Make Northamptonshire's Nene Valley your holiday destination
English Tourism Week kicked off the Northants holiday season
North Northants politicians have met with Nene Valley tourism business leaders to mark the finale of English Tourism Week and champion the local holiday industry.
Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough and Rushden, and the new leader of North Northants Council (NNC) Cllr Jason Smithers toured Rushden Lakes to emphasise the importance of economic recovery and growth in the sector this summer.
English Tourism Week is an annual celebration of the tourism industry, highlighting its importance to local economies and promoting the innovation, quality and range of products and services on offer to encourage more domestic breaks.
It comes as the tourism agency’s latest forecasts showing domestic tourism spending is estimated this year at £51.4 billion.
Mr Bone said: “I’m delighted to support English Tourism Week from Wellingborough and Rushden where we have some wonderful areas to visit, not least of course Rushden Lakes.
"The hospitality and tourism industry is vital to our area and as we come out of lockdown we will see people yet again enjoying themselves in our wonderful area.”
It is already proving to be an exciting year for tourism in the area, with the £16 million Chester House Estate project due to be completed in the autumn, along with new and independent businesses such as Jurassic Grill – a dinosaur themed restaurant – opening at Rushden Lakes.
Cllr Jason Smithers, leader of North Northamptonshire Council, said: "This past year has been difficult for us all, but especially our local tourism businesses that have had to close for months at a time, unsure when they may be open to again.
"Tourism is hugely important to our local economy and with people now looking ahead to the summer, we urge everyone to look to those businesses on their front doorsteps and help support our local economy.
“So whether you are planning a staycation in our beautiful local area or having a meal out with friends, tourism in North Northants will appreciate seeing you.”
NNC has been working alongside tourism partners and Nenescape on the Destination Nene Valley (DNV) project.
DNV works to promote the area as a 'competitive, sustainable destination' offering wildlife and heritage and has been supporting tourism businesses through lockdowns, with virtual sessions and support, plus promotion via the area’s dedicated tourism site nenevalley.net.
Tom Pursglove, MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire, said: “I am very pleased to be enthusiastically supporting English Tourism Week, which gives us the opportunity to celebrate the enormous and important contribution of tourism across the country and particularly here in Corby and East Northamptonshire, where we have so many incredible attractions, sites of real historic interest and our beautiful rural settings.
“The tourism industry is worth millions to our local economy and with the easing of restrictions, I’m keen that local people and those from further afield make the most of what our fantastic area has to offer, supporting local businesses and jobs in the process."
Nenevalley.net is funded by the Nenescape Landscape Partnership Scheme and the National Lottery Heritage Fund and delivered by partnership organisations, including NNC, and showcases the tourism offer to visitors and residents with information on places to stay and eat, attractions to explore, maps and an events calendar.
Tourism is one of England’s largest and most valuable industries, supporting hundreds of thousands of businesses, employing more than 2.6 million people and usually generating more than £106 billion a year for the English economy.
More than 27,000 businesses across England have signed up to VisitEngland’s ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and consumer mark, reassuring customers, staff and local residents that the correct procedures and processes are in place to welcome them back safely.
More information about the River Nene and the surrounding areas can be found at www.nenevalley.net