“For me for some time now, all roads have been leading to Manchester”.
So said Turner prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller in 2009. That was the year we launched creativetourist.com, the independent, cultural voice of the city, and the first in a series of collaborative tourism marketing initiatives that have supported its changed international reputation.
Collaboration is about mindset and relies on generous, ambitious leadership, which Manchester has in spades. Cluster activity created our agency. Today, a range of partners are involved from cultural organisations to tourism networks, hoteliers and universities. Through Manchester’s Cultural Destinations programme, managed by Marketing Manchester on behalf of the cultural tourism partnership, we worked closely with all partners to share messages and itineraries for international PR and travel trade familiarisation trips; converting academic tourists to leisure and culture; developed appealing new ways of experiencing the city (events, trails, itineraries); created new online bookable product with some of the city’s museums and galleries; and a behind the scenes B2B integrated online listings platform – CultureHosts – to develop the cultural confidence and knowledge of visitor-facing colleagues in hotels and other centres.
Since then, channelling Manchester’s collaborative spirit and infectious energy, we now count a diverse range of cultural organisations, tourism agencies, networks, hoteliers and universities in our cultural destination partnership.
There is now an increasingly embedded approach with city partners and Marketing Manchester as cultural messages and visits are routinely integrated into itineraries for international PR and familiarisation trips and the cultural sector recognised politically as a core driver for the city region’s tourism economy. CultureHosts now powers the listings to our creativetourist.com, powers the cultural listings for visitmanchester.com and Manchester City Council’s new resident facing what’s on website Loads To Do and is being rolled out in other parts of the UK including Wakefield, Southend and Leeds to name a few.
Andrew Stokes, England Director, VisitBritain
Helped to secure over £350,000 of Arts Council England investment in cultural tourism activity
Manchester's profile within the national and international media has positively changed and coverage now regularly references the city as a cultural destination of significance
Created a series of new museum and gallery tours on sale for international visitors via visitmanchester.com
Working with Liverpool's Everyman and Playhouse Theatres to create a new ambitious business planFind out more
Looking at ways to grow Manchester's classical music audienceFind out more
Maximising Buxton's contemporary and heritage assets to grow its visitor economyFind out more
A road map for a sustainable visitor economyFind out more
Five cities come together to develop international cultural tourism markets.Find out more