Cheltenham puts tourism at heart of recovery
By Rob Freeman | 28th May 2020
Tourism leaders in Cheltenham are backing a campaign to recognise the importance the industry can play in a post-coronavirus economic recovery.
Cheltenham's economy benefits by £162million from tourism with more than 10,000 direct jobs in Gloucestershire, which takes in more than £1billion as a county.
But tourism has been one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic with hotels, pubs, restaurants and attractions closed, putting hospitality jobs at risk across the country.
During English Tourism Week, which runs until May 31, Marketing Cheltenham manager David Jackson said: "While we may not be a traditional seaside or honeypot destination, tourism still forms an important part of Cheltenham's economy.
"Our fantastic festivals and events, cultural venues, shops and restaurants all benefit enormously from visitors to the town - not to mention our hotels and accommodation providers, who have more than 3,000 bed spaces that are reliant on tourism, in one form or another."
He continued: "As we look forward and towards further easing of the lockdown, we are working closely with colleagues within Cheltenham Borough Council, Cheltenham BID and VisitEngland as well as with other local partners and businesses to develop a recovery plan for our visitor economy and to ensure that Cheltenham is well placed to benefit from a national campaign to boost domestic tourism, when the guidelines permit."
The town's Conservative MP Alex Chalk said: "The tourism industry is massively important to the UK economy, generating £106billion and supporting 2.6 million jobs in England alone.
"As a proud Cheltonian, I am only too happy to add my support to Cheltenham's tourism industry and the national English Tourism Week."
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