Multi-award winning hotel and restaurant welcomes government’s tourism guru
It was a case of ‘Yes, Minister’ in Derbyshire’s Peak District this week, as multi award-winning East Lodge hotel and restaurant in Rowsley welcomed John Pemrose MP the Minister for Tourism and Heritage. The Minister stayed at East Lodge while visiting the Peak District.
With the countdown to the Olympics well and truly underway, what the event will mean for the UK’s tourism industry is high on the agenda, making the Minister’s visit to the region an opportune moment to discuss the options and opportunities for encouraging people to visit the jewel of the north and midlands regions, the Peak District.
The region has been recognised as a ‘Destination of Distinction’ in advance of London 2012 and hotels like East Lodge are winning enough national awards to demonstrate that great hotels are not just found in the south; so the Minister’s visit was a great opportunity to showcase the advantages of the region and its attractions in the highly competitive UK tourism and hospitality industry.
As the Minister for Tourism and Heritage, John Pemrose is on record as being keen to support the UK’s strong tourism and heritage traditions. Figures show the UK economy may only be growing by 0.2% overall, but tourism is up by 5% - underlining its importance to the nation’s fiscal recovery.
”We were delighted to be able to welcome the Minister for Tourism and Heritage to East Lodge,” explained East Lodge Deputy Managing Director Iain Hardman. “We are proud to think that we have been able to give the minister a taste of Derbyshire and the best our region has to offer ahead of preparations for what we all hope will be a big influx of visitors ahead of the games.”
In uncertain economic times, people still seem unaware of the vital contribution the hospitality industry makes and the considerable revenue boost tourism brings to the region.
In Derbyshire alone, tourism is worth £1.5 billion a year and employs more than 25,000 people - a considerable contribution to national GDP and the prosperity of the region as a whole. Derbyshire and the Peak District is clearly getting something right and the Minister agrees.
“Tourism is 5% up on average, so we are clearly doing something right, said Tourism and Heritage Minister John Pemrose. “Part of the reason is that, as a nation, we’re rediscovering all the great tourism attractions on our own doorsteps…Little by little; we’re remembering its great fun to spend at least part of our holiday’s right here in the UK. There are lots of amazing reasons to stay in Britain too. The Royal Wedding was just the start. We’ve gone past the ‘1 year to go’ anniversary for the Olympics and we shouldn’t forget the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee either!”1
“The region must continue to promote itself and as a wedding venue we received a great boost from the Royal Wedding and we hope the ‘feelgood factor’ induced by the Games and the Queen’s Jubilee will make 2012 a year to remember for all the right reasons too,” added Iain Hardman.
The minister rounded off his visit with an evening reception and overnight stay at East Lodge attended by guests from the private sector, with the opportunity to sample the ‘Taste of the Peak’ tasting menu, including Derbyshire grouse and Peak District lamb.
East Lodge remains one of the top hotels and restaurants in the UK, with a prestigious range of accolades to its name. Owned by the Hardman family, East Lodge recently won gold at this year’s East Midlands Tourism Awards and can also point to the coveted AA “Inspectors’ Choice” Award, with three red stars for 2010 placing it within the top 150 hotels in the whole of the UK and East Lodge remains just one of 48 hotels in the country presented with a Visit England Gold Award.