Nottinghamshire tourist board reveals summer of activity to help sector bounce back

Official tourist board Visit Nottinghamshire reveals summer of activity to support the recovery of the local visitor economy, outlining its plans at its Virtual Visitor Economy Summit on Tuesday 6th July, with the line-up including high-profile speakers from VisitEngland, Tourism Alliance and Nottingham Castle Trust.

The global tourism industry has been one of the most severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with virtually all tourism and hospitality businesses forced to either cease trading or dramatically alter their business model – in many cases leading to reduced revenue – throughout much of 2020 and early 2021.

Prior to the pandemic, Nottinghamshire’s tourism sector had enjoyed an upward trajectory in recent years. The latest available data (from 2019) revealed that Nottinghamshire’s tourism sector was worth £1.979bn, welcomed 36.6m annual visitors – with day visitors spending on average £38.08 during their visit and overnight visitors spending £194.02 – and supported over 23,000 full time equivalent jobs across heritage, tourism, culture, retail and food and drink. With tourism officially ‘off the cards’ for much of the last year, Nottinghamshire’s tourism businesses have been devastated by the impact of the pandemic, with the majority forced to furlough staff and several unfortunately closing their doors for good.

Visit Nottinghamshire, the official tourist board, has undertaken a number of projects and initiatives to support the recovery of the sector, helping it to survive and thrive in a post-COVID world, bringing tourists back to discover the very best of this green, creative and legendary destination, and boosting the local economy. This programme of activity includes:

A transformation of the award-winning Nottingham Tourism Centre, bringing legendary outlaw Robin Hood and famous local heroes and pioneers Lord Byron, Ada Lovelace, Brian Clough to the forefront as part of the new displays, and the relocation of the Nottingham Travel Centre to create the new Nottingham Tourism and Travel Centre. This new tourism hub in the heart of the city centre, where visitors can buy tickets and Nottingham merchandise, find out what’s on and get recommendations on walking and cycling trails, places to visit, stay, eat and explore as well as travel information has become a one-stop-shop for visitors and residents alike.

New development on the Visit Nottinghamshire website to integrate digital marketplace TXGB, helping to nudge a higher proportion of the website’s annual 4.2 million visitors from ‘look’ to ‘book’ by allowing them to make direct bookings for attractions, experiences and accommodation and create a cohesive online bookable offer for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

The launch of a brand-new ‘Nottingham Toolkit’ to help businesses, organisations and individuals to promote the city to visitors, investors and residents. This new initiative also included a Photography Competition, with a vast number of striking and inspiring images of Nottinghamshire submitted to the new image library which will help to promote the destination to visitors.

Promoting the £30million redevelopment of Nottingham Castle to the national and international media and travel trade, helping it to reach its ambitious targets of attracting over 300,000 visitors each year as the tourism sector recovers.

Securing national press coverage to promote Nottingham and Nottinghamshire as a tourist destination, with recent features including The Guardian, i news, the Sun, the Daily Express, The Travel Magazine and BRITAIN Magazine amongst others.

Running a number of events to support and inform local businesses, including ‘The Future of Tourism in Nottingham’ on Monday 24th May, which brought together leading industry figures to discuss the work that is being done to secure the long-term recovery of the local tourism sector. The recording of the event can be viewed here.

One-to-one business support for businesses affected by the pandemic – the team are offering support with grants, government legislation, helping understand consumer sentiment, signposting and connecting businesses across the visitor economy.

Encouraging businesses to sign up to the ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard mark developed by VisitEngland to boost visitor confidenceand working in partnership with national tourism bodies VisitEngland and VisitBritain to promote Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and put this destination firmly on the map.

A reopening ‘Let’s Go’ marketing and communications campaign aligned with the roadmap out of lockdown and financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the UK Government, encouraging locals and tourists to experience the very best of Nottingham safely and promoting local businesses which have now reopened. Part of the campaign will include reaching visitors from across the country via various marketing channels and activities to highlight Nottingham as the best place for their next ‘staycation’.

A brand new and refreshed Visitor Guide – the work on the new Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Visitor Guide has commenced with a visitor survey and over 1800 responses have been collected so far. The survey will inform the direction of the new publication, with work to begin this summer. The Visitor Guide reaches over 40 thousand people across the country and internationally each year, who are interested in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire as a destination for their next day trip or overnight stay. 

Kinga Kapias, Marketing and Communications Manager at Visit Nottinghamshire, said:

“Despite the challenges of the past year, Nottinghamshire’s tourism and hospitality businesses have shown extraordinary resilience and innovation. Our priority throughout the pandemic and the lockdowns has been to provide meaningful support to these businesses, but now as the tourism sector reopens we can return to doing what we do best: promoting our green, legendary and creative destination, the home of Robin Hood, and bringing visitors back to experience everything that Nottingham and Nottinghamshire has to offer throughout summer 2021 and beyond.”

Registration has now opened for Visit Nottinghamshire’s Virtual Visitor Economy Summit, and all local tourism and hospitality businesses are encouraged to attend. Please click here to register.

Posted on 28 June 2021

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Sophie Milne

A member of the Marketing and Communications team at Marketing NG, Sophie manages press and PR. This includes writing and distributing press releases, arranging FAM trips, liaising with the media to gain press coverage for Nottingham/shire and Marketing NG, monitoring the news and ensuring colleagues are kept up to date with news stories and doing media interviews.