District Council’s Tourism Action Group meet in person for the first time since COVID

Posted on: Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Tourism has suffered greatly across the UK at the hand of the pandemic, but while attractions are open again, Newark and Sherwood District Council is keen to support tourist venues as much as possible.  The Tourism Action Group (TAG), coordinated by Newark and Sherwood District Council, has met remotely via Teams since the pandemic's beginning. However, last month, 35 members representing tourism attractions and businesses across the district attended the first in-person event hosted at Southwell Minster in the State Chamber of the Archbishop's Palace.

Attendees were able to hear from several guest speakers, including Megan Shaw from Ignite, who presented on The Festival of Science and Curiosity and their plans for 2022. In addition, the group heard from Charley Pratley and Steve Little from Nottingham Trent University, who gave an update on the Miner2Major project, including information on eight fascinating projects to celebrate the important habitats, special species and rich heritage of Sherwood Forest

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: "It is fantastic news that the Tourism Action Group were able to meet in-person for the first time since February 2020, especially in such a remarkable venue as The State Chamber in Southwell.

"It has been a particularly challenging time for the tourism and hospitality industry. However, the connections made at the Tourism Action Group have proved invaluable during this time, with members able to be kept regularly updated on restrictions and recovery activity through frequent communication and virtual meetings. Whilst the group have persevered online, I know how important it will have been for everyone to meet face to face once again to share their experiences of post-pandemic recovery. "

Richard Huthwaite, Tourism Manager at Newark and Sherwood District Council, detailed the success of the Council's recent ‘Staycation’ campaign. The campaign ran from July to October of 2021, targeting domestic visitors keen to spend a short break in the UK. Campaign activities included Google display advertising, a competition to win a weekend break for two – which attracted more than 8,000 entries from across the UK including entries from Belfast and London – and a 30 second TV advertisement broadcast on ITV Anglia West.

Members also had the opportunity to update the group with information on their plans for the pre-Christmas period, including events and promotional activities.

The Tourism Action Group was established in 2015 by Newark and Sherwood District Council and it brings together tourism attractions and businesses across the district to network, streamline communication and provide a forum for collaboration. Meetings occur quarterly at different tourism venues across the district, such as the National Civil War Centre, Thoresby Park, and the Museum of Timekeeping. In addition, various guest speakers are invited to update the group, and attendees have the chance to receive an update from the Tourism team at Newark and Sherwood District Council.

The next TAG meeting will take place in February 2022. If you are interested in becoming a member of Newark and Sherwood District Council's Tourism Action Group, please email tourism.support@newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk.