlighting the wealth of attractions spanning the east coast seemed a natural fit,” said Samantha Richardson, NCTA director.

“Dutch visitors aged over 45 are a growing market. This age group often has the flexibility to travel off-season so promoting this stretch of coastline year-round and allowing them to design their own itineraries could provide a means to unlocking long-term, sustainable growth,” she said.

The Coastal Pass will feature themed itineraries for international and domestic markets, focusing on touring and active experiences, arts and culture and heritage.

“By producing stimulating digital content we hope to inspire visitors to book a coastal visit and use this innovative adaptation of technology to discover new product and create bespoke personalised itineraries,” added Samantha Richardson.

“There’s enormous untapped potential on England’s east coast. We know visitors from The Netherlands enjoy active breaks and we hope this Pass will increase cycling and walking breaks with accommodation, travel and activities booked at the click of a button.”

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said,“We had an exceptionally high number of submissions far outweighing the allocated funding available and following a rigorous applications process we are delighted to work closely with those excellent winners on building world-class ‘bookable’ tourism products showcasing the best of England to international and domestic visitors.”

“This project enables visitors to choose coastal activities that appeal to them individually and book them collectively driving tourism from the important Dutch market.”

The NCTA is working in partnership with ferry companies, accommodation providers, restaurants, retailers and east coast destinations to pilot the Pass and boost incremental spend.

Anthony Yates, Visitor Economy Manager of Visit Hull and East Yorkshire and a project partner commented: “Using Hull as a gateway from the Netherlands to the East Coast of England allows the city and the East Yorkshire coast to capitalise on this unique partnership project and gives Dutch visitors another reason to visit Hull, UK City of Culture in 2017”

Partner East Lindsey District Council’s Tourism and Marketing Manager Alison Macdonald said: “This digitally innovative project presents an excellent opportunity for Visit East Lincolnshire to target and encourage Dutch visitors to visit and explore the East Coast of England and we are delighted to be a partner in this project.

“We believe that East Lincolnshire has a diverse range of products and experiences that will appeal to this market and we are ready to welcome them. Access to East Lincolnshire is easy, either by ferry from Hull or Harwich or by plane from Humberside Airport.”

Project partner Visit East Anglia’s Chief Executive Pete Waters outlined the benefits of attracting the Dutch market: ‘Visit East Anglia is delighted to be involved with this project. Here in East Anglia we had a campaign in The Netherlands earlier this year that generated an additional £2m of spend and more than 8,000 overnight trips, so we know the Dutch have an interest in visiting this area and we believe this new Passport to the East Coast will provide even more benefits to the visitor economy.’

Lisa Bone, Strategic Tourism Manager at Visit Essex, added: “Visit Essex is delighted to be part of Passport to the Coast. It is a great project that showcases the many different aspects of the coast and our aim is to encourage Dutch visitors to stop and spend time in Essex rather than just passing through. The innovative technology will spotlight the wealth of attractions and opportunities on the coast, brought to life on video to attract this important market.”


Notes to editors: The National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) is a Coastal Communities Fund project that analyses the nature of coastal tourism to help boost jobs and the coastal tourism economy. It works with academia and the tourism industry to bridge gaps in research, visitor experience, training and skills. Having worked initially in Bournemouth with the local tourism industry and Bournemouth University, the NCTA is now working with coastal resorts nationally.

For further media information, please contact Sheron Crossman, Marketing and Communications Manager, or tel: 01202 962565.

About the Discover England Fund

  • In November 2015, the Government announced a £40 million Discover England Fund; an unprecedented opportunity for English tourism. The Fund aims to deliver world-class bookable tourism products joined up across geographies and/or themes; including integrated transport solutions to provide an end-to-end customer experience.
  • The Fund supports the growth of one of England’s most successful export industries, inbound tourism. England has seen record tourism spend in the past year from both domestic and international visitors delivering economic growth and jobs across all the English regions.
  • The Fund will support a number of projects and pilots in year one (2016/17) to test and develop product development approaches and a small number of large-scale collaborative projects that create a step-change in bookable English tourism product for international consumers (in years two and three - 2017-19). A smaller funding pot for new one year projects and pilots, and continuation funding for existing round one projects that can demonstrate early learnings, will also be available.

About VisitBritain/VisitEngland

  • VisitBritain/VisitEngland is the national tourism agency – a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)
  • Working with a wide range of partners in both the UK and overseas, our mission is to grow the volume and value of inbound tourism across the nations and regions of Britain and to develop world-class English tourism product to support our growth aspirations. For further information and to access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics visit www.visitbritain.orgor and www.visitengland.comfor consumer information.