With £4.2 billion expected to be wiped off visitor economy due to COVIDMarketing Manchester has today launched a new consumer campaign to help recovery of the tourism, hospitality, leisure and cultural industries and to rebuild confidence in Greater Manchester as a place to visit, live, work and study.
As the world continues to live with COVID-19 the Find Your Space campaign inspires consumers to take time to discover Greater Manchester’s rich and diverse leisure and tourism offer, whilst prioritising well-being, kindness and safety.
The campaign is a response to the decimation of the tourism, hospitality, leisure and cultural industries by COVID-19, where by August 2020 it is projected that a £4.2 billion loss (-47%) will be made to Greater Manchester’s previously buoyant £9 billion visitor economy. Furthermore, as some areas of these industries reopened last week, many such as the performance, events and freelance creative industries are at serious risk of collapse.
Developed in partnership with over 20 Greater Manchester organisations* including Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Greater Manchester local authorities, the campaign is squarely aligned with and complements other Greater Manchester recovery campaigns and initiatives such as Build Back Better and Safety in GM as well as those developed by local authorities.
The first wave of the campaign will focus on ‘hyper local’ audiences, encouraging Greater Manchester residents to get out and about in their local villages, towns, cities and countryside. As COVID-19 restrictions ease and when it is safe to do so, the campaign will evolve to target regional audiences in neighbouring counties such as Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire, before eventually becoming a wholly inclusive domestic tourism campaign later in the year, encouraging staycations from around the UK.
Two sub-brands of the Find Your Space campaign – Space to Meet and Space to Learn – will also launch in autumn, encouraging confidence and safety within Greater Manchester’s important business meetings and conference industry and the ability for students to live, study and have a full student experience at Greater Manchester’s five universities.
Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Sheona Southern, Managing Director at Marketing Manchester said: “Our new Find Your Space campaign aims to reinstall confidence in Greater Manchester’s workers, business owners, residents, students and visitors, inspiring them to explore our villages, towns, cities and countryside, and to do so safely.
“We know that the success of Greater Manchester as a place to visit, work, live and study is due to how seamlessly these groups overlap and interact with each other so our job as the organisation that promotes the destination across these strands, is to find a way to build each group back up and return to being the thriving city-region that proudly draws business and visitors from across the globe.
“It’s clear that we will be living with the virus for a long time so it’s important that as we rebuild, we start local and then work up in a measured and sensible way. In doing so we aim to support Greater Manchester’s recovery and to retain its position nationally and eventually internationally, but there’s also something very special and exciting about starting a campaign with a focus on our Greater Manchester towns and boroughs that have such a unique story to tell.
“Of course, we need everyone to get behind this campaign – including residents, communities, small and multi-national businesses. Greater Manchester has collaboration at its heart and it’s what we do best, so if you want to help us restore a strong economy and safe future across Greater Manchester, I implore you to get in touch.”
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, added: “Greater Manchester is known around the world for our arts, culture and heritage, and our fantastic tourism and hospitality industries, but many in these sectors are facing a real moment of crisis. We’re beginning to see some places cautiously open up again, but others are still in desperate need of clarity.
“We’ve taken a range of actions since the start of the pandemic to support these sectors, from advancing grants awarded through our Culture Fund to setting up the United We Stream platform to raise funds for our night-time economy. We are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to help our tourism, leisure, hospitality and cultural industries, making sure businesses can reopen safely and making the case to Government for support where it’s needed.
“In light of this, the Find Your Space campaign is a very welcome and considerate first step, focusing firstly on rebuilding within our smaller towns and communities, and then taking Greater Manchester to an increasingly wider audience as and when the time is right to do