'You cannot underestimate the importance of the tourism industry to Derbyshire'

An MP is urging people to help the tourism industry in Derbyshire bounce back from lockdown.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 10:38 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 10:53 am
Tourism minister Oliver Dowden was invited by MP Mark Fisher to Bolsover Castle to check out the tourism potential in Mr Fisher's constituency.

Sarah Dines, who represents the Derbyshire Dales, said: “As we move out of the pandemic, it is now up to the British people to ensure that our tourism industry thrives, by supporting our local tourism and hospitality businesses.

"You cannot underestimate the importance of the tourism industry to our local economy in Derbyshire Dales. I have raised the need to support tourism in Derbyshire directly with the Prime Minister and he agreed with me that Derbyshire Dales has to be one of the best places for a staycation in the world.”

Miss Dines has been heartened by her recent visits to B&Bs to see how they were doing. She said: “It is wonderful to see them booked up for the foreseeable future.

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Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, says that shoppers are spoilt for choice with 200 independent businesses in the town. Photo by Matthew Jones Photography.

"When talking to our hospitality industry, one thing that comes up is that there are jobs available and I encourage anyone who is looking for work to look towards our hospitality and tourism sector, so that together we can Build Back Better.’’

Derbyshire County Council leader Councillor Barry Lewis, who is cabinet member for tourism, said: “Tourism is a vital part of the Derbyshire economy which is worth around £2.5bn a year to the county, supports 32,000 jobs, attracts 41 million day visitors and more than 4.3million staying visitors.

“As we move further along the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, we’re looking forward to welcoming visitors back and are working hard with our partners to help rebuild our visitor economy following the pandemic.

“With uncertainty about foreign travel, more and more people are looking at staying in the UK for their holidays and Derbyshire is a perfect destination for short or longer stays.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson agrees with MP Sarah Dines that the Derbyshire Dales is one of the best places in the world for a staycation.

“From stunning, specially protected landscapes, exciting outdoor activities and brilliant attractions to rich history and heritage, quality accommodation and fine, locally produced food and drink, Derbyshire has everything. This year we’re especially encouraging people to come to Derbyshire to discover many of our hidden gems that are off the main tourist trails.”

Jo Dilley, managing director of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, said: “Whether it’s exploring our brilliant cultural offering at stately homes and museums, shopping in our charming towns and villages, spending the night in a luxury lodge or spa hotel, or discovering brand new attractions such as the Great British Car Journey and Derby’s Museum of Making – both opening in May – there is so much to see and do for residents and visitors alike.

“Tourism was one of the first sectors to be hit by the pandemic and there have been some enormous challenges along the way, but local businesses have been incredibly resilient and innovative, and have done a fantastic job of adapting to continually changing Government guidelines.

“A huge amount of effort has been put into welcoming visitors back safely and over 900 local businesses have signed up to the VisitBritain ‘We’re Good To Go’ consumer standard, reassuring staff, customers and residents alike that they have all the right public health measures in place.”

Curbar Edge is a popular destination for tourists. Photo credit: Peak District & Derbyshire/Tom Hodgson

Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said that as lockdown eases, now is the time to rediscover everything that is great about the town.

“There’s so much to see and do in Chesterfield that you’re really spoilt for choice," said Coun Gilby. “We’re lucky to have so many unique, local businesses that offer something you won’t find anywhere else. In the town centre alone there are around 200 independent retailers where you’ll find a range of quirky and exciting products. Add to these the variety of cafes, bars and restaurants that are available and of course the numerous markets that the town centre supports, there really is something for everyone to enjoy.

“We’ve teamed up with Destination Chesterfield to launch our Love Chesterfield campaign – celebrating everything that’s great in our borough. The campaign aims to encourage everyone to discover or rediscover the great shopping and leisure experiences we have on our doorstep. People can sign up to receive Love Chesterfield news by email, which will include details of upcoming local events we’ve got planned so they don’t miss out on anything.

“As well as shopping, you can also get a taste of local history at Chesterfield Museum or enjoy a trip to one of our theatres where you can catch a play, a comedy night, musicals, concerts and much more.

Bakewell is a popular destination for tourists. Photo by Peak District & Derbyshire/Tom Hodgson.

“We’re lucky to have so many beautiful open spaces across the borough too that visitors and residents can enjoy. Thanks to our fantastic location, Chesterfield is also a great base if you are wanting to explore the rest of Derbyshire and the Peak District.”

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden visited Bolsover Castle on Friday to see the tourism potential that exists within MP Mark Fletcher’s constituency which also covers the hotspots of Creswell Crags and Hardwick Hall.

Mr Fletcher said: “It’s been great to have Oliver come and visit Bolsover Castle. We have a burgeoning tourism industry here in the constituency and we have the chance to capitalise on the brilliant attractions we have throughout the area.”

Chatsworth House, the jewel in the crown of Derbyshire’s stately homes, reopened its doors to visitors this week. Jonathan Fish, head of marketing at Chatsworth, said: “We're delighted to welcome back visitors to Chatsworth, the Peak District and Derbyshire as a whole. Tourism plays a huge role in the economy of our local communities and the wider county, and we believe that the outlook for the area is an extremely positive one.

"For this year only, we have two medieval masterpieces returning to Chatsworth and that's causing a lot of interest and excitement - the enormous Devonshire Hunting Tapestries will hang in the Sculpture Gallery, the first time they’ve been in the house for more than 60 years. Every penny earned from ticket sales goes towards the upkeep of Chatsworth, making exhibitions of this quality and importance possible."

English Tourism Week, which starts on Saturday, May 22, shines a light on the industry and attractions across the country. Andrew Stokes, director VisitEngland, said: “Our annual event to celebrate and champion English tourism has never been more important and encouraging people to get out and discover the outstanding destinations, experiences and quality attractions right here in Derbyshire will drive bookings and support local businesses who have lost months of vital trading, as they reopen and rebuild.”

Barry Lewis, leader of Derbyshire County Council and cabinet member for tourism, said that the tourism industry contributes around £2.5billion each year to Derbyshire's economy.

“Millions of jobs and local economies depend on tourism and the industry needs all of us to make sure it gets back on its feet.”