EXPERIENCE is a €23.3 million project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF, €16 million) through the Interreg VA France (Channel) England Programme 2014-2020, boosting visitor numbers in six pilot regions across England and France. This project will harness the experiential tourism trend to extend the season (October – March), generating 20 million new off-season visitors spending €1 billion across the Channel region by June 2023.

Cycling UK is one of 14 partners collaborating to deliver innovative and sustainable new off-season tourism experiences in six pilot regions in England and France.

We are working with six pilot regions (Brittany, Pas-de-Calais, Compiègne, Norfolk, Kent and Cornwall) to reinvent the way the economy, environment, communities and brands interact - focusing on sustainable, low-impact tourism activities to secure the future resilience of the region’s natural and cultural assets.

Following the coronavirus pandemic, the project has the potential to reinvigorate struggling industries and support sustainable economic redevelopment.

What is Experiential Tourism?

Experiential tourism connects visitors with the essence of a place and its community. It engages people through a combination of memorable travel adventures, revealed over time, that are inherently personal, engage the senses, and make connections on an emotional, physical, spiritual or intellectual level. 

EXPERIENCE will work to unite cross-sector tourism stakeholders and use local knowledge to co-create innovative new tourism offers in the regions. Existing infrastructure will be upgraded to support enjoyable off-season access to the natural and cultural heritage.

Cutting-edge research, data and digital technology will be used to drive regional identity development, activation and demand stimulation to draw in new, high-value off-season visitors to the regions, benefiting both people and place.

This pilot project will deliver the blueprint on which other regions can follow supporting the growth of off-season experiential tourism for the future in the UK and France.

Cycle Hubs

Cycling UK is developing five Cycle Hubs in collaboration with each of the three English regions, and creating a business accreditation and training programme; supporting infrastructure developments to improve year-round access, and delivering exciting experiential cycling events for cyclists of all abilities. Our long-established Cyclists Welcome website will also be updated to reflect this innovative new offer.

Cycle Friendly Places

Cycling UK is launching a new accreditation programme for tourism businesses in Norfolk, Kent and Cornwall. If you run a pub, tearoom, hotel, or other accommodation and hospitality business, you can join Cycling UK’s new accreditation programme piloting in these regions as part of the EXPERIENCE project, free of charge. Learn more and register for updates.

Shape the programme

Please complete our short survey to tell us about your favourite places to ride, sleep and eat in Norfolk, Kent or Cornwall. Your recommendations will help more people to enjoy cycling as part of their trip, so making tourism more sustainable and beneficial to your local area.

EXPERIENCE is a €23.3 million project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg VA France (Channel) England Programme 2014-2020. See the Interreg information page for more details.