All aboard for Hampshire
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
The wide range and high quality of Hampshire's tourist attractions were recently showcased to a group of national coach and tour operators, in a bid to attract more visitors and achieve a bigger share of the growing domestic tourism market.
With the English tourist board, Visit England, targeting a five percent year-on-year growth in England's tourism industry over the next ten years, Hampshire County Council is poised to take advantage of some of the estimated benefits - a share of an extra 225, 000 jobs and £50 billion in revenue.
The recent Hampshire Group Travel Familiarisation event, arranged by Hampshire County Council, was an excellent opportunity to showcase to national coach and tour operators what the county has to offer visitors from the UK and abroad.
Starting from the Langstone Hotel on Hayling Island, the coach and tour operators visited a selection of Hampshire's world-class attractions including Buckler's Hard Maritime Museum, the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, Mottisfont Abbey in Romsey and the Watercress Line in Alresford. A modern twist was added with visits to the Spinnaker Tower and Gunwharf Quays.
The operators also met with representatives from tourist attractions from across Hampshire at a 'Meet the Group Buyer Workshop', where they were able to discuss potential business opportunities face to face.
Councillor Ray Ellis, Executive Member for Economic Development and Rural Affairs said:
"This visit shone a spotlight on the warm welcome that awaits visitors to Hampshire and on our impressive range of tourist sites. Hampshire is a county of maritime heritage, rolling green countryside and picture postcard towns - visitors are spoilt for choice. 15,000 people visit tourist attractions in Hampshire every single day, so tourism plays a vital part in Hampshire's economy, supporting 60,000 jobs and bringing in almost £3 billion to the region. However we cannot afford to stand still and so need to position ourselves to take advantage of the estimated 60% increase in English tourism over the next 10 years. One way this can be achieved is by getting the message out to the UK travel trade that Hampshire is a great place to plan a tour. I encourage visitors and tour operators alike to visit the Visit Hampshire website so they can see the full range of attractions to visit."