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Published on Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Project aims to entice more cruise passengers to explore the South Coast







A range of itineraries has been created to entice cruise visitors to spend more time exploring the local attractions close to Southampton and Plymouth ports as part of a tourism initiative.

Research suggests over half of passengers arriving on a transit call in Southampton leave and go on shore excursions outside of the local area.

As part of a project called Leisure Excursions for Cruise and Conference in Southern England, a programme has been put together to persuade passengers they don't need to head to London.

The partnership, which includes Associated British Ports, Southampton Cultural Development Trust, Visit Hampshire, Go Southampton, Destination Southampton and Destination Plymouth, has received funding from the UK Government's £40 million Discover England Fund.

VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe said: "This project showcases the outstanding locations packaged together on the South Coast, giving visitors the opportunity to discover more of England as they disembark from Southampton or Plymouth and explore the cultural and rural charm of the country."

Andrew Bateman, tourism manager for Visit Hampshire, said: "We believe that we've got what the industry is looking for with food and drink attractions such as Bombay Sapphire distillery and Hambledon vineyard, through to world-class heritage attractions like The Mary Rose and Beaulieu in the New Forest.~ We are focusing on putting Hampshire on the map and persuading passengers that they don't need to head to London for a fantastic day out."

Amanda Lumley, executive director of Destination Plymouth, added: "Plymouth is pleased to be a partner in the project building on initial cruise market activities to support the Mayflower 400 partnership over the past two years. Our insights show that there is a great appetite in the cruise sector for new products and this project is an opportunity for all the partners to leverage this with DEF grant funding support."

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