Earlier this year, The English National Park Experience Collection invited businesses across England’s nine National Parks, including the South Downs to get involved and create more memorable visitor experiences for international visitors in our National Parks

This exciting work programme is funded through the Discover England fund and will help to:

  • Develop world class bookable product that is targetted at the right international customers, at the right time through the right channels.
  • Join up the product offering across a large geography through a thematic approach for the benefit of the customer.

Tourism is an industry that delivers jobs and economic growth across the English regions – across the Coastal West Sussex area both domestic and international tourism has seen steady growth in recent years and makes a valuable contribution to the local economy. The visitor spend was worth almost £1bn in 2015 and accounted for about 14,000 jobs.

The English National Park Experience Collection offers the most outstanding visitor experiences in our most outstanding landscapes. It will make the National Parks stand out for England as an international tourism destination. The target markets are Australia and Germany (as they are currently the largest overseas visitors to our National Parks and are seen as highly sophisticated markets who are after a deeper connection to place and people when they travel).

Over the summer, The English National Park Collection’s Business Support Advisors have been busy consulting with South Downs businesses in one-to-one consultations and will shortly be launching workshops, in order to provide one-of-a-kind experiences. It’s estimated that there will be 50 new experiences across the nine National Parks – equating to five new experiences in each.

Just some suggested experiences for our region include Sparkling South Downs (to include wine tasting with cheese from our many vineyards), Sunset South Downs (including wine tasting and meal in a vineyard as the sun sets) and Live Like a King or Queen (by visiting Arundel Castle and enjoying a horse ride along the stunning South Downs National Trail).

To build the visitor offer even more, local partners including the South Downs National Park, West Sussex County Council and the coastal authorities are working together to promote the whole of West Sussex through the platform Experience West Sussex which encourages people to explore our seaside towns, our beautiful countryside and historic places of interest.

In 2017, the media campaign reached over 35,000 social media followers, featured over 230 businesses and had over 6.7 million impressions promoting the county.

Click the link to find out more about The English National Park Collection

For inspiration and ideas of what to do in our area, don’t forget to check out Experience West Sussex – there really is always something to do in stunning Sussex!