Campaign to boost visitor economy

Posted on: Tuesday, September 28, 2021

There is no denying that tourism has suffered at the hands of the pandemic.  With the tourism sector reporting a decrease in the number of staycations and day trips across the whole of the UK throughout lockdown and with a huge number of local people working in the tourism sector, the District Council is doing all it can to support and promote local tourism.

Its Staycation campaign, launched this summer, is aimed at safely encouraging tourists back into our attractions and back into our local B&Bs, hotels and eateries.  With many attractions being outdoors, with the beautiful forests and open spaces across our district, it is the perfect time to promote all that Newark and Sherwood has to offer.

Councillor Keith Girling, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “It is important for our local economic recovery that, as a District Council, we do all we can to encourage visitors to our district.  Many residents own or work in the local tourism, hospitality and retail trades and we want to continue to support them as much as we can, particularly during this time of economic recovery, as people look for new or familiar places to visit in the UK.”

As part of the campaign, tourism attractions in Newark and Sherwood are to appear in a TV advertisement broadcasting to ITV viewers.  The 30 second advertisement, currently broadcasting to ITV West Anglia viewers for two weeks, is just one of many promotional activities featured as part of the District Council’s Staycation campaign. The campaign will showcase the area’s beautiful countryside, top attractions, and places to stay, shop, eat and drink.

The campaign aims to capitalise on the recent trend for UK Staycations. A recent consumer poll by Visit England indicated that 60% of UK adults planned to take an overnight UK trip by the end of 2021. The campaign focuses on attracting families and couples interested in spending a few peaceful days exploring the historic landscape of Newark and Sherwood. The TV advertisement is accompanied by a new Staycation microsite, online advertising, a competition to win a break for two in Newark and a podcast that will be released in the coming weeks among other initiatives.

Councillor Girling continued: “The last 18 months have been particularly challenging for our tourism and hospitality businesses. Whilst data collected by the District Council indicates that businesses are ‘somewhat’ optimistic about their post-COVID prospects, it is vital that we do everything we can to support our local businesses. This year’s Staycation campaign will build on the success of the #doorstepdaysout campaign, which we ran earlier in the year.

“A TV advertisement is a new venture for the District Council and provides an incredibly exciting opportunity to reach more potential visitors than ever before.  I really believe that Newark and Sherwood has some incredible attractions to be enjoyed and that many new people will visit and enjoy our hidden gems.”

This additional promotional activity is just one of the ways Newark and Sherwood District Council is hoping to help local businesses with post-COVID-19 recovery. In the summer the District Council launched its Business Growth and Resilience programme offering local businesses free workshops and mentoring with industry experts to help them grow and secure their future.  Grants were also available to all those taking part in the programme to further support their growth.

Councillor Girling concluded: “Our Economic Growth team work very closely with local businesses and hospitality providers.  It is hoped that through this increased promotional activity, the introduction of training, support programmes and grant schemes, plus the support of the Tourism Action Group, businesses in Newark and Sherwood will start to see an increase in trading, providing an important boost to our visitor economy.”

The District Council remains committed to supporting local businesses, retailers, accommodation providers and tourist attractions.  With funding available, and approved, for a range of projects and initiatives, the District Council is always actively seeking ways it can support tourism and economic growth in the district.

The Staycation campaign is being delivered through the tourism brand of Newark and Sherwood District Council, Visit Newark and Sherwood, and is part of the District Council’s Visitor Economy Strategy.