Initiatives included in the Tourism Recovery Plan include £10 million National Lottery Days out scheme to support attractions and a new rail pass to encourage domestic breaks.
Tourism is an economic, social and cultural asset. The sector is a major contributor to jobs and growth in the UK, indirectly employing 4 million people and making a direct economic contribution of £75 billion a year pre-pandemic. The sector connects people to the UK’s history, showcases the UK’s innovation, and will have a key role to play in reviving the spirits of the nation as the country emerges from the pandemic.
The Tourism Recovery Plan sets out the role that the UK government will play in assisting and accelerating the tourism sector’s recovery from COVID-19. It also sets out a framework for how the government will work with the sector to build back better.
In the short term, these objectives will be achieved by getting the tourism sector reopened safely and providing businesses with the support they need to return back to profit
For example, the government has allocated at least £19 million to domestic and international marketing activity, with a £5.5 million domestic campaign already underway. Measures such as the VAT cut for tourism and hospitality, and a continuation of business rates relief for eligible properties will continue supporting businesses with cash flow, and new proposals set out in this Plan such as the introduction of a domestic tourism rail product and a voucher scheme run by the National Lottery, will help stimulate demand.
Once restrictions are lifted, the government will focus on building back better. For example, the Plan lays out significant levels of UK-wide investment already underway in tourism product and infrastructure, as well as new support due to come in over subsequent years, such as the £4.8 billion Levelling-Up Fund.
The Rural Services Network has always placed great importance on supporting the rural economy and it will be important to consider the plan in detail to ensure that rural areas are not left behind, and that they have the capacity to fully capitalise on the initiatives set out in the Tourism Recovery Plan. The RSN will produce a Rural Lens review of the document which will be published in due course.
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