Marketing Manchester activity update: July 2019

We were delighted to hear that the Government has announced the launch of the Tourism Sector Deal. This is fantastic news for British tourism, representing two years of hard work. 

Marketing Manchester has worked closely with its partners at VisitBritain to generate ideas, inspiration and commitment that aligns with the Greater Manchester Industrial Strategy and the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy. We are ready to implement and play our role as the third most visited UK city by international visitors.

The Tourism Sector Deal aligns very closely with Greater Manchester’s own tourism ambitions which were referenced in the recent launch of our Local Industrial Strategy. We are delighted that there is a focus on Productivity and Skills as these are areas in which Marketing Manchester, as part of the Growth Company, has particular strength. The Sector Deal focuses on five key pillars: ideas; people; infrastructure; place; and business environment.

Two weeks ago, on the same day as the Greater Manchester Industrial Strategy launch, we announced a new Business Tourism Strategy which sets out ambitious growth targets which will improve productivity and address seasonality, as mirrored in the Tourism Sector Deal. Furthermore, we plan to work with our partners across the north of England to create an innovative approach to tourism zones to reflect and strengthen Manchester’s position as the gateway to the North.

With regards to skills, we already work as part of the Growth Company to provide a comprehensive approach to skills and training. The Growth Company has established a Tourism Skills Hub and we will be looking to extend and strengthen this activity with the support of the Tourism Sector Deal.

Overall this is fantastic news for tourism with an enormously significant opportunity for Greater Manchester and we will work hard to deliver national priorities of the Tourism Sector Deal at a local level.

Marketing Manchester will continue to engage with the tourism industry across Greater Manchester and with you as key stakeholders to ensure that the potential of the Sector Deal is delivered to maximum effect for the benefit of Greater Manchester.

To read more about the Tourism Sector Deal, click here.


News in brief

Manchester goes ‘all out’ in pursuit of Indian investment

Marketing Manchester and the Manchester-India Partnership made the most of last month’s ICC Cricket World Cup activity, with four days of events and activities over the weekend of Friday 14 – Monday 17 June – aimed at amplifying the mutual business and tourism opportunities available to communities in both regions.

At the Manchester-India Business Summit on Friday 14 June, hosted at Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum, around 80 delegates met to discuss bilateral trade, investment and innovation; promoting Manchester as the gateway to the north of England and its thriving creative, digital and tech sector.

On the evening of Saturday 15 June, a Manchester-India Partnership Dinner for 100 guests at the National Football Museum provided a chance for informal networking on the eve of the most anticipated game of the ICC Cricket World Cup when India played Pakistan.

Two events held at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester on Monday 17 June provided a deeper dive into tourism and the importance of India as a new inbound market for the UK.

On the Monday morning Marketing Manchester and VisitBritain brought top decision makers from India’s biggest tour operators together with the chief executives of key destination partners and tourism businesses to freely discuss the market in a closed-door environment and seek advice on how best the north can reach and exploit its potential.

In the afternoon, an Indian Market Seminar for up to 150 delegates from across the north of England and including members of UKinbound – the UK’s trade association for inbound tourism – saw Indian guests informally present the opportunities that the market presents and how any tourism business can make the most of the opportunity.

Across the weekend there was also an India-Pakistan Fanzone in Cathedral Gardens featuring live screenings of all ICC Cricket World Cup action, along with live music, entertainment, food and drink, and street cricket activities for all to try. Visit Manchester branding – as part of Marketing Manchester’s partnership with Lancashire County Cricket Club – was also visible in extensive media coverage over the weekend, leading to 2,200 visits to the Visit Manchester website from India, an uplift of 20% compared to previous weekends in June.

To find out more, contact


Manchester engages top tier media at Los Angeles launch

Marketing Manchester attended the media launch of Virgin Atlantic’s new direct route from Los Angeles to Manchester on Thursday 20 July, with over 60 high-profile media and influencers in attendance including the Los Angeles Times, Forbes and GQ. The communications team networked with journalists to secure future features and press trips to promote Manchester.

The event was also attended by Virgin Atlantic’s founder, Sir Richard Branson, who gave a speech about the airline’s plans for Manchester, and shared news that bookings for the new route have been extremely popular. Celebrating Manchester and Los Angeles, the event brought together two artists, chefs, musicians and mixologists from each city for a unique collaboration, and guests were able to visit a Lake District themed room to showcase Manchester as a Gateway to the North.

Following the event, the team also brought four travel journalists writing for titles including Conde Nast Traveler US, Thrillist, Eater LA, Malibu Times and LAX Magazine, on a media visit to Manchester which showcased the city’s history, culture and latest openings.

To find out more, contact


New business tourism strategy aims for £1.2 billion target

Marketing Manchester launched a new five-year business tourism strategy on Thursday 13 June at an event which featured input from speakers including Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council and Robin Johnson, director of Europe at VisitBritain, Shaun Hinds, chief executive of Manchester Central, and Neil Fairlamb from Manchester City Council, alongside members of Marketing Manchester’s senior management team.

By adding £345 million to Greater Manchester’s existing value of £862 million over five years, the strategy seeks 40% growth in the sector by 2025, taking its total value to £1.2 billion a year.

The launch called on partners across the destination to seize the opportunity that business tourism presents whilst outlining four key pillars of delivery: attracting more conferences to the city, collaboration, delivering a ‘world class delegate welcome’, and the development of the product overall.

