Lancashire Cricket and Emirates Old Trafford Chief Executive joins Minister for Sport and Tourism for key discussion on the future of Greater Manchester’s tourism sector

Lancashire Cricket and Emirates Old Trafford Chief Executive, Daniel Gidney, represented the Club in a special event to mark English Tourism Week last week. Gidney was part of roundtable discussion at The Midland Hotel debating the value, importance and future of Greater Manchester’s tourism sector with the Minister for Sport and Tourism, Rt. Hon. Nigel Huddleston MP.

The event, hosted by Marketing Manchester, welcomed a range key stakeholders – including Marketing Manchester and Manchester Airport – who both play a significant role in driving tourism within Greater Manchester.

Among the topics under discussion were the ongoing impact of Brexit, the unique nature of the hospitality labour market and recruitment challenges faced, the progress of return to crowds and potential Covid Certification supporting large scale events returning, the continued development of additional attractions and accommodation across Greater Manchester and the vital role played by business visits and events, culture, sport and major events in driving demand in the local visitor economy.

Commenting on the event, Daniel Gidney, said:

Yesterday was a really important discussion for the future of the tourism industry in Greater Manchester and it was an honour to welcome Minister for Sport and Tourism. His appearance validates the importance of the region to the UK tourism economy and the vast economic and social impact that COVID-19 has had on the North West, which suffered badly from being classified as a Tier 4 area throughout the year.

In a typical year, we’d have welcomed more than 500,000 cricket fans and business and event guests to our historic venue. We have experienced the commercial impact of Covid-19 first hand – we live for live events and we can’t wait to host full capacity crowds. The group was unanimous on the importance of large-scale sport and music events but also the vital importance of business tourism to help drive the regional economy. Emirates Old Trafford in particular with its experience of hosting behind closed doors international sport last year has a huge role to play as a multi-purpose venue hosting major conferences and a serious of world-class events this summer, including International cricket fixtures, the Vitality Blast and the inaugural Hundred competition.

The discussion once again showcased the strength of collaboration that exists between stakeholders and organisations from the Greater Manchester region. We are delighted to be a part of this group that mirrors the resilience and spirit of the area and will continue to work together to improve and advance the tourism sector for the benefit of all Manchester-based business and residents.

The roundtable discussion supported English Tourism Week, an annual celebration of the sector led by Visit England to highlight the importance, value and vast contribution of the sector makes to the UK economy.

In 2019, with a Cricket World Cup and Ashes helping to drive over £50m to the local economy alone, whilst English tourism as a whole generated over £100 billion a year making up 80% of the UK’s visitor economy. It also supported 2.6 million jobs and is a major employer of school leavers and young people, as well as an incubator for entrepreneurs and innovation.

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