Countdown is on for Mayflower celebrations

Tourism minister John Glen has visited the Mayflower 400 team in Plymouth as the national visitor campaign for the anniversary gathers pace.

The minister (pictured right) discussed plans for commemorations that are expected to boost the UK visitor economy in the lead-up to and throughout 2020.

It is estimated the national Mayflower partnership will attract more than 1.4 million visitors during the commemoration year, with an economic impact of £76 million – creating about 2,000 jobs.

There are said to be 25 million descendants around the world from the 102 passengers and crew on the Mayflower, which set sail for America in September 1620.

More than 10 million descendants are US citizens and US tour operators are beginning to sell Mayflower 400 UK packages.

Plymouth is one of 11 destinations across the UK in the Mayflower 400 partnership formed to deliver events and visitor trails to celebrate the historic voyage.

Glen said: “Mayflower 400 is wonderful project that will not only celebrate centuries of shared history between the UK and US but also help promote the Mayflower destinations to the world.

“The commemorations will help increase the profile of the UK’s role in the Mayflower story and encourage even more international tourists, particularly Americans, to explore Plymouth and the Mayflower destinations across the country.”

Charles Hackett (pictured left), Mayflower 2020 chief executive, added: “We are very pleased that the minister has chosen to visit Plymouth and engage with the Mayflower 400 national programme early in his time in post.

“We are busy working behind the scenes to make sure that across the country and in Plymouth we are able to take full advantage of the opportunities Mayflower 400 will bring.”

As well as Plymouth, UK destinations within the Mayflower 400 programme are Dartmouth; Southampton; Austerfield, Doncaster; Boston, Lincolnshire; Gainsborough, Lincolnshire; Harwich, Essex; Immingham, Lincolnshire; Scrooby and Babworth, Nottinghamshire; Southwark, London; and Worcestershire.

Picture by Paul Slater/PSI