Government reveals plan to drive rapid recovery of tourism sector

11 June 2021 by
Government reveals plan to drive rapid recovery of tourism sector

A new rail pass and vouchers for popular tourist attractions are at the heart of a plan to return domestic tourism to pre-pandemic levels by 2022 and international tourism by 2023.

A £10m National Lottery Days Out voucher scheme will be launched 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 to encourage domestic breaks.

The government will explore how tourism data collected at the border can support the sector with the creation of a tourism data hub. The hub could track consumer trends in travel, as well as inform policy and marketing while working to improve visitor experience.

The government will develop a Sustainable Tourism Plan, which will look at further measures to reduce the impact of tourism on the environment while balancing the needs of local communities with the economic benefits generated by tourism.

A fund of £19m has also been earmarked for marketing campaigns to promote cities and towns across the country, with a £5.5m domestic campaign already under way.

The government will also launch a consultation on the introduction of a Tourist Accommodation Registration Scheme in England. This will consider the benefits of the rise of short-term holiday rentals in attracting tourists and its impact on local economies and communities.

An additional bank holiday for the Queen's Jubilee is hoped to provide a further boost for tourism and hospitality while a £24m business and tourism programme will run alongside the Commonwealth Games to promote Birmingham, the West Midlands and the UK.

Tourism minister Nigel Huddleston said: "Our brilliant tourism sector is one of our country's greatest assets, making a huge contribution to our economy and delivering jobs across all communities. This is why we've provided it with £25b in support so far during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Tourism Recovery Plan is our blueprint for how the sector can build back better from the pandemic, even faster than forecasts predict. It's been a challenging year for the tourism sector, especially for our cities, but I know they stand ready to welcome visitors back and I encourage everyone to rediscover the UK's fantastic tourism offer."

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls 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."

Photo: Andrew Harker/

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