Visit Kent spearheads revival of £4bn tourism industry with Secret Garden of England campaign


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The county's hard-hit tourism industry will get a shot in the arm as a new marketing campaign, urging people to visit, launches this week.

The campaign, called the Secret Garden of England, is aimed at reassuring visitors it is safe to return to Kent's attractions and take advantage of our tourism and hospitality industry.

The Secret Garden of England promotional video features the county's landscapes (41338032)
The Secret Garden of England promotional video features the county's landscapes (41338032)

It is a sector which, prior to the lockdown, was generating £4billion to the local economy and supporting 67,000 jobs.

But the lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures has hit many operators hard this year. It is feared it could have lost as much as £3.2bn as a consequence .

Now destination management organisation Visit Kent hopes the new campaign - which features a video - will reinvigorate the marketplace .

It aims to promote reassurance for residents and visitors alike to explore Kent, their ‘bigger back garden’, whilst building on earlier messaging to 'Respect, Protect and Enjoy' the county safely and responsibly.

Visit Kent’s campaign is one of a handful of applications to have secured additional funding to participate in the UK-wide Enjoy Summer Safely initiative, part of the government’s overall response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The marketing campaign by Visit Kent aims to encourage people to visit the county safely (41338038)
The marketing campaign by Visit Kent aims to encourage people to visit the county safely (41338038)

Visit Kent chief executive, Deirdre Wells, said: “The past few months have been extremely challenging for our sector and we want to do all we can to encourage visitors to rediscover our beautiful landscape, rich heritage and fantastic food and drink. Our businesses have worked tirelessly to ensure that they can welcome visitors in a safe and secure way and we are so proud that their hard work and fantastic product will be showcased at a national level.”

Kent County Council cabinet member for economic development, Cllr Mike Whiting, added: “This is a tremendous boost for our campaign to move Kent forward and to support businesses in our hard-hit visitor economy. We want everyone to enjoy summer safely and feel welcome to explore and enjoy the delights of the ‘Secret Garden of England’.”

You can view the video and see Visit Kent's guidelines for enjoying the sights safely here .

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