Caroline Dinenage, Member of Parliament for Gosport, has marked English Tourism Week 2024 with a visit to Priddy’s Hard in Gosport.

 Caroline visited the brand new Coastal Forces Gallery at the Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower, which pays tribute to the extraordinary operations of the coastal forces in both world wars.

The visit was arranged to coincide with English Tourism Week, an annual celebration of the tourism industry, highlighting its importance to local economies and promoting the innovation, quality and range of products and services on offer to encourage more domestic breaks.

This year’s campaign is using the strapline ‘supporting tourism, the heart of our community’ to celebrate the amazing people, places, businesses, attractions, experiences and destinations at the heart of England’s tourism sector.

Tourism is one of England’s largest and most valuable industries, supporting hundreds of thousands of small-to-medium sized businesses, employing 2.6 million people and, in 2022, generating £66 billion for the economy in domestic visitor spending.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard was recently announced as the 3rd most visited paid attraction outside London, behind only Stonehenge and Bath. It was visited over 870,000 times last year.

She was shown around the Museum by Chief Executive of Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust Hannah Prowse, and Jason Webb, Deputy General Manager of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, who run the site in partnership with the Mary Rose Trust.

After the visit to the Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower, Caroline said:  

Tourism is vital to our local economy, providing the money that protects and safeguards the heritage that Gosport is lucky to be so steeped in.

“I would recommend planning a visit to Priddy’s Hard this weekend to anyone from our area and beyond! English Tourism Week is a great opportunity to shout about what Gosport and the waterfront has to offer, as well as the wider Historic Dockyard that we are all rightly so proud of.

“Plan a visit and don’t forget to post under the hashtag #EnglishTourismWeek24, so we can welcome as many people to Gosport as we can.”

Tourism Minister Julia Lopez said: “This week we celebrate the incredible job our tourism industry does showcasing England to the world – from our breathtaking landscapes and coastline to the treasure trove of heritage, culture and cuisine to be found in our towns, villages and cities.

“Tourism adds billions of pounds to the economy while supporting millions of jobs, and we are helping the sector grow from strength to strength through our Tourism Recovery Plan. But we can all play our part, which is why I encourage everyone – throughout English Tourism Week and beyond – to explore all that our fantastic country has to offer.”

Visit England Director Andrew Stokes said: “As the weather turns warmer and with Easter up ahead, now is the time to put tourism centre stage and showcase this wonderful industry which supports millions of jobs and communities across England.

“England’s tourism industry has something for everyone and ETW sets the scene with season openings, resident festivals and free events showcasing our contemporary culture, heritage, stunning coastline, rolling countryside and vibrant cities, available to all at every budget.”