The government has unveiled a new Tourism Recovery Plan to help the sector ‘build back better’ from the pandemic.
A new rail pass and vouchers for popular tourist attractions are at the heart of the plan to return domestic tourism to pre-pandemic levels by 2022 and international tourism by 2023.
New initiatives to boost tourism include £10 million National Lottery Days Out scheme to support attractions and a new rail pass to encourage domestic breaks.
A £10 million voucher scheme will be launched by The National Lottery this autumn to encourage trips beyond the peak summer season, with players having the chance to claim vouchers to redeem at tourist attractions across the UK between September 2021 and March 2022.
A rail pass for ‘staycationers’ will be launched later this year, helping to make it easier and more sustainable for domestic tourists to get around the country.
£19 million has also been earmarked for marketing campaigns to promote cities and towns across the country, with a £5.5 million domestic campaign already underway.
UKHospitality’s Kate Nicholls welcomed the news. She said: “We are delighted to see the Government recognising the key role hospitality and tourism plays in the UK with this new Plan. The people and businesses in these sectors will be the power driving the UK’s recovery, in levelling-up, and in building back better as we emerge from the pandemic. The sector is a huge employer of people and investor in local communities and will pay forward to both any support it is given.
“As well as this new Plan, this support needs to include a root and branch reform of business rates, support in promoting our sector as a career of choice for everyone and a permanently reduced rate of VAT. This will enable us to compete on a level playing field with other international destinations, not just as we begin to re-open for domestic and overseas visitors but in the longer term too, cementing the UK’s reputation as a top tourist destination.”