Does anyone still care about tourism in England’s Northwest?

Hit the North returns from a somewhat enforced break with a question: did we give up on tourism around the Northwest?

After all, when I first started this blog’s latest incarnation in January 2010, the central theme was exploring my own backyard – the diversity of the area from Cumbria to North Wales and all those in between. I found plenty to celebrate and met others who shared my enthusiasm.

But during my recent hiatus I’ve noticed a decline in efforts to keep the tourism momentum rolling. Should I call time on Hit the North?

Filthy lucre

The issue is, of course, money. The Northwest Regional Development Agency had its funding withdrawn under Government spending plans and is currently being wound down. It will finally close its doors around Christmas; read more here.

Responsibility for tourism promotion has been handed back to the five regional tourism associations. They, in turn, have suffered those now-infamous swingeing budget cuts despite a pledge by Prime Minister Cameron to make Britain one of the world’s top five tourist destinations in the world.

I know for a fact that Cumbria Tourism still has a marketing effort, albeit a reduced one. I’ve worked with them recently and you can read about the trip here next week.

But I haven’t heard a peep out of Visit Chester & Cheshire this year, nor Visit Lancashire or Marketing Manchester.

I’m not looking for a red-carpet fanfare but I am keen to find new angles on familiar destinations and uncover real stories behind the mundane.

Is money tight, or have they just run out of ideas?

Short sighted

Either way, I think silence is a mistake. The diversity of the region is as rich as ever and tools available to tourist boards are cheaper, more user friendly and more readily available than at any other time. 

So I’m not  throwing in the towel. Over the next few months Hit the North will be staying vehemently close to home and trying even harder to uncover stories from across the region. I may be ploughing a somewhat lonely furrow at times but at least I’m trying.

Join me.

8 comments

  1. Jenny Woolf says:

    I’m surprised so little is done to commemorate Lewis Carroll, who was born in Cheshire. (Yes, I have a particular interest in him, since I wrote his biography.)

    Last October I went to Daresbury and found some brave efforts at the site of his birthplace, (I wrote the visit up at http://www.jabberwock.co.uk/blog/index.php?itemid=712) but so much more could be made of the link. It needs imagination, money, all the usual things, and no doubt these are in short supply – at least the money is.

    There isn’t much more to see in the area, which is actually rather interesting. There used to be a fairly interesting salt museum in Nantwich which appears to be defunct.

    Perhaps you can pass on this comment to some of your relevant NW contacts!

    • Thanks for comment, Jenny. I certainly didn’t know much about this but it seems like an option for a literary trail. Does anyone else know of plans around this theme? D

  2. Jenny Woolf says:

    I’m surprised so little is done to commemorate Lewis Carroll, who was born in Cheshire. (Yes, I have a particular interest in him, since I wrote his biography.)

    Last October I went to Daresbury and found some brave efforts at the site of his birthplace, (I wrote the visit up at http://www.jabberwock.co.uk/blog/index.php?itemid=712) but so much more could be made of the link. It needs imagination, money, all the usual things, and no doubt these are in short supply – at least the money is.

    There isn’t much more to see in the area, which is actually rather interesting. There used to be a fairly interesting salt museum in Nantwich which appears to be defunct.

    Perhaps you can pass on this comment to some of your relevant NW contacts!

    • Thanks for comment, Jenny. I certainly didn’t know much about this but it seems like an option for a literary trail. Does anyone else know of plans around this theme? D

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