UK Government launches Tourism Recovery Plan

On Friday 11 June, the UK Government announced its Tourism Recovery Plan which sets out future policy for the industry and the Government’s ambitions for domestic and international tourism The specific aims of the Plan are to:

  • Recover domestic overnight trip volume and spend to 2019 levels by the end of 2022, and inbound visitor numbers and spend by the end of 2023.
  • Ensure tourism’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 tourism 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.

In addition to increasing the focus on sustainable tourism and on data and technology – to capitalise on information and insights – new initiatives have been announced to boost tourism and support attractions. These are:

Days Out Voucher Scheme:  A £10 million consumer promotion between VisitBritain and the National Lottery will see players having the chance to claim vouchers to redeem at tourist attractions across the UK between September and March 2022. The scheme aims to encourage trips beyond the peak summer season. Businesses taking part will be required to ensure they are using the We’re Good to Go industry standard.

As ASVA members and stakeholders will be aware, we have been supporting VisitScotland on its development of a voucher incentivisation scheme to support Scottish tourism by promoting days out to visitor attractions. VisitScotland is now reviewing its plans and discussion is taking place on whether there is an opportunity to align this recovery project with the national Voucher Scheme or, indeed, incorporate the two initiatives. 

Rail Pass Scheme:  A new scheme for ‘staycationers’ is being developed to encourage, and make it easier for, domestic tourists to get around the country using the rail network. The intention is to create a new pass scheme to build on the success of rail tourism products such as the BritRail pass, which is sold through VisitBritain and provides international visitors with flexible travel across the country and provides discounted entry to tourism attractions. The aim is to launch the new rail pass scheme later in the year.

You can read the full details of the Tourism Recovery Plan here.