Northern England’s visitor and travel economy leaders call for government support

Following the relaxation of travel rules for inbound international visitors, leaders of the tourism economy in northern England have written to the UK government asking for help in restoring markets for international visitors to the region. and investment opportunities that depend on direct flight connectivity.

The letter, addressed to Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps MP and Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nadine Dorries MP and signed by Marketing Manchester and 11 other marketing organizations from northern destinations, emphasizes the value of inbound tourism. and suggests a change of direction to help rebuild inbound tourism.

The north of England welcomed 5.31 million inbound visitors in 2019, up 2.3% from 2018, creating a combined total spend of £ 2.63 billion, up 2.9 % compared to the previous year.

In addition, over the past decade international connections to regional hubs including Manchester Airport, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Newcastle International Airport and Leeds / Bradford Airport have grown considerably. developed with new extended links from Europe, the United States, China and India.

However, international visitors to the north of England have barely returned to a fraction of 2019 levels, and after the introduction of pre-departure and PCR testing in November, passenger numbers at airports such as those managed by Manchester Airports Group fell 13% per week. -on-week.

The removal of these restrictions, which takes effect from today, is expected to boost consumer confidence, and northern DMOs are now calling on the government to recognize the impact of the remaining restrictions on the inbound travel industry and the effects drive for the wider economies of visitors to northern destinations.

Sheona Southern, Managing Director of Marketing Manchester, comments: “Each day that restrictions remain in place represents another dent in consumer and business confidence, in addition to hampering the long-term recovery of the inbound tourism market at this time. which is a vital time of the year to move bookings forward.

“Tourism as a sector doubled globally between 2010 and 2020, but even during this period the UK tourism sector grew at a slower pace and continued to lose market share, especially more than competition from new destinations has intensified with the support of their respective governments.

“Now in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK and destinations like Greater Manchester are facing a huge battle to revive the inbound visitor market, which is already lagging behind and suffering from perception issues negative.

“We must act now and ensure that we do not miss the opportunity to accelerate our economic recovery by encouraging an increase in international arrivals in 2022.”

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