Nigel Huddleston MP, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage attended the Liverpool City Region’s Visitor Economy Board yesterday (Wednesday, 3rd March) to discuss the priorities for the recovery of the City Region’s Visitor Economy sector as well as the government’s recovery plan.
Among the many points for discussion were the challenges the City Region has faced over the last 12 months due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions impacting the hospitality sector, including travel restrictions and the impact on major events and conferences. Also discussed were the opportunities and priorities that will get the visitor economy back on its feet.
The Visitor Economy Board is currently developing a new Visitor Economy strategy for the City Region in collaboration with the region’s Local Authorities and wider visitor economy networks. This strategy will focus on the importance of sector to the City Region and the priorities for supporting businesses and protect jobs.
Laura Pye, Chair of the Visitor Economy Board, said:
“It was a pleasure to welcome the Minister to the City Region. Our Visitor Economy has been significantly impacted by Covid-19 and I am glad to see this has been reflected in today budget, the extension of the furlough scheme to September is critical for our sector to allow jobs to be safeguarded, as is the new set of grants for hospitality venues, while hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses begin to rebuild.
“As the Visitor Economy Board for the City Region we are currently working with our partners and stakeholders on a robust recovery plan for the region, to be set out in the Visitor Economy Strategy, to ensure we can secure this sector, support our businesses and protect jobs.”
Asif Hamid MBE, Chair of the Liverpool City Region LEP said:
“Having the Minister of Tourism visit to discuss our City Region’s plans for recovery at the same time as the Chancellor unveils such a critical budget is indeed fortuitous and allowed us to discuss first-hand with government how we are looking to build our visitor economy back stronger over the coming months and years.”
On the budget, Asif said: “I’ve been pressing for an extension to furlough so I welcome those steps taken by the Chancellor to extend the scheme giving much needed support to those in the hospitality sector who have been hit the hardest by the pandemic.”