Peak District & Derbyshire marks English Tourism Week
For English Tourism Week (25-31 May), Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire is highlighting the need to protect the long-term future of tourism – by shining a spotlight on the sector’s value to the local economy.
English Tourism Week is an annual celebration of the tourism industry, dedicated to showcasing the country’s diverse tourism offer. For this year’s event, Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire has joined with local leaders to pledge support for the sector’s recovery.
Tourism is a vital industry in the Peak District and Derbyshire, employing more than 30,000 people and generating more than £2.3 billion a year for the local economy. But the impact of government restrictions and the seasonality of the industry mean that many businesses now require crucial support.
Recent surveys* collated by Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire show that by March, coronavirus had already had ‘a major negative impact’ on over 80% of tourism businesses, with many reporting cancellations as far ahead as October. If lockdown restrictions lasted until the end of September, businesses said they would lose 97% of their income.
Ahead of the potential reopening of the hospitality industry on 4 July, 30% of businesses said they wouldn’t be able to open if restrictions such as social distancing measures remained in place. Over 20% said they may be forced to cease trading entirely – highlighting the need for long-term support to protect the sector’s future.
Throughout English Tourism Week, Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire is encouraging people to pledge their support for local tourism businesses by using the hashtag #ProtectTourism and #EnglishTourismWeek20.
The tourist board is urging its followers on social media to share a ‘Peak District and Derbyshire Wish List’ of businesses they look forward to visiting when restrictions have eased, and to continue experiencing the Peak District and Derbyshire from home via www.visitpeakdistrict.com/inspiration/at-home.
Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, said: “English Tourism Week is about celebrating the quality and value of our tourism offer, and during these testing times it has never been more important to support our local businesses and highlight the valuable contribution they make to the local economy.”
She added: “Tourism has been one of the earliest and hardest hit of all economic sectors and we must act now to protect the industry’s future. We’re working closely with our local and national partners to plan for recovery and help businesses bounce back. Part of these plans include the development of common industry standards that will provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for both businesses and visitors, so the sector can open safely when the time is right.”
Leader of Derbyshire County Council Councillor Barry Lewis said: “It’s vital that Derbyshire’s tourism industry has the tools at its disposal to bounce back once restrictions are lifted and people are able to start visiting our wonderful county once more.”
“Derbyshire County Council, together with Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire, has a key role to play in helping the sector re-open for business and we’re committed to supporting the industry to safely welcome back visitors when the time comes.”
Robert Largan, Member of Parliament for High Peak, said: “Tourism is a vital part of our local economy. A huge number of High Peak jobs depend on tourism, both directly and indirectly. It’s really important that we do all we can to protect the industry through this crisis, as tourism will play a key role in our economic recovery. I look forward to welcoming visitors back to the Peak District, to enjoy our beautiful part of the world and to spend money here, when the crisis is over.”
*Results taken from Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire’s Coronavirus Business Impact Survey (17-23 March 2020) and Tourism Recovery Planning Business Survey (27-30 April 2020).