A PARTY of 48 students and teachers from France arrived in Harwich last week to try and launch a new tourism trend.

The pupils were given a guided tour of historical sites by the Harwich Society before being taken on a sailing trip on the River Stour on the Thames Sailing Barge Victor.

Travel company Tip Top Educational Tours and Tendring Council helped organise the pilot trip and it is hoped the lessons learned will be used to help develop visitor attractions in Harwich.

Council leader Mick Page said: “This is an exciting new initiative adding an educational element to our existing tourism offer, reaching out to Europe as well as within the UK.

“If successful the council hopes to use local schools to help develop software, apps and other systems to make trips, interesting, popular and worthwhile with students returning year by year.”