DORSET is set to get national coverage in a bid to boost tourism.

The Visit Dorset Tourism Partnership, managed by the district and borough councils, is promoting the county as part of a major marketing campaign in partnership with VisitEngland and approximately 50 other destinations around England to boost domestic tourism in 2014.

Visit Dorset is taking part in three marketing campaigns covering the key themes of ‘Coastal Escapes’, ‘English Seaside’ and ‘Outdoor Activities’ throughout March and April to promote short breaks in some of England’s most iconic destinations.

The campaign is part of the £41.9 million three-year project called ‘Growing Tourism Locally’ which is funded in part by the government’s Regional Growth Fund with contributions from VisitEngland and destination partners from around the country.

Dorset is being featured in a range of publications including The Telegraph and magazines Chat, Woman, Essentials, Woman and Home and Pick Me Up, plus substantial digital and social media activity, including competitions and features on a variety of websites.

Cllr Robert Gould said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership as part of VisitEngland’s high profile national campaign to ensure that Dorset has excellent coverage on the national tourism website and in high profile publications.

“Dorset has so much to offer with beautiful beaches, a wide range of attractions, stunning countryside and a world-famous Jurassic coastline. We are looking forward to welcoming many more visitors old and new to the area to support our tourism industry on the back of this campaign.”

Visit Dorset has also been busy supplying VisitEngland with a wide range of unique Dorset experiences to feature on the brand new website to promote what there is to see and do in Dorset.

Fossil hunting, wine tasting and brewery tours, celebrating Dorset seafood, kite surfing, discovering the real Broadchurch, sculpture trails and sailing like an Olympian are just a few of the activities featured.

These exciting campaigns aim to inspire UK residents to experience England’s world-famous coastline, inspiring landscapes, historic market towns, picturesque villages and fantastic seaside destinations and encourage people to holiday in the UK.

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Tourism and Culture brief holder Cllr Ian Bruce said: “This campaign has come at a perfect time with the wonderful weather at the weekend attracting old and new visitors and building on the Olympic legacy of Dorset.

“The whole world now knows about our wonderful coastline and it is great to be part of this high profile campaign with VisitEngland. They will be showcasing what a fantastic area we live in, that we are very much open for business and Dorset is a fantastic holiday and leisure destination full of interesting and fun things to do.”

The Visit Dorset Tourism Partnership is made up of the district and borough councils from West Dorset, Christchurch, Purbeck, East Dorset and Weymouth & Portland. The tourism team for West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council is co-ordinating this activity on behalf of the other rural Dorset local authorities.

REGIONAL GROWTH FUND In October 2011 VisitEngland’s application to the Government’s Regional Growth Fund was approved by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). £19.8 million was awarded to deliver a three year partner marketing project entitled ‘Growing Tourism Locally’.

This project aims to stimulate the domestic visitor market to grow local economies through increased tourism activity by UK residents. The project enables VisitEngland to work in partnership to facilitate growth at a local level The project ‘Growing Tourism Locally’ has the potential to create the equivalent of 9,100 full time jobs across England and is focussed on areas suffering economic challenges with tourism growth potential.

The RGF funding is matched with private sector funding at national and local levels to create a project of £41million over 3 years.

The Regional Growth Fund is a £3.2 billion fund designed to help companies in England to grow. So far £2.6 billion of funding has been allocated to support projects and programmes committed to deliver sustainable jobs and economic growth. Round 5 will open on 11 October and close on 9 December. For more information, please go to