Last Updated on September 22, 2016 by Mark Lavington

discover-england-fund-delivering-world-class-product-8-638The UK tourism industry is being given a big boost thanks to a £40 million investment by the Government. The announcement follows a record breaking year in UK tourism, during which 36 million overseas visitors spent £22.1 billon (2015 figures).

The first grants from the Discover England fund have been awarded to a range of projects across the country. The government wants them to join together and create offers that will attract visitors from around the world. Thus showing that there is more to do in England than just the typical tourist attractions in London.

The money will be spread across culture and sport. From festivals to golf courses, the grants will be used to support local businesses and ensure that Britain remains a top destination for visitors from across the globe. The focus is on attractions and things to do rather than facilities and accommodation.

Tourism Action Plan to boost UK tourism

This exciting investment comes alongside a new Tourism Action Plan which is comprised of new measures and initiatives to help Britain welcome more international visitors and increase “staycations” as Brits holiday at home. The initiatives include a tourism rail offer with five easy to book rail itineraries in order to encourage and help tourists to travel around the UK. The plan also addresses the seasonal nature of the industry, and a flexible apprenticeship scheme which takes place over 16-18 months rather than the traditional 12.

Holiday home owners will also be happy to hear that red tape will be be cut. Licensing will be changed to allow owners to offer guests a welcome drink, which has been a long time in the waiting for those of you who wish to supply these without in welcome packs with less legislative fuss. There will also be changes to vehicle licensing which will allow accommodation providers such as bed & breakfast and holiday cottage owners to pick up visitors from coach and train stations (subject to the approval of their car insurance provider of course). We’ll report the detail of these changes as the legislation is amended.

As well as grants and red tape cuts, the scheme to boost UK tourism is supported by industry partners. This includes a £10.2 million partnership between VisitBritain and Expedia to market Britain to key markets such as the USA, Germany, and France.

The boost is welcomed by Prime Minister Theresa May, “Tourism is vitally important to the UK and the sector goes from strength to strength. Our stunning scenery, centuries-old monuments and cultural traditions continue to draw visitors from both home and abroad.” She added “We will make sure Britain is even more attractive, accessible and welcoming to visitors.”

So what does this mean for holiday homeowners? Well, as you’ve probably realised, this is a great opportunity for an increased number of visitors and guests. The attractions and organisations around you will be marketing the area to potential visitors, whilst large companies such as Expedia will be marketing to a worldwide audience. Combine this with easier rail travel and red tape cuts and it’ll become much easier for you to do the special extras that will really make your property stand out to visitors. Also remember that we all need to pull together in marketing and promoting our destinations; we’re all in this industry together and the more we work with each other, the greater the impact of our efforts.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support you if you’re buying a holiday cottage to let, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

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