Northern tourism receives £10 million boost

Northern tourism receives £10 million boostTourism minister Helen Grant (pictured) is meeting senior figures in northern tourism to discuss plans to boost the region’s offer to visitors with a £10 million investment from the Regional Growth Fund.

Today’s meeting, alongside deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, will take place in Sheffield with figures representing local destination management organisations, such as Welcome to Yorkshire, Marketing Manchester and Cumbria Tourism, due to attend.

The funding, announced by Clegg in November, will be invested to strengthen and market the tourism offer in the North through a single, strategic plan.

The number of visits from overseas tourists and the amount they are spending has hit record heights in the last four years and growth is expected to continue in 2015.

VisitBritain is forecasting spend will increase by 4.5% to £22.2 billion this year with the number of visits forecast to grow by 2.5% to 35.1 million.

The government wants to keep up this momentum and encourage visitors to explore the very best of Britain, including enjoying the attractions and scenery in the north of England.

Clegg and Grant will ask northern destination management organisations to work with VisitEngland and submit a single proposal outlining how the funding should be invested for maximum growth returns.

While VisitEngland will hold the funds initially, local partners in the north will lead the way with determining the activities and outputs the money is spent on.

Clegg said: “I’m immensely proud of the stunning countryside, history and culture that the north has to offer, and yet all too often international visitors flock to London rather than our northern beauty spots and cities.

“As part of my Northern Futures initiative, I am working together with people in the north to change this, strengthening the economy and ensuring it’s on the map as a top tourist destination.

“The funding in place is there to create a single vision for boosting tourism right across the north, rather than focusing on individual cities or hotspots.

“Today’s meeting is the first step in bringing together existing work being done to bring visitors to the north; and will see people of the north put a comprehensive tourism offer in place to successfully show off the best of the north.”

Grant said: “Growing up in Carlisle, I have a huge passion for the north of England and I want to do all I can to help the industry deliver long-term economic growth for the region.

“Our tourism strategy has brought visitors to the UK in record numbers, spending record amounts and boosting local jobs and growth across the country.

“This new fund will help encourage them to explore the world-class heritage, landscapes and culture that the north boasts.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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