VisitEngland is to run this year’s English Tourism Week virtually.

The week, held from May 25 to 31, will aim to highlight the economic importance and value of domestic tourism as well as showcasing what is on offer.

It comes as the trade hails the opportunity of  2020  as “the year of domestic tourism”.

VisitEngland and local tourist organisations will be asking MPs, local authorities, the UK government and other stakeholders to highlight the importance of tourism to the local, regional and national economy and pledge support to the sector’s recovery.

MPs have been asked to record video messages to use on their social media channels during English Tourism Week to pledge their support to tourism and highlight the sector’s importance to the local economy.

As part of this, on Thursday, May 28, VisitEngland will ask MPs to share photos and posts from previous English Tourism Weeks or from their favourite English holiday destinations using the hashtags #ThrowbackThursday and #EnglishTourismWeek20.

Tourism minister Nigel Huddleston said: “This is a challenging time for the industry and we’re providing support through an unprecedented government package for businesses and workers.

“I hope everyone will use English Tourism Week as an opportunity to celebrate the sector, and we’ll be encouraging people to book a great British holiday as soon as it is safe to do.”

VisitEngland director Andrew Stokes said: “English Tourism Week is all about highlighting the economic benefits that tourism brings to local economies, celebrating our diverse and exciting sector, and showcasing the quality, range and value of English tourism.

“While we cannot run events as usual this year, the spirit of the week has never been more important.  Tourism has been one of the first and hardest hit economic sectors due to the Covid-19 pandemic and this year’s virtual week is dedicated to showing support for the industry, the millions of people who work in it and the hundreds of thousands of businesses impacted.

“It is also about looking towards the future recovery and doing everything we can right now to ensure that tourism can bounce back to once again become one of the most successful and vibrant sectors of the economy.”

VisitEngland is working to develop common industry standards to give confidence to tourism businesses, attractions and destinations in England and reassure visitors that businesses have clear processes in place for when restrictions are lifted.

Tourism in England employs more than 2.6 million people and generates more than £106 billion a year for the English economy.