In a boost to UK tourism, the government has launched a new Tourism Recovery Plan to help the sector bounce back from the pandemic. The plan is to recover domestic tourism to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022 and international visitor numbers and spend by the end of 2023. If achieved, this would be at least a year faster than independent forecasts predict.
Specifically, the aim is to:
- Ensure that the sector’s recovery benefits every nation and region, with visitors staying longer, growing accommodation occupancy rates in the off-season and high levels of investment in tourism products and transport infrastructure.
- Build back better with a more innovative and resilient industry, maximising the potential for technology and data to enhance the visitor experience and employing more UK nationals in year-round quality jobs.
- Ensure the tourism sector contributes to the enhancement and conservation of the country’s cultural, natural and historic heritage, minimises damage to the environment and is inclusive and accessible to all.
- Return the UK swiftly to its pre-pandemic position as a leading European destination for hosting business events.
The National Lottery will also launch a £10 million voucher scheme to encourage people to take holidays outside of the peak summer season. The scheme will provide National Lottery players the chance to claim vouchers to redeem at tourist attractions across the UK between September 2021 and March 2022. A rail “staycationers” pass for domestic tourists will also be launched later this year.
The plan seeks to capitalise on a year of celebration and renewal in 2022 with major events including Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Festival UK 2022 and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.