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Bristol and Bath’s cultural tourism bid success

Bristol and Bath have successfully bid to be part of the Cultural Destinations programme.

The bid, led by Bristol Old Vic, means they will receive £350,000 from the programme – a partnership between Arts Council England and VisitEngland – to build a new partnership that hopes to deliver sustained growth to the local economy. Both cities have well developed visual and performing arts scenes, as well as extensive physical and heritage attractions. Yet despite their proximity, few visitors understand how close and accessible they are to one another.

By working closely together, the two cities are hoping to add value and appeal for visitors, making them one of the UK’s top destinations for cultural tourism.

Nick Brooks-Sykes, chief executive of Bath Tourism Plus, said: “This is great news for the visitor economy of Bath and North East Somerset. This project will lever greater economic impact from existing visitors to Bath and Bristol, encouraging them to stay longer and discover further cultural experiences and, alongside this, will present the critical mass of the two destinations to potential new cultural markets. It is a major step change in collaborative working between the cultural and tourist sectors and the two cities.”

Kathryn Davis, head of tourism at Destination Bristol, said: “We are delighted that this bid has been successful and what a positive way to start 2014. The cultural attractions in the cities are already an important part of the tourism offer but this unique partnership between Bristol, Bath and the cultural sector will enable us to build on this, to develop new audiences and attract new visitors, creating sustained and sustainable growth to the visitor economy.”

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