EU Interreg Experience Programme | Visit Kent partnership

EU Interreg Experience Programme

Tunbridge Wells Borough businesses invited to take part in multi-million pound project, developing year-round, experiential tourism product

To aid the county's recovery following the effects of COVID-19, Tunbridge Wells is working in partnership with Visit Kent on the launch of a brand-new Experience Development Programme.

Funded through the European Interreg Experience project, this unique Development Programme aims to assist both traditional and non-traditional tourism businesses across the region to adapt, and develop new tourism products for business recovery.

The programme will work closely with organisations, supporting them as they adjust and diversify their product offer, encouraging collaboration with businesses both inside and outside of their sector, helping them to reach new audiences, and developing a year-round product to help recovery and resilience against future challenges.              

Visit Kent are currently looking to work with 125 eligible organisations, each of whom will receive a range of support to build and launch their new products, from specialist 1:1 consultancy and business planning, to new photography, marketing campaigns and proactive testing and sales with the travel trade.

Marshmallow campfire cooking | Interreg Experience

Visit Kent Chief Executive Deirdre Wells OBE said: “In light of the current COVID-19 crisis, the tourism, leisure and hospitality industry is having to drastically re-think how to rebuild demand and revenue streams. To survive and future-proof business, it’s crucial for organisations to rethink, adapt and develop new ideas for consumers who will be travelling differently, looking to reconnect with close family and friends to enjoy shared experiences in a safe and secure environment.

“We’re very excited to announce the launch of our brand-new Experience Development Programme. If you have a great idea for a new experience, an idea for collaborating with another business or an existing offer which could be adapted for a new audience, we’d love to hear from you. This programme could help you turn your idea into reality, and take it to market through a package of dedicated support.”

Tourism has an increasingly important role within the Tunbridge Wells economy, generating £277mn a year and supporting more than 8% of jobs1.

Interreg Experience will help to maximise the tourism industry’s already significant economic impact on the area, focusing on an increase in overnight stays to cultivate jobs and additional spend through high value, low volume tourism in the area.

Tunbridge Wells is one of ten organisations to have committed to match fund the Visit Kent and Kent Downs AONB budgets for the Interreg Experience project, alongside colleagues at Kent County Council, Medway Council and district authority partners in Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone & Hythe, Gravesham and Thanet.

To find out more about the Experience Development Programme and for details of how to apply, visit the Visit Kent Business website.

END

NOTES FOR EDITORS

For Tunbridge Wells press enquiries visit our media page or please contact business@tunbridgewells.gov.uk.

For further media information on Visit Kent and images please contact Brand Manager Lana Crouch on lana.crouch@visitkent.co.uk or call 01227 812914.

About Visit Kent

Visit Kent Ltd is the Destination Management Organisation for Kent (the Garden of England), welcoming 65million visitors a year, championing the county’s £3.8 billion tourism industry and supporting more than 77,000 jobs.

It is recognised as one of the country’s leading DMOs, targeting UK and overseas markets to raise Kent’s profile as a premier destination, improving quality and skills within the industry, and growing investment in tourism. Visit Kent is a public/private sector partnership supported by Kent County Council, Medway Council, district and borough councils, and the leading sector tourism businesses in Kent.

The Interreg Experience project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg France Channel England programme 2014-2020. For more information, visit https://www.visitkentbusiness.co.uk/about-us/european-funding/experience/.

See also www.visitkent.co.uk (consumer) or www.visitkentbusiness.co.uk (business), or tweet @visitkent.

 
1.2017 Cambridge Economic Impact Study – the most recent.

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