Visit Gloucestershire says continuing to grow the county’s reputation as a destination for long-stay UK holidays – boosted by this summer’s influx of staycations – could help transform a visitor economy that was worth £1 billion pre-pandemic.
The trend towards staycations through 2021 has not only benefited a Gloucestershire tourism sector fighting to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, but has also introduced many new visitors to the county.
According to Visit Gloucestershire, that shift has changed perceptions of the county from a place just for day trips and short breaks to one for longer stays, as visitors discovered just how much the county has to offer.
It has given hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, pubs and retail in the county access to a new and lucrative market, an opportunity Visit Gloucestershire is determined not to let go as foreign holidays resume in earnest in 2022.
‘The challenge for us is to hang on to the ground we have won and use the momentum to continue to establish Gloucestershire not as a day trip and short break destination, but one people can come and have an enjoyable and memorable holiday,’ said chairman Steve Gardner-Collins, who also works for The Hatton Collection of hotels.
‘People suddenly began to realise how much there is to do here. Our challenge is to keep up that momentum, make that change in people’s mindsets permanent and bring them back again and again.’
Which is why Visit Gloucestershire’s new campaign will be promoting the many things to do in the county to those outside its boundaries, to tempt them back for more in 2022 and beyond.
By Andrew Merrell
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