Short break development
"More regions of the UK should take note of what Leicestershire Promotions, the area’s tourism body, have devised to encourage families to visit and enjoy what the county has to offer.”
Richard Webber from TravelLowdown.com
After talking to local accommodation providers about maximising occupancy at non-peak periods and to focus on the destination’s family offer, Leicestershire Promotions devised and launched the Stay Play Explore short breaks back in 2005.
Since then, Stay Play Explore has become one of the most popular family breaks in the UK and has generated over 240,000 bednights for the local visitor economy.
The model is based on a choice of three from 10 family-friendly visitor attractions, plus high quality overnight accommodation, all for just £149 for a family of four.
Leicestershire Promotions successfully run the offer in Warwickshire, Yorkshire and Coventry as well as Leicestershire with breaks in other destinations in the pipeline.
“Being away for a short break with all of the members of the family was a real highlight. Great hotel, great attractions, great fun. Well done, Stay Play Explore! We think that the promotion of Stay Play Explore Leicestershire is great and other counties should follow suit.”
Chris, father of the Howard family, Stay Play Explore visitors
The proven Stay Play Explore model has now been extended with the launch of Stay Play Explore Warwickshire in 2017. This new family short break includes major visitor attractions in Stratford and Warwick including Warwick Castle, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the British Motor Museum.
Stay Play Explore Warwickshire was developed by Leicestershire Promotions and Shakespeare’s England.
Helen Peters, Chief Executive of Shakepeare’s England said: “Shakespeare’s England is delighted to have the opportunity to work with Leicestershire Promotions to extend the successful Stay Play Explore programme to Warwickshire. “
Event planning and delivery
Leicestershire Promotions continues to work with partner organisations to deliver a wide range of events and festivals, aimed at inspiring residents and attracting new visitors to the areas.
Loughborough has had a long association with children’s literature since the very first Ladybird book was produced by a jobbing printer called Wills & Hepworth in the town during the First World War. Ladybird books were printed at Angel Yard in Loughborough from 1915-1973.
From this history sprung the concept of hosting an annual children’s illustrated literature festival in the town. Loogabarooga is organised by Charnwood Borough Council and Leicestershire Promotions, in partnership with Leicestershire County Council and supported by Love Loughborough.
“2017 marked the third annual Loogabarooga Festival in our wonderful town of Loughborough. Having been involved from the initial planning stages for the Festival, I feel a great sense of pride that it has not only proven to be a success for residents and visitors alike, but is going from strength to strength. In 2017, we had award-winning author of Charlie & Lola, Lauren Child appearing here for the first time. Lauren was deservedly appointed as Waterstones Children’s Laureate earlier this year and we could have only dreamed of attracting such a nationally-renowned artist when we were planning the Festival four years ago.”
Cllr. Hilary Fryer, Lead Member for Open Spaces and Leisure Services, at Charnwood Borough Council
To showcase the food and drink offering from local suppliers in the Charnwood Forest area of Leicestershire, LPL teamed up with these suppliers, supported by Charnwood Borough Council, The National Forest and Everards. plus local partners and venues in iconic settings to present a series of events for the Edible Forest Festival.
Events during Edible Forest have included Tea in the Tower – a traditional, delicious tea, full of the finest local produce and served in the unique setting of the Old John Tower in the heart of Bradgate Park, Cheese Pairing evening, forest pod dining experience and a rare opportunity to experience two of Leicestershire’s top chefs cooking a gourmet banquet with leading local chefs John Duffin.
Leicestershire Promotions has been running destination’s Tourism & Hospitality Awards since 2011
Over 100 tourism and hospitality business from across the destination entered the awards last year which was sponsored by Everards, Pear Communications and Leicester City Council & Leicestershire County Council.
Winners of the 2019 awards included local hotels, festivals and events, visitor attractions, restaurants, B&Bs, pubs, retailers, conference centres and self-catering accommodation. Three of our local winners went on to be finalists in the national Visit England Tourism Awards and came away with a bronze and two silver awards.
Every year, Leicestershire Promotions invites tourism businesses from across Leicestershire to the annual Leicestershire Tourism Forum. The primary aims of the forums are to focus on working collectively, find out more about partnership opportunities and to receive practical advice on how to increase visitor numbers.
The Forums include presentations on the state of the tourism sector and practical workshops on related areas such as marketing, events development, funding and more.
Collaborate for Business Growth programme
Leicestershire Promotions worked with Winning Moves to deliver free specialist support to help tourism businesses to expand. Small and medium sized attractions and accommodation and hospitality firms took advantage of the advice, designed to help them harness growth in the sector.
The project supported 130 businesses across Leicester and Leicestershire and was funded by Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
LPL has formed district partnership groups throughout Leicestershire, comprising of local authority and local tourism business representatives. These partnership boards work together to develop and deliver Tourism Blueprints for their respective districts, encompassing marketing, branding, events, joint promotions and more.
Targeted tourism campaigns
LPL works to promote Leicestershire as an inspiring destination of choice for the group travel market through PR, direct marketing, e-communications, familiarisation visits and more.
Through its destination website at www.goleicestershire.com, LPL has successfully provided online ticketing facilities for local festivals and events including the Abbey Park bonfire, East Midlands Food Festival, ChocFest, PieFest and Artisan Cheese Fair.