The tourism sector of Greater Manchester has a double cause for celebration. New research showing the sector is now worth £7.9 billion to the region, making it the most valuable sector of the economy, has been met with news of a £1m windfall from Discover England Fund to increase the volume of visitors coming through Manchester Airport.
The two talking points were made today at the second annual Greater Manchester Tourism Conference at the Pavilion at Emirates Old Trafford where tourism and hospitality professionals from the region gathered to hear about the state of the sector and its future direction. Greater Manchester’s 119 million visitors per year supports 94,000 tourism jobs.
Marketing Manchester’s managing director Sheona Southern explained:
“Greater Manchester’s tourism sector is one of extraordinary success which is often overlooked and taken for granted when people talk positively about how the city is moving forward and developing. The sector grew and supported economic recovery in Greater Manchester after the 2008 recession and it is composed predominantly of SMEs that make the region such an interesting and diverse place to visit, invest, meet and study.
“Since the Arena attack in May it has, of course, been a difficult period for the sector, but the tourism community showed their true Mancunian grit and weathered the incident much better than EU comparators.”
The new Discover England Fund will support initiatives that look to increase the number of visitors coming through Manchester Airport by creating itineraries that showcase the city and excursions that open up the north of England.