A new five-year plan to boost tourism in the Tees Valley has now been unveiled, with local businesses and organisations keen to get behind the vision for the region.
A Destination Management Plan, supported by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority’s £20million Creative and Visitor Economies Growth Programme, aims to considerably grow the visitor economy by tens of millions of pounds and create hundreds of jobs.
It outlines an ambitious vision for the future of the region, while detailing how we will work together to capitalise on our assets such as walking and cycling; water sports and adventure; our maritime, industrial and railway heritage; attractions, nature reserves, our local, national and international festivals and more.
One vital element of the plan is to get the message out about our region and towns. Enjoy Tees Valley, the region’s dedicated destination management service, will work even more closely with businesses, creatives and others to help the region speak with one voice.
One business throwing its weight behind the new plan at the launch event was Hampton by Hilton, which operates a hotel in the centre of Stockton.
Sales Manager Danny Allison said: “I am delighted to be working with the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority to play an important role in the exciting strategy to get our fabulous region out there. I joined Hampton by Hilton Stockton-on-Tees in March 2021, and ever since have been banging the drum about our region to the hotel brand, our management company and clients; promoting the wider region and encouraging them to get out and explore in their free time.
“Promoting our region is a fight I am passionate about. The Tees Valley has so much to offer and I can’t wait to start forming plans and play a part in getting it out to the wider market. It’s a place to be, not just for work but as a destination that has a lot to offer, with an invigorating energy.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We already know we’re a fantastic region to live in, and have lots to offer visitors looking for a but we need to go further in shouting about Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool to really get the message out there, and this new strategy will do just that.
“During the pandemic we supported our hospitality and tourism businesses with £1million to support them in reopening, plus set up a £1.6million scheme to help our festivals grow and innovate. It’s vital we keep up this momentum and have a joined-up approach to supercharge what we can offer.
“Post-pandemic, more people than ever are looking for holidays in the UK rather than travelling abroad and that gives us a great opportunity to get them here and spending in our brilliant local businesses which will, ultimately, put more money in the pockets of local people.”
Cllr Shane Moore, Combined Authority Cabinet Lead for Culture and Tourism, said: “The success of this plan really will depend on partnership and collaboration, so I’d ask our entire tourism and culture industry to get involved and work together to make the most of this great chance to raise the profile of our region.
“The Tees Valley really is a special place and our ambition plus this vision will really make a huge positive difference not just for tourists but also for people living here. I’m looking forward to seeing more and more visitors discover all the great things we have to offer in the coming years.”