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EXPERIENCE - experiential tourism to extend the visitor season

EXPERIENCE was a €24.5 million project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (€16.9m ERDF) through the Interreg VA France (Channel) England Programme 2014-2020. Norfolk County Council was the lead partner, working with 13 other organisations across 6 pilot regions in France and England.

Over 4 years, the project encouraged, developed and promoted the experiential tourism trend to extend the tourist off-season (October - March), generating 10.4 million new visits across the Channel region. Through the project, the Partnership developed a new tourism strategy that improves the way the economy, environment, communities, and brands interact. The strategy is focused on sustainable, low-impact tourism activities to secure the future resilience of the local natural and cultural assets.

Experiential travel is a growing movement in tourism with a tread lightly ethos, respectful of both people and place. Norfolk is brimming with wildlife, scenery, tradition, history, gastronomy, and architecture which form an ideal basis for the development of world-class experiential tourism products. EXPERIENCE worked to unite cross-sector tourism stakeholders and use local knowledge to co-create innovative new tourism offers. The project upgraded existing infrastructure to support enjoyable off-season access to our natural and cultural heritage. Cutting-edge research, data, and digital technology were used to drive regional identity development, activation, and demand stimulation to draw in new, high-value off-season visitors to Norfolk, benefiting both people and place. 

More detail about the new strategy and project outcomes can be found in the EXPERIENCE Best Practice Guide.

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