New rail pass for domestic holidays
A new rail pass for domestic holidaymakers will be launched later this year to boost the recovery of domestic tourism, the Government has announced.
It will be similar to the BritRail pass, which entitles international visitors to unlimited train travel in Britain within their chosen zones and duration.
Those passes, which also provide discounted entry to tourism attractions, range in cost from £96 for two consecutive days to £568 for a whole month, according to retailer Trainline.
I encourage everyone to rediscover the UK’s fantastic tourism offer
The Tourism Recovery Plan also includes a £10 million scheme involving National Lottery players being able to claim vouchers which can be redeemed at tourist sites across the UK between September 2021 and March 2022.
This is to encourage trips beyond the peak summer season, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said.
Further details of the rail pass and lottery vouchers will be announced at a later date.
The measures aim to bring domestic and inbound tourism back to pre-pandemic levels by 2022 and 2023 respectively, which is at least one year earlier than some estimates.
Tourism minister Nigel Huddleston said: “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.”
Sir Patrick McLoughlin chairman of tourism authority VisitBritain commented: “The UK Government’s Tourism Recovery Plan is a welcome and important step on the industry’s road to recovery, recognising the economic potential of the sector, setting out a clear policy direction for the future and outlining the ambitions for domestic and international tourism.”
A sustainable tourism plan will be developed to consider measures to reduce the environmental impact of tourism while balancing the needs of local communities with economic benefits.
The Government will also consult on introducing a registration scheme for tourist accommodation in England, which would include hotels, B&Bs and short-term rentals such as those booked through Airbnb.
This is to give a better understanding of what accommodation is available across the country.
The DCMS added that there will be a “new focus on technology and data”, using information obtained from inbound tourists at the border to track trends.
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