(Cookery Workshops at Chequers Kitchen Cookery School in Deal is one of 16 visitor experiences on the programme)
White Cliffs Country – the tourism and visitor arm of Dover District Council – is delighted to announce that 16 businesses from across the district, including the towns of Deal, Dover and Sandwich, will be offering new visitor experiences, having been accepted onto the Interreg EXPERIENCE programme launched this week by Visit Kent.
EXPERIENCE will provide new and exciting Covid-safe opportunities for visitors to White Cliffs Country and Kent, with a range of innovative visitor experiences that meet the growing demand for experiential tourism. With a clear focus on sustainability, EXPERIENCE aims to boost off-season tourism by delivering experiences that can be enjoyed all year round and which use seasonal opportunity to their advantage.
The project, which has been part-funded by Dover District Council, has received very positive response from the tourism industry within White Cliffs Country. Businesses have been working hard to develop a variety of inspirational activities to engage visitors in the post-Covid world, and which follow visitor trends for personalised and local tourism experiences that can be enjoyed safely.
In Dover District, the businesses accepted to the EXPERIENCE programme and their corresponding new visitor experiences are:
- Barnsole Vineyard – to offer a new wine tasting experience
- The Bay Trust – to offer new off-season workshops
- Bell Hotel – to offer a new Medieval Weekend in Sandwich
- Betteshanger Park – to offer new creative activities, based on the natural environment and Kent’s mining heritage within the park
- Bright Moon Tai Chi – offering Chi Gong and meditation on Deal beach
- Chequers Kitchen Cookery School - cookery workshops in partnership with accommodation providers
- England Plus Tours - clifftop and seaside history and wildlife walks
- History Project - offering immersive ‘Smugglers’ evening tours in Deal
- Kent Craft Hive - offering tile-making creative experiences using local plant material
- Keep Your Fork - offering wellbeing walks for women
- Land Train - offering a tour highlighting historical places of interest and promoting local businesses
- Princes Golf Club - offering golf with a professional plus a yoga or foraging experience on site
- Sandwich Guildhall Museum - to offer tours of the Guildhall with afternoon tea
- Vinoteq and Dover Tales – to offer a journey through the forgotten history of Dover’s role in the wine and spirits trade
- Ten Mile Collective - to offer creative workshops in Dover
- Wild Kitchen – to offer foraging for wild food on a bicycle tour.
Future visitors to White Cliffs Country can now look forward to new and creative ways to experience the natural landscapes, beautiful countryside, striking coastline, fascinating history and heritage, traditional culture, sporting opportunities, outdoor activities and food and drink with which the unique destination is so richly resourced.
Tim Ingleton, Dover District Council’s Head of Inward Investment and Tourism, said “This wonderful news is credit to the dedication, innovation and outstanding quality of our local tourism industry and further strengthens White Cliffs Country’s position as a first-class destination that visitors will want to explore as the tourism industry begins to reopen.
“Further enhancing our very strong visitor offer in this way – by meeting trends for experiential tourism with sustainable products – will, in turn, boost the local visitor economy, which we know is recognised as one of the District’s most important assets. Through our investment in key projects such as EXPERIENCE, we continue to bolster our efforts to respond, re-boot and re-build this industry, which has been hit so hard by the effects of Covid-19.”
Visit Kent Chief Executive, Deirdre Wells OBE, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see so many businesses from across White Cliffs Country taking part in our Interreg EXPERIENCE programme. The continued collaborative efforts of organisations throughout the region will be critical in championing the recovery of our sector during a particularly challenging year ahead, and the exciting range of visitor experiences that are being developed across the Dover district shows the true strength and outstanding quality of Kent’s tourism offering. We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the Garden of England safely over the coming months to try these experiences first-hand.”
With further news on White Cliffs Country EXPERIENCE projects to follow, in addition, rural tourism businesses within White Cliffs Country have been developing products for Kent Downs AONB’s Countryside Experience Development Programme. The programme supports businesses, organisations and individuals to develop sustainable rural tourism experiences in the Kent Downs AONB and along the North Downs Way, to encourage visitors all year round. An announcement on successful applicants is due to be made shortly.
Notes to Editors
EXPERIENCE is a €23.3 million project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (€16 million) and the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme, running across 3 counties in England and three regions of Northern France. In Kent, it’s being delivered by VisitKent and the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) with match-funding partners including Dover District Council.
About White Cliffs Country
White Cliffs Country (Dover District Council) is the Destination Management & Marketing Organisation for Dover District (including the character towns of Deal, Dover, Sandwich and wider environs), welcoming 4.7 million visitors a year, championing the district’s £302 million tourism industry and supporting more than 6,000 jobs. Focused upon the five strategic pillars of ideas, people, place, business environment and infrastructure, White Cliffs Country targets domestic and international markets to raise the district’s profile as a ‘great place to visit, invest, live, work and learn’, improving experience, engagement, quality and skills within the industry, and growing investment in tourism. White Cliffs Country works with local, county, regional and national partners and industry groups.
White Cliffs Country also runs, in partnership with Dover Museum, the White Cliffs Country Visitor Information Centre (based at Dover Museum), as well as the Visitor Welcome Desk for Kent’s Cruise Partnership (based at Dover Cruise Port).
About Visit Kent
Visit Kent Ltd is the Destination Management Organisation for Kent (the Garden of England), welcoming 66.5 million visitors a year, championing the county’s £4.1 billion tourism industry and supporting more than 81,000 jobs.
It is recognised as one of the country’s leading DMOs, targeting UK and overseas markets to raise Kent’s profile as a premier destination, improving quality and skills within the industry, and growing investment in tourism. Visit Kent is a public/private sector partnership supported by Kent County Council, Medway Council, district and borough councils, and the leading sector tourism businesses in Kent.
Posted on 01 April 2021