Hotels and More, the Harrow based B2B specialist for Great Britain and Ireland, has announced the research and development of Authentic Collections, an innovative product for small groups and individual travellers (FIT).
Authentic Collections is one of a number of successful projects to receive funding from 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 a central government funded programme of activity, supported by match funding by partners in the public and private sectors.
Visit England Chief Executive Sally Balcombe commented: “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.”
Hotels and More’s Authentic Collections is a series of small group tours and guaranteed departures, tailor-made for up to 16 pax – with an FIT (fully independent traveller) alternative – that are focused on encouraging dispersal from London. The project was born out of a growing demand for more personal and intimate experiences as defined by our social media habits. No longer content to go along with the masses, there is a real appetite for unique and authentic travel experiences that will garner traction online.
The focus on small groups and individual travel means that Hotels and More are able to incorporate visits to smaller towns and villages throughout the UK into their clients’ tours, while also supporting private accommodation providers and local restaurants. This will ensure a truly authentic view of the UK.
Sally Balcombe commented, “Hotels and More’s winning Discover England Fund project showcases experiences throughout the country and gives visitors the opportunity to discover England as they explore its smaller attractions and lesser travelled routes.”
Hotels & More is a professional B2B partner for group tours and FITs to the United Kingdom and Ireland. Since its foundation in 1996 in Harrow it has established itself as one of the leading inbound tour operators. Since then, Hotels & More has grown to an 80-person company and, working alongside 700 travel companies, organised tours for 2,700 groups and more than 100,000 consumers in 2016. Tour operators, package tour operators, direct sellers, coach tour operators and tour operating travel agents from all over Europe put their trust in Hotels & More because of the company’s high service standards; carefully chosen partners and suppliers; and competitive pricing. www.hotels-more.com
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
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 www.visitbritain.org or www.visitbritain.com and www.visitengland.com for consumer information.