THE first-ever ‘virtual’ English Tourism Week has been held to highlight the industry and its importance to the local economy.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper backed the Week, an annual celebration of the tourism industry, from May 25 until Sunday (May 31).
VisitEngland and local destinations are asking MPs, local authorities, the UK Government and other stakeholders to shine the spotlight on the importance of tourism to the local, regional and national economy and pledge their support to the sector’s recovery.
Ms Cooper said: “I enjoy taking part in English Tourism Week celebrations here in West Lancashire and promoting the great venues we have but unfortunately that’s not been possible this year.
“It will be important as we recover from the pandemic that our tourism industry, as with other industries, is able to recover and retain important jobs for local people.
“I’m supporting English Tourism Week this year by looking back at my visit to the two Michelin starred Moor Hall restaurant with rooms, an absolutely stunning venue which attracts many visitors and I look forward to seeing it back in full swing after restrictions are listed.”
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “English Tourism Week is all about highlighting the economic benefits that tourism brings to local economies, celebrating our diverse and exciting sector, and showcasing the quality, range and value of English tourism.
“While we cannot run events as usual this year, the spirit of the week has never been more important. Tourism has been one of the first and hardest hit economic sectors due to the Covid-19 pandemic and this year’s virtual week is dedicated to showing support for the industry, the millions of people who work in it and the hundreds of thousands of businesses impacted.
“It is also about looking towards the future recovery and doing everything we can right now to ensure that tourism can bounce back to once again become one of the most successful and vibrant sectors of the economy.”
VisitEngland is administering a £1.3m emergency fund to support local tourism organisations throughout the coronavirus outbreak. Under the scheme, destinations will be able to receive up to £2,500 per month for two members of non-furloughed staff who provide crucial business support services and up to £5,000 to cover operating costs.
Tourism is one of England’s largest and most valuable industries, supporting hundreds of thousands of businesses, employing more than 2.6 million people and generating more than £106 billion a year for the English economy. Between 2016 and 2018 West Lancashire welcomed on average 69,000 overnight trips per year, contributing £12m per year to the local economy.