Destinations have tourism strategies – cities, countries, national parks. And if you are big enough, even festivals. We recently contributed to Manchester International Festival’s new Tourism Strategy, and we’ve been invited back to provide some more strategic thinking to help the UK’s largest cultural festival grow its national and international audiences.
Manchester International Festival is already busy building up to its 2019 festival with two autumn trailblazers (Special Edition and Everything that Happened…), as well as planning for its £100m+ arts venue Factory, another potential cultural game-changer for the city. Within this context, we are busy working with MIF’s marketing team to spot the opportunities to engage more effectively with the travel & tourism sector and so attract some markets that we have helped to identify and define.
Through our work with Manchester’s Cultural Destinations programme and the Cities of Northern England Discover England Fund project we are also looking at how to create MIF bookable product, suitable for the burgeoning Fully Independent Travel (FIT) market. As tickets for MIF shows often sell out well in advance, we’ve created a series of special packages for international visitors to experience both the Festival and the city, to be sold through travel operators targeting both the USA and European markets. This is another first for the Festival and signals the start of a new approach to attract and help international visitors to experience the best of the city’s cultural offer.