Following the relaxation of travel rules for inbound international visitors, leaders from across the North of England’s visitor economy have written to the UK Government requesting support to restore the region’s international visitor markets and the investment opportunities that depend on direct flight connectivity.
The letter, addressed to Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP and Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorries MP, highlights the value of inbound tourism and suggests a change of direction to help rebuild inbound tourism.
Research shows that the North of England had 5.31m inbound visitors in 2019, up 2.3% in 2018, creating a combined total expenditure of £2.63bn, up 2.9% in the previous year.
Over the last decade, international connections into regional hubs including Manchester Airport, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Newcastle International Airport and Leeds/Bradford Airport, have also grown with new and expanded routes from Europe, USA, China, and India.
However, international visitors to the North of England have not returned to 2019 levels, and after the introduction of pre-departure and PCR testing in November, passenger numbers at airports, such as those managed by Manchester Airports Group, have dropped by 13% week-on-week.
The removal of these restrictions, which takes effect from today (7 January), is expected to provide a boost to consumer confidence.
Northern DMOs are now asking the government to…