Staycation South Shields and South Tyneside: Chiefs promote borough's attractions as safe pandemic holiday destination during English Tourism Week
That’s the message from South Tyneside chiefs, who are using English Tourism Week to promote the borough as an alternative to a potentially problematic overseas holiday this summer.
Businesses and council chiefs have been gearing up for an influx of visitors with the pandemic expected to see holidaymakers less keen on going abroad – and high hopes it will give South Tyneside’s economy a much-needed boost.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: “South Tyneside is a very special place to live and visit.
“We are fortunate to have some beautiful parks and open spaces, great towns and picturesque villages, a stunning riverside and coastline with glorious beaches, and these have all played an important role in the well-being of our residents over this past year.
“However, we also have a fabulous tourism sector, made up of fantastic cultural attractions and a variety of places to stay, eat and drink.
"They are only just reopening in line with the Government’s easing of restrictions and have worked incredibly hard to ensure people’s safety. We are delighted to see them welcoming back visitors once again.”
She added: “English Tourism Week not only gives us an opportunity to showcase South Tyneside as a traditional UK break and promote our friendly hospitality, rich heritage and natural beauty, but encourages local people to take advantage of, and support, all of the wonderful tourism and hospitality businesses right here on their doorstep.”
English Tourism Week, which runs from May 22 to 31, is an annual national celebration of the tourism industry.
And South Tyneside Council is highlighting the many reasons to visit the borough as the tourism sector gets ready for better times ahead after a turbulent year.
Café, eateries, pubs and restaurants recently reopened for indoor service under Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown
The council has launched a ‘Going out, out in South Tyneside’ campaign, encouraging people to support local businesses while still following the rules in place to keep themselves and others safe.
Attractions in the borough – aside from its sandy beaches – include Souter Lighthouse, the Customs House theatre and art gallery, Jarrow Hall, The Dunes, Ocean Beach Pleasure Park, South Shields Museum and Art Gallery and Arbeia Roman Fort.
Geoff Woodward, Museum Manager North & South Tyneside, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, said: “We are delighted to be back open and welcoming visitors once again.
“We have such a unique site here at Arbeia exploring our Roman heritage in addition to our museum giving a fascinating insight into the history of the area.
"We are very proud to be among the fantastic range of visitor attractions for families to explore across South Tyneside."
He added: “As with many businesses it has been a challenging few months, but we have been really appreciative of all the support we have received from everyone. We are very much looking forward to seeing families back soon to enjoy good times ahead.”
Residents and visitors are reminded that restrictions remain in place in line with Government rules and guidance around Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air.
With many venues operating with limited capacity and on a booking-only basis, visitors are advised to check arrangements and Covid-19 safety measures with individual businesses and venues.
Councillor Atkinson added: “There are so many great things for families to do in South Tyneside across our towns and villages.
“While our wonderful cultural venues and hospitality businesses are a huge attraction for visitors, we cannot underestimate the value of simple activities. Whether people like building sandcastles, exploring rock pools, enjoy a picnic in the park or a discovery trail through our villages, countryside, coastline and urban areas, residents and visitors alike are sure to have a wonderful time and make some great memories along the way.
“Whatever people choose to do and wherever they choose to go, we would urge them to follow the rules to keep themselves and others safe.”
For further information about visiting South Tyneside, including places to stay and where to go, go to www.visitsouthtyneside.co.uk