The full Greater Manchester Business Tourism Strategy is available to view and download here.

To find out more, contact


Manchester handed ‘Best International Destination’ title at Condé Nast Traveller awards

The Spanish edition of prestigious travel bible Conde Nast Traveller magazine awarded Manchester the title of ‘Best International Destination’ at its annual Gold List ceremony held in Madrid on Tuesday 4 June.

One of 21 prizes awarding the very best in travel and tourism and voted for by Conde Nast Traveller Spain readers, Manchester’s win was one of the most significant of the night as the city faced stiff competition in its category from a long list of 16 other international destinations including Bangkok, Mexico City, Istanbul, and Vienna.

The award recognises the work that Marketing Manchester and national tourism board VisitBritain have undertaken to promote the city in Spain over many years, alongside Manchester’s generally improving tourism offer that includes new hotels, attractions, restaurants and nightlife.

According to the latest available data Manchester currently receives around 64,000 annual visitors from Spain each year, which has grown by 36% from around 47,000 in 2015.

To find out more, contact


Peterloo star presents new short film inviting people to mark the 200th anniversary

A star of Mike Leigh’s historic political protest drama, Peterloo, has presented a new short film encouraging people to visit the city of Manchester and learn more about the landmark story for themselves.

Neil Bell, who played radical reformer Samuel Bamford in Peterloo, guides viewers through the history of the Peterloo Massacre, exploring locations in Manchester where visitors can discover more about the history of the tragic events that unfolded on 16 August 1819.

Commissioned jointly by Marketing Manchester and Manchester Histories, the film forms part of a city-wide series of events marking the 200th anniversary of Peterloo.

Manchester Histories is leading Peterloo 2019 (#Peterloo2019) a programme of activity that will mark the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre. From June – August 2019 there will be over 150 public events taking place across Greater Manchester and beyond.

The  Peterloo Visitor Film is available free for use by media and can be downloaded here; or via YouTube for embed and link here. Photographs are available here.

To find out more, contact


A step-change in accommodation supply on its way

Greater Manchester’s hotel market continues to perform well and is quickly approaching a period of unprecedented levels of new supply entering the market.  2020 is due to welcome an additional 2,600 rooms with a further 2,850 rooms planned for 2021.  This compares with an annual average of 810 new rooms entering the market over the last five years.

If the level of growth in the number of room nights sold continues at its current rate, within three years the occupancy rate in Manchester city centre for 2021 would be around 69%, down from 81% in 2018.  At the Greater Manchester level, if the growth in the number of room nights sold continues at its current rate, in 2021 the occupancy rate would be around 70%, down from 79% in 2018.

This means that as the supply levels go through a step-change, demand levels will need a step-change also, to support occupancy levels and sustain Greater Manchester’s ability to attract new businesses and investment in the industry and to maintain its competitiveness in the national and international marketplace.

To find out more, contact


Manchester to host Swimming Canada’s 2022 Commonwealth Games staging camp

A newly developed partnership between Swimming Canada, Manchester City Council and Marketing Manchester will bring Team Canada to Manchester for its staging camp in July 2022.

Before moving into the Commonwealth Games Village, athletes will train at the Manchester Aquatic Centre, and rest at a stylish IHG partner hotel. The Aquatic Centre, which was the venue for the last Commonwealth Games in England in 2002, includes an eight-lane, 50-metre competition pool, four-lane, 50-metre warm-up pool, 25-metre diving tank, and strength and conditioning facilities.

Aside from offering Canadian swimmers a location to prepare for competition, this new relationship aims to expand interest in the sport and spark community engagement. With potential for swimming clinics, coaching workshops, and community events, there is ample opportunity to work together to promote swimming and to showcase the city as a travel destination.

To find out more, contact


Manchester Visitor Information Centre relocates

From Monday 1 July Manchester Visitor Information Centre (MVIC) will be relocated to Manchester Central Library where it will be one of the specialist services available on the ground floor for both visitors to the city and for the million plus annual visitors to the library.

The current staff will be transferring to the new location. St Peter’s Square is now a key public space in the city centre and Central Library is the starting point for the Discover Manchester Daily Walk which starts from the library entrance every day of the year at 11am.  MVIC will be open from 9.30am to 5pm Monday to Saturday.

The new email address for the public will be  

To find out more, contact


Recent press coverage wins

Marketing Manchester’s press team carry out a year-round programme of press visits and media engagement to win national and international coverage for Greater Manchester. Below are a few recent highlights that you may like to read and share:

Monuments honouring LGBTQ history around the world – National Geographic Travel (USA)

The Best LGBTQ-Friendly Destinations of 2019 (number 6) – TripSavvy (USA)

India’s Biggest Cricket Fan – ESPN cricinfo (India)

Manchester – a Gateway to Northern England with new El Al flights – The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Manchester city guide (pages 22-24) – Atmosphere (El Al Airlines inflight magazine – Israel)

High on the Spirit of Revival – Australian Financial Review

Manchester city guide – Corriere Della Sera Living (Italy)

The best Brexit-proof holidays – Independent (UK)

Why Manchester is the underrated jewel of the north – The Sunday Post (UK)

To find out more, contact


What’s new in Greater Manchester: July 2019

Distributed to consumer travel and leisure media contacts, Marketing Manchester’s monthly What’s New update is an important piece of media relations work to keep journalists and influencers from around the world up to date on the latest developments, openings and trends across the city-region. To view this month’s newsletter, click here.

To find out more, contact