'˜Nowhere in Europe offers everything Portsmouth does'

BOSSES of some of Portsmouth's most-loved attractions have heaped praise on the city's appeal in the light of English Tourism Week.

Saturday, 17th March 2018, 5:00 am
HMS Victory and the Mary Rose Museum from the air Picture: Shaun Roster

Running until next Sunday, the Visit England drive is geared at celebrating and boosting the quality of the nation’s tourism industry.

As it gets under way today, destination heads have united in highlighting the wealth of culture Portsmouth has to offer.

It came as new figures illustrated the city’s crucial role in the UK.

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HMS Victory and The Mary Rose Museum. Picture: Shaun Roster Photography

Colin Wilding is the general manager at shopping outlet Gunwharf Quays which is home to more than 90 stores and 30 restaurants, bars and cafes.

Reflecting on Portsmouth’s tourist attractions, Mr Wilding said: ‘We have historical heritage at the dockyard, modern heritage with the new aircraft carrier [HMS Queen Elizabeth], brilliant views from the Spinnaker Tower and, of course, a fantastic seafront.

‘There is nowhere else in Europe that can offer all of that.

‘There is so much to do in Portsmouth that people who visit couldn’t possibly do it all in one day.

HMS Victory and The Mary Rose Museum. Picture: Shaun Roster Photography

‘And this gives them a great reason to come back.’

Mr Wilding’s glowing review comes as figures released yesterday showed how heritage sites across the city were playing a key role in driving up UK tourism.

With more than 900,000 visitors throughout 2017, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) have contributed to a 7.3 per cent national industry boost in the past 12 months.

Professor Dominic Tweddle, director general of the NMRN, welcomed the figures – from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.

He said: ‘This is a great way to end our year.

‘It gives us further proof that what we are doing with investing in our heritage product and marketing it widely is working.’

And with the NMRN set to inject £33m into Portsmouth during the next two years, Mr Wilding said city attractions’ already ‘special relationship’ would only become more prosperous.

He said: ‘We all benefit from each other and, the more we have to offer, the more people are likely to visit the city.’