A MAJOR new push to market Worcester as a tourist attraction is kicking off - based on the theme of 'summer in the city'.

Worcester City Council's new Labour leadership wants to help launch a plan to market the main shopping area and visitor attractions like the riverside better.

Under the strategy, a new website portal called summerinworcester.com will be launched and promoted heavily over the coming weeks and months.

The big push, which will start this week, will also partly focus on so-called 'staycations', with more and more people opting to take short weekend breaks around Britain rather than go abroad - and what visitors can do for free.

A new report has been published on the move saying "Worcester comes alive in the summer".

The report, published for the Labour cabinet, says as well as the new website, social media campaigns will launch via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Alongside heavy newspaper advertising in Worcestershire, a big regional media campaign headlined 'Summer in Worcester' will see adverts placed in publications covering Birmingham, Gloucester, Solihull and Stratford.

The new Labour leadership wants to make increased tourism one of its big themes, with leader Councillor Adrian Gregson seeking to get more visitors to choose Worcester over rival destinations.

The report says: "Worcester comes alive in the summer with ample space to relax and a picnic, enjoy sporting events, take riverside walks and bike rides.

"People can sample the unique history and enjoy a varied festivals and events programme.

"This summer's events include the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations, Worcester Literary Festival, Worcester Foodie Festival, Worcester Carnival, Worcester Show, Worcester Festival, CAMRA Beer, Cider and Perry Festival, family fun days and sporting fixtures at the racecourse and cricket club.

"However Worcester’s route to the marketplace for the promotion of the various

summer activities is currently limited - and there is no 'hub' for joint promotion."

The 'summer in Worcester' domain name has been provided by Worcester's Business Improvement District (BID), and will not depend on companies coughing up any cash.

Another internet domain called christmasinworcester.com is also available for a festive winter campaign later in the year - with any lessons learned from this summer's tourist push applied to that.

It comes amid data showing how footfall in the city centre dropped around 3.9 per cent in the last quarter of the 2015/16 financial year between January and March.

The council says that small decline, which mirrors shopping areas across the country, is another reason for the big push.

The cabinet will be meeting this evening (Tuesday) at the Guildhall at 7pm.