English Tourism Week: Supporting Tourism in the heart of our communities

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<span>English Tourism Week: Supporting Tourism in the heart of our communities</span>
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English Tourism Week is a celebration of the diverse, exciting, and vibrant sector, shining a spotlight on the quality and value of the English tourism industry. This year, Visit England is at the forefront of the annual campaign, playing a crucial role in raising the tourism industry’s profile among key stakeholders, including government, ministers, and the media. A key focus of this year's campaign is to encourage domestic travel throughout England, a move that not only promotes local tourism but also significantly contributes to the local economy. 

This year, Visit England is leading a collaborative effort for the annual campaign, aiming to raise awareness of the visitor economy among key stakeholders, including members of parliament, ministers, and the media. The theme for this year is “Supporting Tourism in the Heart of our Communities,” a testament to the shared responsibility we all have in promoting our local economies. The campaign is a central theme of Visit England’s mission to advocate for the tourism industry at all levels, demonstrating to political leaders the importance of tourism and its impact on the local economy. As part of English Tourism Week, several key initiatives are helping destinations enhance their marketing tools to engage visitors in the spring and summer seasons. 

HM King Charles speaking in 2016 about English Tourism Week

English Tourism Week, which took place this March 15-24, provides a unique platform for businesses to engage with essential stakeholders, advocating for the importance of the visitor economy and showcasing how tourism contributes to the local economy. This year, destinations across England are encouraged to boost domestic travel among domestic visitors. Destination organizations keen to join the annual campaign have a wealth of resources at their disposal, from an industry toolkit to a Visit Britan assets library, and various ways to highlight the impact of tourism in social media posts. Moreover, supporting resources are available to share with stakeholders, including the latest statistics on England, PDFs, graphics, and printouts for social media, and visits in the ETW toolkit: (password etw24). For English Tourism Week, members of Parliament are urged to share their favorite English destinations and holiday memories on social media, visit an attraction within their constituency, and forge a partnership with the local destination organization to support the sector. 

English Tourism Week Toolkit 

Destinations throughout England can download an industry toolkit that helps raise awareness of the importance of the tourism industry in the English economy. The toolkit has several resources available, including logos and branded imagery that organizations can utilize on social and web channels. Within the toolkit, organizations can download branded templates and add their own imagery with photoshoots and PowerPoint. Moreover, the Visit Britain fact sheet highlights the economic contribution of tourism in the local economy, a tourism forecast for 2024, and the latest on the UK domestic sentiment tracker. The tracker details where UK residents are likely to take their next overnight trip in both the UK and abroad. In 2022, an estimated 89 billion pounds was spent on tourism that included 107 million overnight domestic trips, 95 million domestic day trips, and 27 million in inbound trips. But here's the exciting part: inbound visitors to the UK in 2024 are expected to reach a record-breaking 39.9 million and spend an estimated 34 billion pounds, a testament to the growing appeal of our country. Destinations within England are encouraged to share word templates, logos, members of parliament press release templates, and social media graphics that have the official English Tourism Week logo.  

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Visit Britain Assets Library 

Access to the Visit Britain Assets Library is another resource available for tourism organizations across England during this year’s tourism week. The library is a searchable engine in which organizations can search for relevant images and video clips to highlight their destination's assets. Various cities within the country have collections within the library, including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Edinburgh. The themed collections are meant to highlight the natural wonders of England, including its national parks, food and drink options, and attractions to see along the coast. To access these images, it is required that destinations log in to the site where they can print and download images as they relate to each destination. Organizations who would like to use the photos for social media posts are encouraged to post with the hashtag #EnglishTourismWeek24 and tag the organizations on X (Formerly Twitter), including VisitEnglandBiz or Visit England on LinkedIn. Moreover, destinations can stay updated with the latest trends in English Tourism Week by subscribing to the following newsletter which houses industry information, business advice, and the latest happenings around the country.  

Visit England Awards for Excellence 

Each year, Visit England provides awards for an excellence champion who represents the best of the tourism industry celebrating quality, innovation, and customer service. Recipients of this award are tourism businesses who represent the best in the sector providing them valuable media exposure, business development, and networking opportunities. The award cycle begins with a set of regional competitions which then lead to the national Visit England Awards for excellence. To enter the competition, businesses are encouraged to apply with a single application to their local contest. Upon winning the local contest, they will automatically proceed to the national competition decided by a team of judges. Organizations are encouraged to apply as it will help to put their business in the spotlight, improve performance, motivate their team, and help to widen networking opportunities. Destinations can learn more about this exciting opportunity here

Visit England Annual Tourism Superstar Award 

As part of this year’s tourism week, Visit England hosts an annual tourism superstar competition of champions of the tourism industry who provide an unforgettable visitor experience. At the competition's end, a winner is crowned from a round of ten finalists based on the highest number of public votes. The competition covers a wide range of the hospitality workforce, including wildlife rangers, hotel front-line staff, bartenders, and entertainment venues who are passionate about their destinations and set the bar high for a standard of service in England’s Tourism Industry. Destination organizations within England are encouraged to vote for this year’s finalists and view a tourism superstars video to learn more about each finalist. England’s business advice hub also provides essential information, advice, and resources for tourism businesses in England.  

In summary, there are several ways to get involved in English Tourism Week to highlight the importance of the tourism sector within England. Destinations can amplify the messaging of this year’s theme, supporting tourism in the heart of our communities through social media posts, participation in award ceremonies and competitions, utilizing the toolkit, and posting relevant imagery in the asset’s library. Members of Parliament are encouraged to forge a deeper connection with the DMOs in their constituencies and learn more about the economic impact of tourism in England. Lastly, the annual campaign raises awareness of the tourism industry’s importance to key stakeholders in the community, including members of the media, members of parliament, and community leaders, providing pathways to innovate tourism in the future. 

About the Author

Stephanie Auslander

Advocacy and Data Coordinator
Destinations International

Stephanie is a recent graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a Master’s Degree in Global Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development. Previously, she worked as an Intern with Solimar International assisting Destination Marketing Organizations in formulating Tourism Development strategies for the Samtskhe–Javakheti region in Republic Of Georgia and the Sisian region of Armenia. Additionally, she is the author of a Tourism Research Proposal detailing ways in which Destinations can promote the concept of Sustainability to its consumers for a lasting positive impact. With a background in Tourism Development she is confident in her ability to help Destinations innovate into the future.

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