Portsmouth council set to advertise on M3 in bid to attract Londoners on holiday
PEOPLE are being urged to book their summer staycation in Portsmouth as part of a major tourism campaign.
The Put the Wind in Your Sails initiative will use social media and a major advertising drive to attract post-pandemic tourists to the city to help boost the local economy as it emerges out of lockdown.
A key focus will look to attract visitors from London, with digital advertising boards on the M3 coming in and out of London as well as in Richmond Park on the edge of the capital.
The campaign aims to encourage people to plan a summer trip early, so that when restrictions are lifted they can enjoy the city's attractions, seafront, shopping and events.
Councillor Steve Pitt, deputy city council leader, said: ‘Before the pandemic Portsmouth welcomed around nine million visitors a year.
‘The visitor economy supported more than 12,000 jobs and brought in about £610m a year for local businesses.
‘We need to make sure that business returns and grows because tourism has a crucial role to play in both the economic and the social wellbeing recovery of the city.
‘The many businesses that make Portsmouth a great place to visit are also what make it a great place to live.’
However the council are also conscious of ensuring the attraction of tourists is not at the expense of public health.
Cllr Pitt added: ‘We will work closely with partners across the city to ensure that we re-open in a safe and Covid-secure way, when the government roadmap allows, as we successfully did last summer, to keep visitors and local residents as safe as possible.’
As part of the campaign the council will look to invite members of the national press to show them around the city, promote Portsmouth with international travel companies and the cruise industry and update the training of staff who work in the tourist sector.
Key messages and images will also be shared and displayed by local businesses.
The Put the Wind in Your Sails campaign has been eyed as a way to help promote economic recovery. The campaign will be launched on March 22 and will run until after Easter.