The Northumberland launch of the award-winning National Park Experience Collection takes place this Friday 22 March at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre.
The event is free to local tourism-based businesses and provides an opportunity to find out more about how to get involved in a tourism programme aimed at telling the stories of England’s National Parks to new international audiences.
The English National Park Experience Collection is a collaboration between England’s National Parks and local experience and accommodation providers to offer international visitors a taste of life in some of our most beautiful areas of countryside.
Earlier this month it received one of the country’s top tourism accolades, winning Visit England’s ‘Outstanding Contribution to Tourism 2019’ award.
Hoping to encourage more Northumberland-based businesses to develop new visitor experiences of their own and help them to capitalise on the opportunity the National Park Experience Collection offers, Northumberland National Park Authority and Northumberland Tourism have teamed up to host a regional launch event.
Attendees will hear first-hand from several local businesses involved in the development of the Northumberland National Park Experience Collection on what they have achieved during the development of their international tourism products. There will also be presentations on international market research, becoming travel trade ready and a toolkit for developing experiential tourism.
Duncan Wise, Northumberland National Park Authority Visitor Development & Marketing Manager, explains: “Visit England’s National Park Experience Collection presents an exciting opportunity to showcase the special qualities of Northumberland and our wider National Park family to a broader international market seeking a high-quality visitor experience.
“To develop the Northumberland National Park Experience Collection we have collaborated with enthusiastic and ambitious local businesses, keen to introduce our unique landscapes, history and communities to new audiences and we would encourage anyone wanting to find out more to join us. There are lots of opportunities for more tourism businesses to get involved from activity companies and attractions to accommodation providers.”
Northumberland National Park and Northumberland Tourism worked with other English National Parks to secure £1.2m from Visit England’s Discover England Fund to develop the Collection. More than 70 experiences and 80 accommodation providers are in the new Collection across nine National Parks throughout England. Initially aimed at key overseas markets including Germany and Australia, the Collection has taken centre stage at a number of international tourism shows, and the programme team have welcomed international media and tourism representatives from around the world.
Highlights from the Northumberland National Park Experience Collection include dining and stargazing at the Battlesteads Hotel in Wark, foraging and wild cooking with Northern Wilds, exploring the bloody borders with Northumberland 300, living like a Roman with Ancient Britain, flying birds of prey with Falconry Days, joining a Ranger patrol of Hadrian’s Wall on Ebike and discovering your artistic nature with Footsteps Northumberland.
Partner accommodation providers include Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant at Wark, Carraw B&B in Humshaugh, Hesleyside Hall B&B and the Hollybush Inn at Greenhaugh.
Jude Leitch, Director of Northumberland Tourism, said: “Since its conception over a year ago, the National Park Experience Collection has gone from strength to strength here in Northumberland. Businesses have created offers that are now attracting key players in the international travel trade and it won’t be long before this increased profile starts to bring further global visitors to our area.
“From the outset, we have had great confidence in this project and in conjunction with the Peak District central team, Northumberland Tourism have provided training and support to our businesses that we feel will better equip them to progress in the international markets and engage with exciting new travel trade contacts.
“The regional launch at the Sill is a celebration of all that our businesses have learned and achieved. With the project now the proud recipient of the Visit England Outstanding Contribution to International Tourism Award for 2019, this is proving to be the start of an exciting international journey for the Northumberland National Park Experience Collection.”
The Northumberland launch of the award winning National Park Experience Collection takes place at The Sill: National landscape Discovery Centre on Friday 22 March from 10.00 – 13.00. To register to attend the please book via Eventbrite.