Visitors from Massa, near Cinque Terre in Tuscany, have been enjoying a tour of Portsmouth thanks to industry experts in the city who specialise in nautical tourism. The five students from Italy have been visiting high profile sites and attractions such as Southsea Castle, the Historic Dockyard, and Gunwharf Quays.

This is all part of a project organised by Portsmouth City Council's Leader, Cllr Donna Jones, Cllr Linda Symes, and the IBD Partnership, a British education and business consultancy based in Fratton who organise and manage EU mobility projects in several cities across the UK.

The students' are keen to improve tourism within their own coastline area in Tuscany, which they believe holds a lot of potential for tourism growth.

Portsmouth was chosen as they considered it the best example of a city with a high performance of nautical tourism in place. They were also very interested by the fact that most of the nautical attractions are owned and managed by the local authority.

Portsmouth City Council's Visitor Services and Development Manager Jane Singh has been providing the young people with an insight into how attractions such as Southsea Castle are marketed to an international audience, as well as sharing the city's tourism marketing strategy. 

They've also been shown around the great warships of the Historic Dockyard, seen more modern attractions such as Gunwharf Quays, and will meet with the organisers of Victorious to learn and understand how tourism is grown in other coastal towns and cities. 

Cllr Linda Symes, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport said:

"It's a true testament to the reputation of Portsmouth and the wonderful attractions our city has to offer, that we were chosen to visit and study. It's wonderful to know that the maritime history of the city is known and appreciated across Europe, and it's been an absolute pleasure to meet these young people and help facilitate such a fantastic project."

Glynn Bartlett, Work Placement Manager for the IBD Partnership said:

"Portsmouth is considered the number one nautical destination for tourism, it's a wonderful experience for these young people to visit the city and learn from industry professionals, it also proves the council is doing an excellent job on an international level." 

"'I'd like to extend my sincere thanks to Cllr Donna Jones, Cllr Lynda Symes, and to Jane Singh for all the help and support they've given this project, it's so beneficial to the young people and I hope they can take away all that they've learned and put it to good use in their future ventures."

There's so much on offer across Portsmouth over the summer months, to find out what's on and when, visit www.visitportsmouth.co.uk 

You can also sign up for the council's FREE weekly My Portsmouth Updates service, simply visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk and search for 'updates'.