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Cut-price train travel for Brits holidaying in the UK

Written by: Emma Lunn
A new rail pass and vouchers for popular tourist attractions will be launched later this year in a bid to boost domestic tourism.

The rail pass is aimed at Brits taking trips in the UK and will make it easier and more sustainable for domestic tourists to get around the country.

Pricing for the new pass isn’t available yet but the new ticket will be similar to the BritRail pass which gives international visitors flexible travel across the UK. You can’t buy a BritRail pass if you live in the UK – but the new rail pass will be targeted at UK residents.

In addition, a £10m voucher scheme will be launched by The National Lottery this autumn to encourage trips beyond the peak summer season. Players will have the chance to claim vouchers to redeem at tourist attractions across the UK between September 2021 and March 2022.

The new deals are part of the government’s Tourism Recovery Plan and aim to encourage people to visit tourist attractions around the country in a bid to return domestic tourism to pre-pandemic levels by 2022 and international tourism by 2023.

Other plans to boost UK tourism include investment in sustainable tourism such as the completion of the England Coast Path.

Pre-pandemic, England looked set to hit 100 million domestic overnight trips in 2020. In 2019, 41 million international visitors came to the UK for business or leisure, spending more than £28bn whilst here and putting the UK in the top five countries globally for inbound visitor spending.

But the tourism industry has been one of the worst-hit during the coronavirus pandemic, with people forced to stay-at-home, or in their local area, for most of the past 18 months.

The government’s Tourism Recovery Plan also looks ahead to 2022 with events such as The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Festival UK 2022 and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Tourism minister Nigel Huddleston said: “Our brilliant tourism sector is one of our country’s greatest assets, making a huge contribution to our economy and delivering jobs across all communities. This is why we’ve provided it with £25bn in support so far during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“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.”

Lord Patrick McLoughlin, VisitBritain chairman, said: “Tourism is a critical industry, a powerhouse of innovation, creativity and employment, injecting cash into the economy with a track record for growth and levelling-up, supporting local economies in every part of the UK and strengthening our place on the world stage.

“By working together to drive demand and build back visitor spend as quickly as possible we can emerge from the pandemic and also look towards a brighter future building an industry that is more resilient, sustainable, inclusive and innovative.”

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