In conjunction with Winchester Cathedral, Visit Hampshire announced a new Jane Austen-themed product to meet increased demand from US visitors to explore the literary legend.
In partnership with England’s Literary Greats project, Visit Hampshire and Winchester Cathedral have created a new travel trade friendly product, which packages a Jane Austen-themed tour with an afternoon tea in the Cathedral Refectory for the first time.
The new package will encourage tourists to visit Hampshire and immerse themselves in the literary roots of one of England’s greatest writers. The themed tour provides tourists with an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Austen, offering unique insights into her life, her connections to the Cathedral and how it came to be her last resting place. The itinerary also invites visitors on a walk through the Cathedral’s historic ‘Inner Close’ to the house on College Street where Jane spent her final days, with her sister Cassandra.
Catherine Hodgson, Marketing Manager for Winchester Cathedral comments, “We feel most privileged to be able to share the story of Jane Austen and how her life came to be so intertwined with our Cathedral. Today, tourists come from all over the world to stand at her grave here and they can also see her brass plaque and memorial window – three memorials to a remarkable woman whose novels so brilliantly capture the quiet drama of human relationships.”
The experience has been created following extensive international research which identified that more than a third of overseas visitors want to see places from film and literature, and that almost half of them visited museums, art galleries, castles or historic houses on previous trips.
Andrew Bateman, Tourism Manager for Visit Hampshire comments, “We are very excited about launching the new version of this tour as it has such a broad appeal for international visitors. There is something very special about inviting people to step into a landscape that has inspired one of Britain’s best loved authors and are very much looking forward to celebrating her life and the wonderful literary contributions that she made to our country.”
The bookable products can be bought independently or incorporated into a new wider itinerary. The tour and can be purchased by a tour operator ‘off the shelf’ or tailored as required. The itinerary also recommends accommodation, with a focus on travel trade or group-friendly properties and those that relate to the theme or are quintessentially English. Also recommended are complementary experiences including food experiences, landscapes famous for film locations or other local sites of interest.
The Jane Austen itinerary and new bookable products can be found here.
The Discover England Fund project, England’s Literary Greats, is one of a number of projects to benefit from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund. The Fund is administered by VisitBritain/VisitEngland and involves a program of activity to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry, by delivering world-class English tourism products to the right customers at the right time. The Fund is a central government funded programme of activity, supported by match funding by partners in the public and private sectors.
The ‘England’s Literary Greats’ project will fine tune itineraries based around literary figures, adding associated film locations and deepening trade engagement.