Consultation begins on refreshing Notts’ visitor economy
Thousands of visitor attractions, local businesses and suppliers in Nottinghamshire are being urged to have their say on the future of the county's important visitor economy.
An online consultation led by Nottinghamshire County Council to refresh our visitor economy strategy starts today (Monday 5 September) and closes on Friday 14 October.
The visitor economy includes traditional tourism but also encompasses everything in the supply chain that attracts visitors to Nottinghamshire – including construction, farming and sport – and the infrastructure that supports it.
The purpose of creating a refreshed visitor economy strategy is to help re-launch the sector as we learn to live with Covid-19 and reflect on how the pandemic and the current cost of living have changed how people spend their leisure time.
Councillor Keith Girling, the county council's Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Asset Management, said: "I'm urging attractions, businesses, supply chain sectors, and our council partners to get involved in this online consultation on the future of our visitor economy in Nottinghamshire.
"Before the pandemic, the visitor economy was one of the UK's fastest growing industries, generating billions in GDP a year and employing over two million people, but it became one of the worst hit sectors.
"The time is now ripe to re-examine how we can recover and get the best out of our county's unique selling points, rich history and natural environment for our visitors and the businesses and organisations that serve them."
The refreshed visitor economy strategy is shaped around five key areas the county council will build on to increase visitor economy-related visits and spending as part of the council's overall goal to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2025.
The revised document also sets out what we believe are Nottinghamshire’s key themes which make the county a unique place to visit, including making the most of our global brand of Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest, our free thinking spirit, our sporting prowess and our rich natural and built history.
Councillor Girling commented: "We've endeavoured to set out our aims, ambitions and unique themes clearly, so all organisations taking part in the consultation can see where they fit into the bigger picture.
“We want to hear from those at the heart of Nottinghamshire's tourism industry, from larger visitor economy attractions and businesses through to volunteers at small museums or if you run your own Bed and Breakfast.
"We're determined to turbo-charge our visitor economy, moving on from the challenges it faced during the darkest days of the pandemic.
"A refreshed visitor economy strategy will achieve this and meet our pledge as part of our ten-year Nottinghamshire plan to strengthen businesses, create better-quality jobs and make our county somewhere people love to live, work and visit."
To participate in the visitor economy strategy consultation, visit Nottinghamshire Visitor Economy Strategy Feedback Survey - Nottinghamshire County Council - Citizen Space and answer all nine questions.
Kirsty Edwards, Contracts Manager at Parkwood Leisure, which manages Rufford Abbey Country Park in Ollerton, is urging businesses to take part in the consultation.
“This is a crucial consultation as we look to reshape and reinvigorate our vital visitor economy in Nottinghamshire in the coming years.
“In our role managing Rufford Abbey Country Park, we’re particularly interested in the ‘history and heritage’ theme and how we can make the most of our fascinating past for visitors,” she said.
Kirsty added: “We will be taking part in the consultation, giving constructive feedback, and we’d urge other businesses to do the same.”
Photo credit: Colin Wilkinson