COOL rural tourism experiences on Exmoor

New videos launched

A series of new web videos promoting some of the fantastic experiences available in rural Somerset and Exmoor National Park have been launched to celebrate English Tourism Week (29 March – 6 April). The videos, introduced by Rural Affairs Minister Dan Rogerson highlight a range of experiences including watching wild Exmoor ponies, discovering great local produce, bird watching on the Somerset Levels and exploring the area’s deep history and heritage in a bid to tempt more visitors to come enjoy the countryside offer.

Tourism is a huge economic driver, and in rural areas is often the mainstay of the economy. Research has shown that visitors today are seeking deeper experiences over and above visiting a particular destination and so the videos will help to bring alive the Somerset countryside and all it can offer including popular activities such as rock pooling, fossil hunting and  wildlife watching.

The new videos have been welcomed by Defra which is working with partners to support the rural economy following the effect that the extreme weather experienced over the winter has had on people’s perception of the region and the consequential impact on tourism.

Speaking about the new videos Dan Rogerson said: “Following the extreme weather over the winter Exmoor and Somerset are very much open for business. Tourism is worth over £1.2 billion a year in Somerset and the county has a very strong rural offer where tourism is one of the largest economic sectors.

“I welcome these videos which highlight some of the great experiences that can be enjoyed in the rural areas of Somerset, including Exmoor National Park and I hope that they will inspire people to visit the area to enjoy the stunning landscapes, rich wildlife and to experience England’s countryside at its best.”

The videos, ranging from 1 to 3 minutes are intended to provide an inspirational taste of what is on offer in the area and are available via You Tube for businesses and tourism organisations to embed within their own websites and promotional activity.

The videos have been produced as part of the COOL tourism project which has seen local partners (including Somerset County Council, West Somerset Council, Sedgemoor Council and Exmoor National Park Authority) working alongside partners in England (Kent, Essex and Norfolk) and France (Somme and Pas de Calais) to promote rural tourism based on the experiences offered in these areas. The COOL tourism project was selected under the European Cross-border Cooperation Programme INTERREG IV A France (Channel) – England, co-funded by the ERDF.