English Tourism Week to go virtual amid COVID-19 pandemic
England's official tourism agency, VisitEngland, announced Thursday its showpiece English Tourism Week is going virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The annual celebration of the tourism industry, a week dedicated to showcasing England's tourism offer, is held to highlight the economic importance and value of tourism to local economies.
For this year's event, being held from May 25 to 31, VisitEngland and local destinations are asking MPs, local authorities and the British government to shine the spotlight on the importance of tourism to the local, regional and national economy and pledge their support to the sector's recovery.
Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said, "English Tourism Week recognizes the important role the industry plays in our local, regional and national economies, supporting jobs and attracting investment."
"This is a challenging time for the industry and we're providing support through an unprecedented government package for businesses and workers. I hope everyone will use English Tourism Week as an opportunity to celebrate the sector, and we'll be encouraging people to book a great British holiday as soon as it is safe to do," Huddleston added.
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said, "While we cannot run events as usual this year, the spirit of the week has never been more important. Tourism has been one of the first and hardest hit economic sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this year's virtual week is dedicated to showing support for the industry, the millions of people who work in it and the hundreds of thousands of businesses impacted."
Stokes said the week is also about looking towards the future recovery and doing everything now to ensure that tourism can bounce back to once again become one of the most successful and vibrant sectors of the British economy.
On Thursday, as part of English Tourism Week, VisitEngland is asking MPs to share photos and social media posts from their favorite English holiday destinations.
So far, England has recorded over 132,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases with more than 27,000 fatalities.
(Cover: People are seen relaxing in Thames Barrier Park as they watch men play football, London, Britain, May 21, 2020. /VCG)