The government had revealed a series of measures aimed at boosting the domestic tourism sector, and has announced the first set of winners to receive a share of a £40 million fund designed to ensure the nation remains a “world-beating destination” for holidaymakers.
Branded the “Tourism Action Plan”, the program aims to capitalise on the weaker pound currently making trips cheaper for overseas visitors.
The pound has fallen from $1.49 on the day of the Brexit referendum in July to lows of $1.28 in July and August.
The Prime Minister said the announcements, made ahead of the August bank holiday weekend, will help make it easier for people to travel beyond London and support the UK’s “vitally important” tourism industry.
Mrs May said: “The British people’s decision to leave the European Union creates real opportunities for growth and we will work in close partnership with the tourism industry, to ensure it continues to thrive as negotiations on the UK’s exit progress.
“We are making it easier for visitors to travel beyond London and experience all of the world-class attractions the UK has to offer, to make sure the benefits of this thriving industry are felt by the many and not the few.
“We will make sure Britain is even more attractive, accessible and welcoming to visitors.”
The action plan will make changes which will cut red tape and allow hospitality businesses to take advantage of the favourable conditions for incoming tourists and also capitalise on the staycation market, and has released the first stage of the £40m Discover England Fund, which will encourage tourists to take trips beyond London, as well as making changes to the flexible apprenticeship scheme for seasonal workers and allowing B&Bs to serve alcoholic drinks.
The news was welcomed by VisitBritain chief executive Sally Balcombe, who said she was determined to ensure that the economic benefits of tourism were spread across all regions.
UKinbound chief executive officer, Deirdre Wells OBE said: “UKinbound warmly welcomes the Government’s Tourism Action Plan announced today. We are delighted that the Prime Minister has recognised the importance of our industry and the role it can play in bringing valuable economic growth to the UK. The funding will be vitally important to enhancing our tourism offer in a post-Brexit environment.
“As a member of the Discover England awards panel, I was really impressed with the quality and variety of projects which were submitted for consideration and the winners are a reflection of the diversity and innovation that is such an essential part of our industry. A key concern for our sector has been to ensure that our visitors not only enjoy our world class capital city, but also the wealth of the countryside and heritage across the UK. We look forward to working with the Government and our rail partners on the new GREAT tourism rail offer to make it as easy as possible for our inbound visitors to explore more of the UK.”