A scheme to put the West of England at the forefront of a UK tourism drive could support new jobs and bring millions of pounds to the regional economy, says Metro Mayor Dan Norris.

It was revealed that the region has been chosen as one of 12 tourism hotspots for a new national approach to promoting the tourism industry after Visit West became a ‘Local Visitor Economy Partnership’.

By achieving this nationally-recognised official status, Visit West will be able to better support individual tourism attractions and shops that have suffered due to Covid and during the cost-of-doing crises these past few years – and raise the region’s profile nationally and globally, Mr Norris explained.

This is because Visit West can access more support and training opportunities to find ways to attract new visitors to the region as well as access really important new investment opportunities to help supercharge the West’s tourism trade and help put the region on the map as a “must-visit” destination.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “The West of England has got it all – world-famous historical sites, cultural gems, beautiful countryside and much, much more for everyone to explore and so enjoy some truly unique experiences and new adventures – on all budgets. It’s fantastic that our region is a real trailblazer here – Visit West receiving this nationally-recognised status will allow us to further support and boost the hundreds of businesses that make up this region’s brilliant tourism sector. I’m really proud that my Love Local campaign has already helped get the great shops and attractions we have locally back on their feet after a tricky last few years. But with one in ten jobs in the West of England being in the tourism and hospitality trades, it is critical that we go further to develop the West’s tourism offer to residents and tourists alike – and secure the investment we need to go much further to support businesses and jobs across our great region. I look forward to working with Visit West on this opportunity to drive our regional economy by creating even more good-quality jobs for residents, and show even more people across our region, and right across the country, that the West is ready to welcome them – by showcasing the very best our region has to offer.”

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