Nottinghamshire is heading a new project to attract more American visitors, in partnership with Nottingham Unesco City of Literature, Visit Hampshire and Shakespeare’s England.
Called ‘Creating England’s Literary Greats’, it is one of several successful bids to secure funding from VisitEngland’s £40 million Discover England Fund.
Focusing on the US travel trade, the project will explore the demand for increased literary themed visits to England, and present new ideas for itineraries to US tour operators.
Brendan Moffett, Visit Nottinghamshire chief executive, said: “This is fantastic news for Nottinghamshire and we’re thrilled to have been awarded this opportunity to test the market to see if there’s an appetite for US tourists to explore our literary legends and their attractions, including DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum and Newstead Abbey (pictured).
“Research from VisitBritain found that more than a third of overseas visitors want to see places from film and literature, and that almost half visited museums, art galleries, castles or historic houses – demonstrating the significance of the UK’s heritage and culture.
“As part of this project, additional research will be commissioned to test if there is a real market for more literary themed visits, and we plan on making the most of this opportunity for Nottinghamshire to learn from experts in this field such as the Shakespeare’s Birthplace Museum and Jane Austen’s House Museum.”
Sandeep Mahal, director of Nottingham Unesco City of Literature, said: “We see this project as a real opportunity for tourism operators to create and deliver literary tourism experiences that set us apart from our competitor destinations. This project will help shine a light on our literary tourism potential.”
Andrew Bateman, Visit Hampshire tourism manager, added: “This project will enable us to build on this year’s wonderful Jane Austen 200th anniversary commemorations and continue to raise the profile of Hampshire and its most famous author with the US travel trade.”
Helen Peters, Shakespeare’s England chief executive, commented: “When you think of English literary icons, there are few that would be considered greater than William Shakespeare. We hope this project will encourage visitors to the UK to discover the wonders of Hampshire, Nottingham and Warwickshire as they walk in the footsteps of their literary heroes.”
Sally Balcombe, VisitEngland chief executive, said: “Our research shows that literature is a powerful motivator for travel, with books firing up our imagination and inspiring us to explore the locations and landscapes in our favourite stories.”
Pictured: Newstead Abbey, in Nottinghamshire – the ancestral home of Lord Byron. Credit: Visit Nottinghamshire.