Destination management organisation Visit County Durham has launched a marketing campaign that promotes Durham as being ‘Worth the Wait’, inspiring visitors from within the region to choose the county for a day visit or staycation.
It marks the first stage of activity to get tourism back on track by attracting summer visitors and extending demand into autumn, after the visitor economy was significantly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
As consumer confidence starts to slowly return, and families, friends and couples enjoy spending more time together, the campaign showcases the range of experiences to be found in the county, from family fun and the great outdoors, to coast and countryside getaways, heritage city breaks, fantastic food and drink and unique shopping experiences.
The campaign also provides a free promotional platform for Visit County Durham Partners and visitor economy businesses, with hundreds featured on the dedicated ‘Worth the Wait’ website.
Michelle Gorman, managing director of Visit County Durham, said: “As people enjoy spending more time with loved ones, we want to encourage them to choose Durham for their next day out or staycation. Research shows that tourism from within our own region will recover first, as consumer confidence starts to build, and residents become comfortable with returning to their favourite places or discovering something new a short journey from home. The ‘Worth the Wait’ campaign will showcase the county and inspire residents of the North East to choose Durham.”
Sarah Price, Head of Locomotion, where the campaign was launched, added: “Since the museum reopened last month it is clear that people have a desire to start exploring and enjoying their own region again. Locomotion, along with attractions across the county, is ready to welcome visitors back, and we are delighted to be part of this campaign which will put Durham at the forefront of people’s minds when deciding on a day out or longer stay.”
The campaign is seen as key to Durham County Council’s commitment to working in collaboration with organisations and communities across the county to overcome the challenges presented by the Coronavirus pandemic; and to provide the support, advice and resources necessary to ensure the county’s visitor economy is able to recover and continue to grow in safety, and at a pace that provides confidence and assurance to businesses, visitors and residents alike.
Cllr Joy Allen, the authority’s Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, added: “County Durham is home to beautiful countryside, a spectacular coastline, rich heritage and high-quality shops, restaurants and accommodation providers. All these assets will play a crucial role in boosting tourism and in doing so helping ensure the county is on track for economic recovery; and so we are delighted to support Visit County Durham’s Worth the Wait campaign.
“With more of us choosing to enjoy days out and holidays closer to home this year, it is the perfect time to explore or rediscover the treasures the county has to offer. County Durham is just an hour or so away by car or train from other parts of the North East, Cumbria, North Yorkshire and even parts of Scotland, making it an ideal staycation destination.”
The website for the campaign is www.thisisdurham.com/WorthTheWait