OPEN-TOP bus tours and television adverts in airports and planes could be part of an exciting package to boost Worcester's national profile as a "jewel in the crown" for tourism.

Your Worcester News can reveal how decision-makers across the county are uniting to launch a new project aimed at getting thousands of new visitors to choose the city over other UK destinations.

Worcester City Council, which is coordinating it, believes there is vast potential which remains untapped.

Some of the early ideas include:

- London-style open-top bus tours taking in a key historical attractions like Fort Royal, The Commandery, riverside and Elgar birthplace museum

- TV advertising in the likes of airports and planes, bringing the city's attention to an "international audience"

- A comprehensive 'tourist map' which links everything of interest to visitors across Worcester

- The creation and promotion of special tourist 'packages' for people looking to spend a day or longer break in the city, for example tickets to the Swan Theatre followed by entrance to The Commandery then dinner in a restaurant

- The launch of a new website, which would be joint-funded, telling people across the world what Worcester has to offer to tourists

- A fresh look at the riverside to see if more cafes and children's play areas can be provided along it

- More talks with the likes of Museums Worcestershire and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) about a civil war trail, which would need funding for signage, publicity and new infrastructure

The project, which has been launched by the city council's scrutiny committee, has already involved the likes of the University of Worcester, canal and river trust, chamber of commerce, Visit Worcestershire, hoteliers, the cricket club, the Business Improvement District (BID) and scores more, leading in the publication of an initial 19-page dossier.

Three early recommendations have come out of it, including the council employing one part-time officer to focus on the project, the creation of a "Worcester City Tourism Webpage", and more talks towards creating a final "tourism strategy" backed up with firm money.

Councillor Adrian Gregson, who led the first review and also sits on the Worcester Tourism Association, said: "The tourism industry is underrated and understated in this city."

Councillor Marc Bayliss, city council deputy leader and cabinet member for economic prosperity, said: "Wide ranging discussions have already taken place - this is a good start to looking at the issues we need to tackle to maximise our 'take' of the tourism industry out there."

Adrian Field, from Worcester BID, said: "It's great that the ambition is there, we should be more aspirational because there is real untapped potential."