Mayflower ‘Pilgrim’ Set To Boost Doncaster Tourism
A small Doncaster village is set to get a tourist boost thanks to an international celebration heralding the arrival of the first Pilgrim ship, The Mayflower, to the shores of America in 1620.
Austerfield in South Yorkshire is where ‘Pilgrim Father’, William Bradford, governor of Plymouth Colony, was born in 1590.
Now, four centuries on, one of America’s most famous sons is set to give his home county a welcome tourist boost according to new US research.
It’s been carried out by the official ‘Mayflower 400’ visitor programme, and Austerfield has been identified as one of 11 ‘must visit’ centres for US tourists eager to learn about their historical roots, and one of the most influential journeys in global history; the voyage of the Mayflower from England to the ‘New World’ of America.
Austerfield joined Boston, Gainsborough, Plymouth, Southampton, Worcester, and other places, to form a national heritage trail linked to the ‘Mayflower 400’ initiative.
US research agency, Habit5, was then commissioned to evaluate the commercial and investment potential the anniversary will create for the 11 Mayflower towns and cities, each with their own unique connection to the 1620 story.
It is estimated the Mayflower programme alone will be key to driving 1.4 million tourists into the UK during 2020, with the creation of 2,000 jobs and an economic impact in excess of £76 million.
Of the 25 million plus worldwide descendants from the Mayflower’s original 102 passengers and crew, more than 10 million are US citizens.
Of the three sample groups surveyed, those identified as Hot Prospects to visit in 2020 equated to over 13.75 million US citizens. 27% of the Hot Prospects indicated they would wwant to make a specific visit to Austerfield to visit its Mayflower sites.
Meanwhile, 34% of Hot Prospects said they would like to stay overnight in South Yorkshire when visiting England during the commemorations in 2020.
Amanda Lumley, Executive Director of Destination Plymouth who commissioned the research said, “The research evidences the significant potential the Mayflower 400th anniversary presents to the UKs visitor economy.
“We encourage the travel trade in the UK, US and Dutch markets to capitalise on this opportunity in order to generate valuable tourism business by encouraging visitors to follow in the footsteps of the pilgrims and experience the Mayflower 400 compact partner destinations first hand”.
Those looking for more information on the Mayflower 400th anniversary programme can visit www.mayflower400uk.org
Mayflower ‘Pilgrim’ Set To Boost Doncaster Tourism, 22nd January 2018, 19:51 PM