Creativity, culture and Nottingham Castle: tourist board showcases some of the major opportunities ahead for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire’s tourism sector despite the challenges of COVID-19

Visit Nottinghamshire, the official tourist board for the region and part of Marketing Nottingham, is celebrating after hosting a highly successful Virtual Visitor Economy Summit on Monday 6 July 2020, where it showcased some of the major opportunities in the pipeline for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire which are set to help the region bounce back from COVID-19.

Over 100 representatives from across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire’s tourism and hospitality sectors registered to attend the free event, with significant numbers expected to watch the recording afterwards. During the Visitor Economy Summit, which was held virtually over Zoom for the first time ever, attendees heard from leading industry experts about some of the upcoming projects and initiatives set to help both the local and national tourism industries to bounce back after COVID-19.

Despite the huge challenges faced by the sector, the overall picture was one of hope and optimism for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire’s tourism industry, thanks to several major opportunities in the pipeline for 2021. This includes the long-awaited reopening of Nottingham Castle following its £30m transformation, which is set to offer “a bright new future for the Castle, the city and its residents”, as well as the upcoming launch of the Nottingham Project which is aiming to spark a “creative and cultural revolution” in Nottingham. Visit Nottinghamshire provided updates on their plans to promote Nottingham and Nottinghamshire as a world-class tourist destination in the post-COVID landscape, underpinned by their research and their newly developed tourism ‘narrative’ – or key tourism messages – for Nottingham. These projects are set to help the region to position itself as a major destination for tourism, culture and creativity to enable it to thrive in the years to come.

Attendees also heard from national tourist board VisitBritain on their plans to support the recovery of the UK tourism sector following COVID-19, with free support available for tourism businesses including their new ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard mark, their domestic tourism campaign and their business recovery webinars. VisitBritain will also be launching their largest ever campaign to promote short breaks in the UK, with an unprecedented £5m spend.

Northstar Meetings Group shared their insights into trends and forecasts for the Business Visits and Events industry and how businesses are adapting in the face of the challenges presented by COVID-19, whilst Annie’s Burger Shack offered ideas and inspiration for other hospitality businesses by showcasing some of the initiatives they had undertaken to survive – and thrive – during lockdown.

Robert Dixon, interim Chief Executive of Marketing Nottingham, said:

“We are delighted at the success of this year’s Visitor Economy Summit, a virtual event that we held over Zoom for the first time ever. There’s no denying that COVID-19 has sent shockwaves through the tourism and hospitality sectors and has left many local businesses feeling anxious about the future, but it was heartening to see just how many of them made the time to join us at our event and engaged with our Q+A session afterwards.”

“It has been an extraordinarily challenging few months for our local tourism and hospitality industries, but today’s Visitor Economy Summit painted a picture of hope and optimism. From a series of initiatives designed to facilitate recovery to several once-in-a-generation opportunities coming up for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire in 2021, the future looks bright. We’d like to thank everyone who attended our Summit and we hope to see you all again next year.”

For those who were not available to attend on the day, the recording of the event can be viewed here.

Posted on 07 July 2020

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Featured author

Kinga Kapias

Featured author

Kinga Kapias

Marketing Executive

Studying Japanese, fluent in Polish and Spanish, Kinga works with local academics and senior business people to help attract professional association conferences and events to Nottingham. She recently completed her Masters Degree in Applied Linguistics. Kinga enjoys travel, music and everything new media related.