The staycation is here is stay, according to Metro Mayor Dan Norris, and there is no better place to explore than the "exciting, colourful and dynamic" West of England.
Speaking aboard the last Concorde to be built at the Aerospace Bristol museum in Filton - the spiritual home of the iconic and supersonic plane - the Metro Mayor officially launched his ‘Love Local. Explore Local’ campaign to encourage everyone to rediscover the region this spring.
Taking off during English Tourism week, the campaign seeks to tempt domestic visitors - and local people - back to the region’s world-famous cultural and tourism attractions. With an advertising campaign planned to run at the beginning of next month, ‘Love Local. Explore Local’ will promote the West of England as the perfect place to book a day trip, overnight stay or mini break.
The tourism sector is key to the regional economy, but it has been hit hard by the pandemic, with a £700m loss of revenue between March to June 2020 alone, and an estimated 56% drop in hotel room sales and a 62% drop in footfall to visitor attractions.
However there has been a boom in people taking local breaks, with a recent survey by Opinion Matters showing 83% of people who took a staycation last year hope to do so again this year.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said “What better place to launch a turbo jet-powered tourism campaign to put us on the flight path to success. My view is the staycation is here to stay. What’s brilliant about that is here in the West of England we have the most amazing things to do right on our doorstep. And with the cost of living soaring, there’s never been a better time to explore local. Our area is jam-packed with places to discover. Frankly over the last few years, we’ve all spent far too much time cooped up at home. So this spring, let’s get out and rediscover our exciting, colourful and dynamic region.”
At the launch event, the Metro Mayor met Aerospace Bristol Director Lloyd Burnell to discuss the vital role the region’s tourist attractions play in supporting local jobs, before getting the chance to sit in the flight deck of the famous supersonic machine. The West of England’s visitor economy is worth an estimated £2.33bn, employing some 45,000 people.
Mr Norris also wants to ensure the region makes the most of its fame from new series such as Bridgerton to encourage more people from outside to visit too.
He added: “English Tourism Week is a fantastic opportunity to show the world what we have to offer in our area. It’s special because the hustle and bustle of the city is right next door to beautiful countryside. It can be science at We the Curious one minute, walking llamas in Woollard the next, and then culture galore in Bath. You can connect with nature, explore our history or soak up some art. Please let me, and your friends and family know what you find!”
Speaking about the visit, Lloyd Burnell, Executive Director of Aerospace Bristol, added: “Following an enormously challenging two years, which included closing our museum for long periods, it is wonderful to finally see visitors coming back and enjoying days out together with family and friends. I look forward to welcoming Metro Mayor Dan Norris to Aerospace Bristol and I encourage everyone to get behind the 'Love Local. Explore Local' campaign, visit local attractions, step aboard Concorde at Aerospace Bristol, and get involved in the many fantastic experiences our region has to offer."
English Tourism Week (18 March to 27 March) is a 10-day celebration of English tourism, highlighting the importance, value and vast contribution the sector makes to the UK economy.
There are some great events to get involved with across the West of England in the next few weeks and months. This includes celebrating the Spring Equinox with Bath Astronomers at Bath’s Herschel Museum of Astronomy, attending Europe’s biggest free street art and graffiti art festival in south Bristol and going on an Easter egg hunt at Dyrham Park.