Derbyshire and Toyota City Twinning

Tourism and trade links between Derbyshire and Japan have been given a major boost with the launch of a new web microsite that aims to attract more visitors and investment to the county.

Quality attractions, accommodation and things to see and do – plus opportunities to develop further trade links – are just some of the subjects featured on the microsite, which has been created by official tourist board Visit Peak District & Derbyshire and sits on its website at

It has been compiled as part of celebrations to mark the 15th anniversary of twinning between Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council, South Derbyshire District Council and Toyota City – and hopes are high that it will stimulate even stronger cultural and economic ties between the county, the wider Peak District tourism destination and Japan.

Leading attractions highlighted on the page include Chatsworth, the Heights of Abraham at Matlock Bath, Royal Crown Derby, John Smedley at Lea Bridge, Sharpe’s Pottery Museum in Swadlincote, and the National Trust’s Calke Abbey and Hardwick Hall.

Featured accommodation includes Buckingham’s Hotel in Chesterfield, The Devonshire Arms at Beeley, The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley, East Lodge Hotel & Restaurant at Rowsley, Fischer’s Baslow Hall, Hodgkinson’s Hotel at Matlock Bath, Losehill House Hotel at Hope and The Peacock at Rowsley.

Information has been translated into Japanese by Takashi Hirata, of Toyota City Council’s international division, who has just spent six weeks in the county on a fact-finding mission to explore ways in which Derbyshire and Japan can work even more closely together.

The microsite was launched during a leaving presentation for Takashi Hirata at Derbyshire County Council’s Matlock headquarters on Friday August 23, and will be further promoted by a Derbyshire delegation planning to attend the 2013 Toyota City Industry Fair on September 28 and 29. Delegates will have the opportunity to sow the seeds for further trade and tourism links to around 90,000 visitors.

“Latest official figures from VisitBritain indicate that Japan is the eighth most valuable international market, yet only one per cent of visitors who came to Britain in 2012 were Japanese,” said David James, Chief Executive of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, the area’s official tourist board.

“Clearly there’s more that can be done to foster links that will bring both cultural and economic benefits for people and businesses across the area, and we are pleased to host this web page, which we hope will encourage even closer ties in the future.

“We look forward to welcoming more Japanese visitors to sample the quality and variety that Derbyshire and the wider Peak District tourism destination bring to the regional, national and international marketplace.”

Councillor Joan Dixon, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport, added: “Working to bring investment to Derbyshire and grow the economy is at the heart of everything we do and tourism plays a key role in that.

“In Derbyshire we have attractions that are the envy of the world and it is important that we shout about them to bring visitors who will spend money with local businesses.

“We have fantastic links with Japan but it is largely an untapped tourist market and we want to encourage our friends from Toyota City and other areas to find out what Derbyshire has to offer and come and pay us a visit. This Japanese language microsite is a step towards that and, by promoting it in the right areas, I’m sure it will provide a boost to tourist numbers.”

Work between Derbyshire and Toyota began in the 1980s, prior to the launch of Toyota’s first European factory in Burnaston. Today, more than 3,200 people are employed there.


For further information, please contact Janette Sykes, PR Manager, Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, on 07792 924839 or at

Note to News Editors

A high-resolution digital image is attached for print media. Caption: Pictured (left to right) are David James, Chief Executive of Visit Peak District and Derbyshire; Takashi Hirata, Senior Staff of Toyota City’s International Division; Derbyshire County Council Chairman Councillor Dave Wilcox and Councillor Joan Dixon, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport.

Visit Peak District & Derbyshire – the area’s official tourist board – works with VisitBritain, VisitEngland, Derbyshire County Council, all local authorities in the Peak District and Derbyshire, the University of Derby Buxton, tourism business partners and surrounding tourism organisations that share the Peak District. It is committed to the successful and sustainable development of tourism.


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