As the country prepares to celebrate English Tourism Week, tourism leaders in Cheltenham are adding their voice to the national campaign to recognise the important role that the tourism industry can play in our economic recovery.
Tourism is currently worth £162m to the local economy in Cheltenham and more than £1bn to the whole of Gloucestershire, supporting over 10,000 direct jobs and far more across the wider supply chain. However, the tourism sector is currently one of the hardest-hit by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) with hotels, pubs, restaurants and attractions closed, and hospitality jobs at risk across the country.
David Jackson, Manager of Marketing Cheltenham said: “Whilst we may not be a traditional seaside or honeypot destination, tourism still forms an important part of Cheltenham’s economy. Our fantastic festivals and events, cultural venues, shops and restaurants all benefit enormously from visitors to the town – not to mention our hotels and accommodation providers, who have more than 3,000 bed spaces that are reliant on tourism, in one form or another.”
“As we look forward and towards a potential further easing of the lockdown, we are working closely with colleagues within Cheltenham Borough Council, Cheltenham BID and VisitEngland as well as with other local partners and businesses to develop a recovery plan for our visitor economy and to ensure that Cheltenham is well placed to benefit from a national campaign to boost domestic tourism, when the guidelines permit.”
Alex Chalk, MP said: “The tourism industry is massively important to the UK economy, generating £106bn and supporting 2.6 million jobs in England alone. As a proud Cheltonian, I am only too happy to add my support to Cheltenham’s tourism industry and the national English Tourism Week.”
An annual celebration of English tourism, English Tourism Week highlights the importance, value and vast contribution the sector makes to the UK economy. This year marks the first “virtual” English Tourism Week and will take place from 25 to 31 May.