Manchester launches free hotel night scheme to support city tourism recovery

A new campaign offering “book two nights, get a third night free” at some of Greater Manchester’s leading hotels has launched, in a bid to boost the city-region’s tourism, hospitality, leisure and culture sectors, which have been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Have a Night on Us is led by Marketing Manchester – the organisation that promotes Greater Manchester to a global audience as a place to visit, meet, invest and study – and is being delivered in partnership with the Manchester Hoteliers Association, who work with hotels across region.

The campaign leads with a simple offer for visitors to book two nights and stay a third night for free, with the aim of helping visitors to extend their stay in Greater Manchester, have more time to explore many of the region’s new and updated attractions and experiences, and to increase overall spend within the tourism economy.

13 accommodation providers have so far confirmed they are taking part in the campaign including: The Edwardian Manchester, Kimpton Clock Tower, The Lowry Hotel, Hotel Brooklyn, Stock Exchange Hotel, INNSiDE Manchester, Doubletree by Hilton Manchester, Novotel Manchester Centre, Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport, The Ainscow Hotel, Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre, and both of Manchester’s Roomzzz properties. Additional hotels will be joining the campaign over the coming weeks and months.

The Have a Night on Us campaign comes at an important time for Greater Manchester as it emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic with a long list of new tourism developments and events for visitors to enjoy throughout 2021 and beyond.

It is hoped that those planning a short break in Greater Manchester will take the opportunity to extend their stay and take more time to enjoy the region’s hospitality, shopping, cultural and wellbeing offer, as well as major events and brand-new bookable products including Scranchester’s Explore Ancoats food tour, an Afternoon Tea Taxi Tour by Manchester Taxi Tours or a Brunch Tour by Eat Drink Tour.

Tourism was worth £9 billion to Greater Manchester’s economy in 2019 and Marketing Manchester estimates that at least 70% of that value has been lost since the Covid-19 pandemic began, resulting in over a £6 billion loss to the economy, as well as thousands of jobs across the tourism, hospitality, leisure, and culture sectors.

Sheona Southern, Managing Director of Marketing Manchester, said: “Our ‘Have a Night on Us’ campaign looks to address the current shortfall in hotel bookings by working with accommodation partners to offer attractive deals that we hope visitors will take up in order to enjoy an extended summer break in Greater Manchester this summer.

“Greater Manchester hotels have suffered terrible financial losses since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with many out of action for over 10 months due to last year’s tier system and national lockdowns. We are now more optimistic about recovery and there is a great deal to look forward to as Greater Manchester returns with a packed calendar of new openings and developments within the tourism economy. It is however, going to take time for confidence to return and there is still a significant question mark over the future of large sporting and music events, on which our hotel sector thrives, as well as the return of international visitors.”

Adrian Ellis, Chair of the Manchester Hoteliers Association, added: “This new campaign will play an important role in helping Greater Manchester’s hotel sector recover from the devastating effects of Covid-19, and will help to drive much-needed bookings to the region’s accommodation providers.

“Our hotels have made significant investments in making sure they are Covid-compliant, alongside meeting VisitEngland ‘We’re Good to Go’ accreditations. The unique ‘Have a Night on Us’ offer is great value for money for visitors, who can be confident knowing they are both safe and supporting the tourism and hospitality industry at a time when it needs support the most.”

The Have A Night On Us campaign is supported by VisitEngland’s Escape The Everyday recovery marketing fund and will include significant media spend, geo-targeted to key areas across the country that are over two hours’ drive time from Greater Manchester.

Campaign bookings will be powered by TXGB, VisitEngland’s tourism booking platform, with Manchester being one of the first cities in the UK to utilise the platform as part of a major campaign.

VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “It is great to see the activity that Marketing Manchester will be delivering with its ‘Have a Night On Us’ campaign, and as it aligns with our national ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign, to encourage more people to explore the quality destinations and visitor attractions here on our doorstep. With international tourists slower to return, this really is the year to rediscover the crown jewels of English tourism in our vibrant cities.

“Integrating the TXGB booking platform will also support the campaign to drive bookings and boost visits across the region, supporting local businesses who have been working so hard to welcome visitors back safely and who have been adapting and innovating to meet new ways of working and still providing a great visitor experience.”

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