The annual review 2021/22.
Visit Nottinghamshire, the official tourism board for the region and Meet in Nottingham, the region’s official convention and events bureau have been playing a central part in the region’s economic recovery. Part of the wider place marketing organisation for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, Marketing Nottingham, the two organisations work closely with those in the visitor economy, travel, tourism, hospitality and events sector in the region.
Visit Nottinghamshire and Meet in Nottingham have released their annual review for 2021/22 to look back at the impact of their activity, and asses the work delivered to support the recovery of local businesses in the last financial year.
With marketing and communications campaigns to attract more day and overnight visitors to the region, placing Nottingham and Nottinghamshire on the map in international, national, regional and local publications, ongoing business support, lobbying the government for more support for the visitor economy businesses and bringing major events and conferences to the region, Visit Nottinghamshire and Meet in Nottingham have worked hard to showcase both Nottingham and Nottinghamshire at a national and international stage and support the recovery of the local economy.
– Marketing, PR, communications and visitor information highlights include:
– PR work reaching a combined 657,555,239 readers and viewers across 204 titles including BBC News, ITV 1, The Independent, The Express,
– The Sun, Nottingham Post, The Times, The Guardian and Business Desk – including 11 separate press visits.
– Reaching and engaging with over 5 million consumers on social media B2C and B2B channels.
– Delivering a welcome back marketing campaign with targeted paid online advertising reaching 3 million visitors, and targeted paid destination press articles with a reach of 588,500.
– Reaching new visitors with Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Visitor Guide with national, international and regional circulation of 85,000.
– Securing advertising assets to promote Nottingham and Nottinghamshire at East Midlands International Airport.
– Adding valuable marketing assets to the place marketing online toolkit, including a range of new high-quality promotional photographs available for businesses to use in their activity.
– Reaching 9 million people via the Visit Nottinghamshire consumer-facing website, showcasing Nottingham and Nottinghamshire as a top visitor destination and highlighting events and visitor economy businesses.
– Advising over 100,000 visitors at Nottingham Tourism and Travel Centre.
– Attending Fresher’s Week and Parents and Student Open Days at Nottingham’s universities and prepared a bespoke hospitality and tourism special offers leaflet.
The marketing work has been complimented by a range of support provided to businesses throughout the region, representing Nottingham and Nottinghamshire at trade shows and industry events and working with partners to support recovery and growth of the visitor economy.
– Helping to secure over 100 business support grants for businesses in the local visitor economy, as well as running a business support page as part of the welcome back campaign.
– Playing a major part in bringing the Queen’s Baton Relay to Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ahead of the Commonwealth Games 2022.
– Delivering a mix of online and physical events to support the local visitor economy including the Nottinghamshire Visitor Economy Summit, Welcome Back event and regular Sales Manager Meetings.
– Conducting an Omicron business impact survey in December 2021. The results of which were shared with stakeholders and wider industry partners to help shape the Government’s support for businesses in the pandemic.
– Playing a key role in the Hospitality Recruitment Campaign to help fill vacancies after reopening.
– Developing close relationships with stakeholders in the industry, such as VisitEngland, Visit Britain, EMR, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, East Midlands Chamber, Local District Councils, the East Midlands DMO Partnership and Core Cities Group.
– Through these partnerships Visit Nottinghamshire were invited to events such as the recent Parliamentary Reception at the Houses of Parliament, hosted by Tourism Alliance, with guest speaker Nigel Huddleston MP, Minister for Tourism and UK House, showcasing UK Tourism at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
– Bringing over £300,000 worth of confirmed events in 2022-23 to Nottingham, with another half a million in the pipeline.
– Representing Nottingham and Nottinghamshire at trade shows and industry events, including: The Meetings Show, MeetGB, ExploreGB, VIBE, PR Connect and CHS Leeds
What’s in store for the future? Looking ahead.
Visit Nottinghamshire and Meet in Nottingham’s overarching aims are to continue delivering a gateway for visitors to access local tourism, hospitality, retail and attraction businesses and attracting more visitors into Nottingham and Nottinghamshire whilst supporting the recovery and growth of the region’s business and leisure visitor economy.
Planned activities include:
– Meetings Show 2022 – Working across East Midlands with Visit Peak District/Derbyshire and venue partners to showcase the region’s conference and leisure offer.
– Nottinghamshire Visitor Economy Summit – October 2022.
– Deliver and maximise the potential of marketing campaigns to attract more day visitors and increase overnight trips to Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
-Support more hospitality businesses to become bookable online through more OTAs getting more products and services reaching a wider audience.
-Actively source credible journalists, TV stations, newspapers and web outlets to profile Nottingham and Nottinghamshire as a great place to visit (2021/22 reach 657,555,239).
-Continue working on improving the suite of data for tourism in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
-Continue to build a pipeline of enquiries for major events and conferences for 2023 and beyond.
-Create bespoke content and visitor itinerary trails around the region.
-Continue to signpost relevant information to local businesses on local schemes, grants, support and initiatives.
-Potential to support the skills agenda within the hospitality sector across the region.
-Working with national partners including VisitBritain to provide regional-wide content for international campaigns and press enquiries.
-Continue to respond to visitor enquiries at Nottingham Tourism and Travel Centre and the visitor-facing website.
-Proactively support VisitEngland and DCMS in the creation of the new DMO structure.
-Continue to work with all partners. Sharing data, insights and industry knowledge. Undertaking regular surveys (consumer & business).
What does the recovery look like?
After what proved to be a turbulent 2020-21 due to the impact of the COVID-19, we’ve seen a steady recovery in the hospitality and tourism sector, with hotel occupancy (click here for the data from Marketing Nottingham) and city footfall numbers returning to their pre-pandemic levels towards the end of 2021.
This recovery was also felt in the number of those making enquiries from travel companies, coach companies via Visit Nottinghamshire’s website and Tourism and Travel Centre, as well as business enquiries around promotion and marketing.
Consumer confidence has also returned steadily following the final lockdown in early 2021, with numbers of visitors to the Visit Nottinghamshire website returning to pre-pandemic levels. Many of today’s visitors are looking for personalised experiences that offer a taste of local culture.
It’s also worth noting that following Visit Nottinghamshire’s appearance at the recent ExploreGB trade show, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire were viewed as an attractive destination with huge potential for group trips, coach holidays and press visits. This is largely owing to its cost-effective location, rich history, local legends and recent sporting exploits.
Whilst there’s no doubt the last couple of years have provided a whole host of challenges for businesses in all sectors – industries such as hospitality, tourism and events have been hit particularly hard. It’s also important to stress that there are still substantial challenges on the horizon, which will undoubtedly need to be overcome.
However, as those green shoots of recovery begin to grow, there’s a sense of optimism here in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. It’s hard to predict the future, but our businesses have shown tremendous resilience over the last year. Visit Nottinghamshire and Meet in Nottingham will be working hard to continue to support the local economy, bring conferences and events, raise the profile of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and attract visitors into the region.
As the industry continues to recover, we are committed to supporting the government’s Tourism Recovery Plan. Tourism has a significant role to play in delivering the government’s wider Global Britain, levelling-up and economic growth agendas.
Posted on 19 August 2022