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A partnership of destinations including Durham has secured a £1m investment from the Discover England Fund to encourage more German visitors to explore Eastern England.

The money will be spent on creating a new 300-mile touring route between London and Northumberland that combines well-known visitor destinations with those that are off-the beaten track.  New itineraries will be developed that bring together attractions, accommodation options, places to eat and activities to create a route that is culturally rich and quintessentially English.

Michelle Gorman, Managing Director at Visit County Durham said, “Durham has so much for international visitors to experience and this project will help us to attract more people to visit and enjoy what we have to offer. We welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with colleagues and make it easier for people to plan and book a trip to Eastern England.

“In addition to showcasing the well-known visitor attractions of Durham City and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Durham Cathedral and Castle, this investment will encourage German visitors to explore the county’s historic towns such as Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle and introduce them to world-class attractions including The Bowes Museum, the Auckland Project, Beamish Museum and Raby Castle.”

The project is being led by destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) working with other destination organisations and local authorities up and down the country.

Germany has been chosen as the target market because touring is a familiar and well-loved holiday choice for Germans and because there is good travel connectivity with Eastern England. The project has an emphasis on helping businesses to operate in the international market and make them bookable by independent travelers as well as tour operators and travel agents who are influential with German consumers.

The East of England Touring Route 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 aims 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.

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