Food Businesses are being called to stay open later in a bid to capitalise on the £66bn night time trade.
According to the national tourist board, night time trade is key to boosting tourism, accounting for nearly a third of the town and city centre turnover.
VisitEngland research from the 2011 Great Britain Day Visits Survey shows that out of 1.5bn day visits, nearly 300million were either mainly for a meal out or going on a night out, representing 21% of the £52bn spent in the UK on day visits. Not surprisingly a range of shopping and good quality food, drink and dining were very important to the satisfaction of visitors to towns and cities in this country.
VisitEngland is also supporting Purple Flag, a national accreditation scheme hosted by the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) recognising excellence in the management of town and city centres ‘after dark’.
The aim of the scheme is to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of towns and city centres at night, providing recognition for businesses and organisations which inspire visitors to enjoy towns and cities specifically between the hours of 6pm – 6am by the development and promotion of excellent late night shopping, dining, drinking, and cultural experiences.
Since its launch, 31 centres have been awarded the Purple Flag accreditation, with many destinations showing great results. Liverpool launched Light Night in 2011, attracting 17,500 visitors with an economic impact of £250,000.
Through a trial of extended opening hours, promotions, festivals and arts and culture activities, Newcastle Gateshead increased revenue by £53m over a six month period.
James Berresford, VisitEngland’s chief executive said: “The night time economy offers us a huge opportunity to grow tourism in England and make our cities and towns some of the most exciting in the world.”