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“A strategy for rural tourism”

  • by JW

“There may be opportunities on the horizon” [CLA]


The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has just produced a piece looking at how to ‘reinvigorate’ the tourist industry:

Tourism plays a vital role in the UK’s rural economy. Following a challenging few years, the CLA’s Avril Roberts discusses how the sector needs reinvigoration to help it weather current challenges

Since 2020, the sector has dealt with a global pandemic and is currently facing a cost of living crisis. Households will be changing spending habits, and businesses will experience significant rises in energy costs. However, there may also be opportunities on the horizon – for example, the Rural England Prosperity Fund, the reorganisation of Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) in England and the opportunity for governments to see rural tourism as a key driver for economic recovery post-recession.

And the CLA suggests some specific steps which the government could take – including on tax and new regulation.

As for the South West, there have been fears of ‘over-tourism’ – but there are clever ways to both protect local people and support tourism. Such as ‘responsible tourism’:

“Holidaymakers can opt for accommodation that doesn’t exacerbate the housing shortage, such as renting a room in an owner’s home, rather than a whole flat or cottage. Families could choose a cabin, caravan or campsite. Or how about trying a B&B or a local hotel.” [Oliver Berry]

And also by promoting green tourism – aka ‘regenerative tourism’:

Going beyond the concept of ‘sustainable tourism’ which focuses on neutralizing tourism’s negative impact on the planet, ‘regenerative tourism’ is based on adding a positive impact to the local community and environment. Its successful implementation requires a shift in mindset about what going on holiday really means in today’s changing society...

Finally, there are indeed some great ideas out there to ‘reinvigorate the tourist industry’ – such as this Rural Tourism Action Plan from VisitEngland. It’s from some years back – and could do with another look at…?