Growing Tourism Locally – Regional Growth Fund Programme

RGF - “Growing Tourism Locally”

‘Growing Tourism Locally’ is a three-year programme to March 2015 delivered by VisitEngland and local partners funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, VisitEngland and the private sector.

The aim of the project is to inspire UK residents to take more holidays in England; boosting local economies through growth in visitor spend, resulting in the creation of over 9,100 indirect tourism jobs.

A number of areas were selected to participate in the Destination element of the project. Details of these destinations and how they were selected is available here.

However all destinations in England can participate in the programme through the Thematic element of the project. This activity will be focused around groups of similar destinations, which when joined together, will be promoted under a specific tourism theme. More information is available here.

The project also aims to boost business tourism through promoting local goods and services to international conference and exhibitions buyers. VisitEngland coordinates the project nationally, working with local partners to design and deliver specific activity.

Latest on RGF Campaigns and Projects:
Thematic Campaigns

The four themes and main markets for the thematic campaigns will stay the same throughout the project lifetime.
Four key themes:

• Heritage
• Culture
• Coast
• Countryside
Three main markets:

• Pre-family
• Family
• Empty nesters
Current Campaigns within the four key themes
Heritage: Romantic Heritage City Breaks
Culture: Cultural Cities
Coast: Coastal Escapes
Countryside: Rural Escapes
Media Partnerships 2012/13

Three media partnerships were chosen to suit the three markets in year 1 of the thematic campaigns (2012/13). The partnerships were chosen to create the best reach across digital and print:

• The Guardian:  Pre-family
• The Daily Mail. The Mail on Sunday: Family
• Classic FM and Gold FM: Empty-nesters

Plans for Year 2 are currently being developed and more information will be released in the next financial year.  Evaluation for Year 1 of the thematic campaigns as a whole will take place when all media live dates have run to give further insight moving forward.
For more information about the thematics please contact Georgina Heathcote, Marketing Partnerships Manager, RGF

Tel:  020 7578 1441
Business Tourism

RGF funds are available, to be combined with match from DMO’s and their local private partners, for contribution towards the costs of developing their destinations Business Tourism activity. RGF is being used to support England presence at major international events, exhibitions, trade shows, and to support sales missions, networking events and workshops.

VisitEngland has put together a list of the Business Tourism opportunities for 2013/14 which DMO’s can become involved in. For information about the opportunities featured in this document and how to attend please contact Cheryl Bristow, Business Tourism Executive:

Tel:  020 7578 1445.


VisitEngland is working with four destinations to develop exciting itineraries with top class accommodation and attractions that provide a warm welcome for all visitors including those with access needs - such as hearing loss, visual impairment, wheelchair users, older and less mobile people and people with pushchairs.

The destination partners are Bath Tourism Plus, Leicester Shire Promotions, NewcastleGateshead and Visit Brighton.  These DMO’s are working with VisitEngland to ensure that their business partners all meet the same high standard of accessibility by following a development process devised by VisitEngland.  The process focusses on key issues such as customer service, facilities and visitor information and incorporates a number of VisitEngland’s tools and resources, such as Access Statements and online disability awareness training.
RGF will be used to support a national marketing campaign, a first of its kind, to promote these itineraries through marketing activity planned to start in late Summer 2013.

In the longer term, any destination organisation will be able to devise their own itinerary using the VisitEngland development process. This approach provides a cost-effective opportunity for English destinations to showcase their accessible tourism businesses and attract more visits from disabled travellers and their companions; a sector worth almost £2 billion a year to the domestic tourism industry.

For more information about the Accessible Itineraries project please contact Ross Calladine, Head of Business Support,

Tel: 02075781427