Purple Flag Week: How hospitality businesses can make the most of destinations after dark

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Town, City

Purple Flag Week (24-30 September) will showcase the quality, diversity and vibrancy of the UK’s evening and night time economy
Purple Flag Week (24-30 September) will showcase the quality, diversity and vibrancy of the UK’s evening and night time economy
National tourist board VisitEngland has issued a new set of guidelines for the hospitality and tourism industries in a publication entitled ‘The Evening & Night Time Economy’, which encourages businesses to make the most of the night time economy and grow tourism in towns and cities.

The guidelines have been created in partnership with the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) in the run-up to Purple Flag Week (24-30 September), which aims to showcase the quality, diversity and vibrancy of the UK’s evening and night time economy.

“Now is the time to seize the opportunity given to us by hosting one of the most successful Olympic and Paralympic Games ever,” said VisitEngland’s chief executive James Berresford. “This summer has whetted the country’s appetite to enjoy a vast array of sporting and cultural events supported by later opening hours by shops, bars and restaurants. 

“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.”

Purple Flag Week

Purple Flag Week is the new annual UK-wide campaign to promote town and city centres at night through ATCM’s accredited Purple Flag centres. Since the launch of Purple Flag in 2010, 31 centres have been awarded the Purple Flag accreditation.

Many ’Purple Flag’ destinations have already seen positive results from the status; 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.

Philip Kolvin, chairman of the Purple Flag Board, said: “Purple Flag Week is a fantastic way to showcase the best that our towns and cities have to offer and the important role that the evening economy plays in our local communities.

“Thirty-one towns and cities across the country have already been awarded a Purple Flag accreditation and we hope that the events taking place up and down the land will encourage many other centres to get involved.

“With the support of Government, the police, local businesses and our sponsors Diageo Great Britain, Purple Flag is effectively challenging the negative perceptions of our urban areas at night time and is helping us all to celebrate the quality, diversity and vibrancy on offer in our towns and cities.”

  • For a free download of ‘The Evening & Night Time Economy’ which provides facts and figures on the opportunity for growing a destination’s night-time economy, how to get involved with Purple Flag and guidance on measuring success, click here.

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