Southampton City Council has partnered with Associated British Ports, Southampton Cultural Development Trust, Visit Hampshire, Go Southampton, Destination Southampton, Destination Plymouth and other organisations to develop shore excursions for visiting cruise passengers.
The project, which follows on from the council’s first Leisure Excursions for Cruise and Conference this March, aims to boost cruise tourism in Southampton and Plymouth. It is funded by the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund.
“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,” said Sally Balcombe, chief executive of VisitEngland.
Research suggests that over half of passengers arriving in Southampton go on shore excursions outside the local area. The project aims to encourage visitors to stay local for longer.
“Visit Hampshire has been delighted with the opportunity that the project has provided to enhance promotion of the county’s attractions for cruise shore excursions,” said Andrew Bateman, tourism manager at Visit Hampshire. “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.”