This Visitor Economy Action Plan is for all tourism-related businesses within the Malvern Hills district, and has been developed with local tourism industry stakeholder consultation. The Action Plan will provide a clear direction to collectively work together to increase visitor spend and the number of jobs available within the tourism and hospitality sector. All achieved via a responsible approach to benefit the natural environment, the local community and local tourism businesses.
2020 has been a destructive year for the local tourism industry; first with the January floods, followed by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are hopeful the tourism industry will soon be in the recovery phase, but it may be a long road ahead for many tourism businesses to fully recover.
This Plan endeavours to steer the local tourism industry to ensure the long-term stability of the sector within the Malvern Hills district in the aftermath of Covid-19.
Why Prioritise Tourism?
Tourism is a key sector for improving residents’ health and well-being, as well as key driver for economic growth across the district; with income generated via tourism, supporting independent businesses; employment, landscape conservation and heritage preservation.
In 2018, tourism added over £137 million into the local economy whilst also providing 8.4% of total employment, and in 2019, it added £145 million providing 8.3% of total employment. The statistics show a 5.8% increase in tourism value between 2018 and 2019.
Impact of Covid-19
2020 will portray a very different picture regarding the growth of the visitor economy, but looking forward, more people will be holidaying at home in the UK. We need to be resilient, and adapt well to change, in order to maximise the benefits from the ‘Staycation’ effect, which we are hopeful will revitalise the local tourism economy in the aftermath of the Covid-19. The Visit The Malverns website www.visitthemalverns.org, received a huge increase in website traffic following the Covid-19 lockdown, with a 44% increase in July, 60% in August and 80% in September when compared to 2019.
We believe there’s scope to develop tourism sustainably to benefit the lives of Malvern Hills district residents, the local environment, and the local economy.
The overall aim for this new tourism strategy is to help the Malvern Hills district thrive by The Malverns becoming a recognised UK health and well-being destination which has a low environmental impact.
By working together, we will endeavour to achieve the following:
- We will create an exceptional experience that is safe for visitors.
- We will adopt ‘greener’ tourism business and destination practices.
- We will provide support to tourism businesses and events.
- We will raise the profile of The Malverns as a visitor destination.