Leicestershire scoops official VisitEngland partnership status

Accreditation will leverage national opportunities to promote the city and county

Council leads launch new tourism campaign

The Place Marketing team for Leicester and Leicestershire, which delivers Visit Leicester, has been awarded Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) status by VisitEngland, the national tourism agency.

This official national recognition as one of the country’s leading destination management organisations will enable the Place Marketing team to work more closely with other nationally and regionally accredited LVEPs, and further raise the profile of the city and county as national visitor destinations.

LVEP accreditation offers a range of benefits to the Place Marketing team and the local visitor economy including building a strategic direct relationship with VisitEngland/VisitBritain and onwards to DCMS, the opportunity to apply for government grants and funding, and the chance to participate in national marketing activity and travel trade activity. It will also provide access to VisitEngland and VisitBritain expertise and sector intelligence, business support and training through the VisitEngland Academy.

The Place Marketing team’s new Leicester and Leicestershire LVEP status will enable it to form part of a VisitEngland portfolio of strategic and high-performing organisations that manage visitor destinations, helping to deliver government ambition for tourism as well as championing the interests of the local visitor economy. 

Under the new Leicester and Leicestershire LVEP, the Place Marketing team, which is managed jointly by Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council, will work collaboratively with the public and private sector, covering the city and the county including the seven districts.

VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “The Local Visitor Economy Partnerships (LVEP) programme is transforming the visitor economy landscape in England, supporting its growth in a more inclusive, accessible and sustainable way, and I am delighted to welcome Leicester and Leicestershire.

“Working together, the LVEPs are simplifying our tourism landscape, ensuring England continues to be a compelling destination for both domestic and international visitors. As Leicester and Leicestershire is established as an LVEP, VisitEngland will provide ongoing support including a dedicated regional lead.”

The city and county have a strong offer for local, national and international visitors and are proud to be home to England’s rural capital of food, Melton Mowbray. The award recognises the collaborative approach we’ve taken to boosting tourism and means we can target new international destinations for visitors, look for new funding opportunities, step up repeat visitations and much more.

Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: "Tourism is worth more than £2 billion to the city and county and therefore essential to our local economy. The accreditation from VisitEngland will help us to continue to support local tourism businesses and to grow and develop this important sector.”

Erika Hardy, Operations Director- Marketing & Engagement at Everards and Chair of the Leicestershire Tourism Advisory Board, added: "The award of Local Visitor Economy Partnership status for Leicester and Leicestershire is great news for our local businesses. Being a VisitEngland accredited destination management organisation means that we can access VisitEngland expertise and training resources, the opportunity to feature in national and international marketing campaigns and eligibility to apply for government funding.

“The Tourism Advisory Board represents the interests of our tourism and hospitality sectors, and we have supported the development and submission of this application, so are delighted with the outcome."

According to the 2022 Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor (STEAM) survey, the tourism economy is worth £2.07 billion to Leicester and Leicestershire, an increase of £440 million since 2021 and £108 million up on pre-pandemic figure of £1.962 billion. Over 30.5 million people visited Leicester and Leicestershire in 2022, an increase of 2.38 million on the previous year and up 18.64 million since the pandemic.

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