Exciting new tourism project is launching soon

A new tourism project led by the Cotswolds Tourism will help to promote tourism across the region following a successful bid to the Discover England Fund.

The ‘Uncover the Cotswolds project – encompassing the Cotswolds, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Forest of Dean and Wye Valley – is one of a number of projects to benefit from Year 3 funding of the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund. The Fund is administered by VisitEngland and involves a programme of activity to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry, by offering world-class English tourism products to the right customers at the right time. The Fund is supported by match funding by partners in the public and private sectors.

The project is aimed at driving inbound tourism with a focus to attract visitors from the Nordic markets, Italy and Spain dispersing visitors across the wider region and providing them with greater access to authentic local experiences.

Project leader for Cotswolds Tourism, Sally Graff, explains further:

“I am delighted that we have secured this £250, 000 funding and I would like to thank everyone involved in our successful bid.  We will be developing world-class, authentic local tourism experiences, and creating tours which can be booked in totality or in part, via tour operators, with different budget options available.

“We will focus on showcasing the incredible experiences available throughout the year to encourage more off peak visits and providing them with bookable itineraries to help them extend their stay.

“Supporting the many small businesses across the destination area to understand the travel trade opportunities is the key to unlocking the wider tourism experience.  We will bring together the wider Cotswolds region incorporating the destination management organisations of not only the Cotswolds but also the Forest of Dean & Wye Valley, Marketing Cheltenham and Marketing Gloucester. Longer-term, we aim to extend to additional locations including Stratford Upon Avon, Oxford, and Bath.

Maureen McAllister of Forest of Dean & Wye Valley tourism adds:

“We are delighted to be part of this partnership which will enable us to develop, promote and bring to life 12 core thematic itineraries encouraging visitors to discover more and explore the fabulous Cotswolds, Forest of Dean and Wye Valley region.  The core themes are perfect for our area, including food and drink; local traditions; history and heritage; arts, crafts and skills; adrenaline adventures; nature and wildlife; royalty; music; and film and TV locations and we envisage this being the first of many projects we will work together on as we showcase what’s great about this part of the country”

Kelly Ballard Manager of Marketing Cheltenham comments:

“This is a great opportunity for Cheltenham to work together with other destinations across Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire to increase international visitors to the area.  We plan to use the project to develop and promote Cheltenham based ‘experiences’ particularly around history and heritage, food and drink, as well as culture and anticipate that many will choose Cheltenham as a convenient base for what could be up to 14 day holiday.

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe comments:

“The calibre of submissions reflects the innovation in product development thriving across the country’s tourism landscape. The successful projects will boost international and domestic visitor growth creating a step-change in the industry and spreading the economic benefits of tourism across England.”

“The ‘Uncover the Cotswolds’ project will showcase the wonderful experiences available in the Cotswolds and give visitors the opportunity to discover the charms of area at all times of the year.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about how to get involved in the ‘Uncover the Cotswolds’ project should email cotswoldstourism@cotswold.gov.uk  or register for updates via www.cotswolds.com/uncoverthecotswolds or speak with their local tourism officer.





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. Tourism is an industry that delivers jobs and economic growth across the English regions – contributing some £106bn each year to the economy and supporting 2.6 million jobs.
  • The Fund supported a number of pilot projects in year one (2016/17) that tested product development approaches. In years two and three, 2017-19, the fund will support:
    • A number of large-scale collaborative projects to be delivered over the two year period 2017-2019 that will create a step-change in bookable English tourism product for international consumers,
    • 2 rounds of smaller funding for piloting new ideas (in year two), and delivering on new themes/ target markets (in year 3)
    • There have also been opportunities for existing smaller projects to receive support in each following year to upscale their activities


About VisitBritain/VisitEngland

  • VisitBritain/VisitEngland is the national tourism agency – a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Digital, 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 visitbritain.org or www.visitbritain.com and www.visitengland.com for consumer information.



About Cotswolds Tourism

Cotswolds Tourism is the official Destination Management Organisation promoting and marketing tourism across the Cotswolds.   A public-private sector partnership, the aim is to grow the Cotswolds visitor economy by raising awareness about the destination and generating additional tourism visits and spend.

Cotswolds Tourism is a partnership of tourism businesses, supported by local authorities of Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswold District Council, Stroud District Council, Tewkesbury Borough Council, West Oxfordshire District Council and the Cotswolds Conservation Board.  Cotswolds Tourism’s priority is to grow the area’s Visitor Economy by raising awareness of the destination and generating additional tourism visits and spend.  For key economic statistics and information see www.cotswolds.com/partnership



About Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism

Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism (WVFDT) was formed in 2006 and is the official Destination Management Organisation representing the interests of 300 members.

Managed by a 10-strong voluntary board, supported by professional advisors, the Forestry Commission and the AONB, it is funded by member subscriptions, the Forest of Dean District Council, Monmouthshire Council (via VisitWales), the Forestry Commission, and grant funding for specific projects.

Tourism in the Forest of Dean and Monmouthshire contributes significantly to the local economies.  WVFDT members include tourist attractions, accommodation providers, outdoor activities, food producers, events and services.

Key statistics for the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean

  • Total staying and day trips 7,038,900
  • Total visitor related spend £368,188,000
  • Total estimated actual employment 7,786 (5,597 full time employees)
  • Tourism accounts for 8% of all employment
  • Every pound spent on marketing returns £43.55 spent by tourists


The Association delivers four key functions:

  1. To represent the local tourism industry at local and national level
  2. To promote and raise the profile of Wye Valley and Forest of Dean
  3. To support members to improve and market their businesses
  4. To enable member businesses to work together

Any business interested in being part of Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism should visit www.wyedeantourism.co.uk or contact info@wyedeantourism.co.uk


To find out more about the Uncover the Cotswolds project see www.cotswolds.com/uncoverthecotswolds

For press enquiries please contact Cotswolds Tourism Sally Graff / Chris Jackson via 01285 623000 email cotswoldstourism@cotswold.gov.uk

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