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Newark and Sherwood District Council planning for tourism boom in summer of staycations

A council is preparing for a summer of staycations as Brits face a fine for flying out of the country.

Newark and Sherwood District Council’s tourism business manager Richard Huthwaite outlined plans to support the tourism and hospitality sector.

He said the support would be in four main pillars ­— relationship building with sector partners/stakeholders, destination development, destination marketing and visitor insight, knowledge and research.

Newark River Trent. (4164193)
Newark River Trent. (4164193)

Mr Huthwaite said: “It is a short to medium-term plan. It is very much a focus on the opportunities that will be coming forward.

“There is a lot of debate around foreign holidays and staycations, and members of the public are booking with their feet and booking staycations.

“The bookings seem to be increasing along with the (coronavirus vaccination) roll out.

“People will look to spend their summer here and defer foreign travel until later in the year or even next year.”

The Explorer’s Road, launched in 2019, was one of the projects highlighted at a meeting of the council’s economic development committee.

The route, which is in partnership with VisitEngland, looks to encourage more tourists.

It starts in north London and finishes in Northumbria.

“We have Newark, Southwell and Sherwood Forest as destinations on that route, alongside the big hitters such as York and Durham, so we are alongside good company,” he said.

“The stay at home message will be evolving in to the stay local message.

“We will be encouraging people to move around the district in a way that is safe and responsible.

“On May 17, the message will evolve further to a staycation message where we will seek to attract people from further afield.”

The economic development committee heard that the pandemic made 2020 the most challenging year on record for the UK’s tourism and hospitality sectors.

Latest growth forecasts indicate a significant negative impact.

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