23 October 2018
The partnership supported by Go! Southampton to increase connections between the cruises and Southampton City Centre was awarded with funding of £250,000 from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund (DEF).
The project, led by Southampton City Council, titled Leisure Excursions in Southern England for Cruise and Conference will focus on growing the range of shore excursion itineraries, boosting tourism for the ports of Southampton and Plymouth. It aims to increase visitor numbers for businesses and attractions by encouraging visitors to stay local for longer.
The partnership includes Associated British Ports, Southampton Cultural Development Trust, Hampshire County Council, Go Southampton, Destination Southampton and Destination Plymouth. Together they will work to develop a range of itineraries for visiting cruise lines that will showcase all the cultural and historical attractions in and around the cities of Southampton and Plymouth.
Currently, around 50% of visitors from cruises source out excursions outside the local area. Go! Southampton has worked with local businesses to produce a crew map with discounts and useful information. This project will provide more localised options for cruise passengers and help boost economies nearby.
Heidi Isa, Marketing and Events Director at Go! Southampton BID, said:
“The cruise industry is incredibly important to the economy of our city and this project gives more businesses a chance to benefit from the thousands of passengers coming into the city each year as well as offering those passengers the opportunity to discover more about what the city has to offer. It’s very much win win”
Cabinet member for Homes and Culture at Southampton City Council, Councillor Satvir Kaur said: “It has been a real partnership approach to get this project to this point. Hampshire and surrounding counties have so much to offer visiting tourists and we’re pleased that this funding will enable us to really put Southampton, Plymouth and the surrounding areas on the map. As well as the customary warm welcome, visitors to the cities will be informed, enlightened and entertained simply by staying in and around the destination port areas.”