THERE are eight million reasons to welcome the latest deputation of national tourism leaders to Hull for a two-day factfinding visit – this is the number of people who have visited The Deep since the award-winning aquarium first opened its doors in 2002.
Yet the very fact that Hull is now held up as a shining example of tourism policy at its best is testament to the work that has taken place since plans were first being drawn up two decades ago to mark the Millennium.
Without The Deep, Hull would not have had the confidence to become the UK City of Culture in 2017. And without this cultural celebration changing national – and international – perceptions, there would not be ambitious and innovative plans in place to make the most of the area’s maritime heritage. Further evidence about how tourism and regeneration are fundamental to the economic success of destinations, it is this link which goes to the heart of Hull’s resurgence – long may it last.