The FCE region currently uses a destination-based tourism approach based on conventional, mass-market locations during peak season. However, modern travellers are losing interest in this type of holiday (Skift 2018).
Experiential tourism is a growing travel trend based on regional uniqueness (Trekksoft 2017). The FCE region is not popular with experiential travellers despite abundant potential. Current offer does not target the off-season or meet modern expectations, limiting competitiveness in the global tourism market.
The aim of the project EXPERIENCE is thus to extend the tourism season (October-March) attracting 24,030,254 additional new visitors to the FCE region by project end and 40,265,807 by 5 years later.
To break the cycle and successfully extend the season, EXPERIENCE will develop a new tourism strategy to tackle all the challenges at once. They will capitalise on successes with experiential tourism observed in other countries. They will apply this to the FCE region to attract off-season visitors.
The new strategy is composed of 5 delivery plans designed to break existing tourism convention and bring global innovation in season extension to our region.
The project will:
- Unite and train traditional (tourism offices) and atypical actors (foresters/artisans) to recognise unique regional tourism selling points
- Create new off-season tourism offer, harnessing regional selling points to create exciting itineraries
- Adapt regional summer tourism infrastructure for off-season use
- Promote the FCE region for experiential tourism October-March
- Ensure offer is demand-driven for continued off-season visitors’ growth in FCE region
A strategy across 6 pilot regions (Brittany, Pas-de-Calais, Compiègne, Norfolk, Kent, Cornwall) will be tested, each with diverse characteristics representative of other FCE regions and wider.