Ministers are preparing a multi-million-pound campaign to encourage British holidaymakers to enjoy the delights of Birmingham, Manchester and Portsmouth as foreign tourists stay away.
The government’s official tourism agency, Visit Britain, is set to spend £5million on the ‘Escape The Everyday’ strategy to urge the UK public to get on city breaks.
Tourism Minster Nigel Huddleston told The Times: ‘Towns and cities across the UK are packed full of arts, culture and heritage offerings, beautiful parks, architectural gems and world-class visitor attractions.’
It comes after the government introduced £5,000 fines for going abroad on holiday when a ban on leaving the UK without ‘reasonable excuse’ was announced on Monday.
The government’s official tourism agency, Visit Britain, is set to spend £5million on the ‘Escape The Everyday’ strategy to urge the UK public to get on city breaks including to Birmingham (pictured)
The threat of fines for going abroad was extended until July making foreign summer holidays look increasingly unlikely as a third wave of coronavirus sweeps across Europe.
Health officials are increasingly concerned by a surge in cases of the South African Covid variant across the Channel – and a senior minister even suggested the whole of the Continent could be put on the red list because of the botched vaccine rollout.
Quarantine-free holidays may not be possible until August – killing off hopes of trips abroad until late summer.
There has, as a result, already been increasing demand for seaside retreats in the UK but city-based hotels and restaurants still look set to struggle.
In 2019 tourism in England brought in generated £106billion a year and supported 2.6 million jobs – with London, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh accounting for around 50 per cent of all spend from foreign visitors.
But the impact of the coronavirus pandemic saw hotel revenues in cities fall by 62 per cent last year – compared to only a 39 per cent drop at the coast.
The cities set to be at the centre of the Escape The Everyday campaign include Birmingham, Manchester (pictured) and Portsmouth
Visitors to Portsmouth (pictured) can take a trip to the Mary Rose Museum and the Historic Docklands
The cities set to be at the centre of the Escape The Everyday campaign include Birmingham, Manchester and Portsmouth.
Birmingham boasts Cadbury World, Drayton Manor Theme Park and the Paradise Circus roundabout.
Manchester is famously home to both Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium as well as the Arndale Shopping Centre.
And visitors to Portsmouth can take a trip to the Mary Rose Museum and the Historic Docklands.
Single households will be able to enjoy getaways in self-contained accommodation in England from April 12 and in B&Bs from May 17.
MailOnline has contacted VisitBritain for comment on its Escape The Everyday campaign.
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