Ribble Valley's 'We're Working Hard to Welcome You Back' Tourism MessagePublished Friday, 29 May 2020
We're working hard behind the scenes to welcome you back – that’s the message from Ribble Valley tourism bosses during National Tourism Week.
Ribble Valley Borough Council and the Ribble Valley Tourism Association have joined forces to mark National Tourism Week in a unique way.
They are encouraging visitors to adhere to the Government’s Stay Alert coronavirus restrictions, while behind the scenes carefully planning for the picturesque borough’s return to the ‘new normal’.
And with the Government’s announcement this week that the historic Clitheroe to Hellifield rail line could reopen to passengers the future is looking bright for the picturesque borough.
The Ribble Valley Tourism Response and Recovery Plan and accompanying film, When the Time is Right, sets out how the sector hopes to bounce back from the lockdown.
Stuart Hirst, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s economic development committee, said: “Our tourism and hospitality businesses are enduring the most painful economic crisis of recent times, but the industry has good reason to look forward in a spirit of optimism, particularly given the proposed reopening of the Clitheroe to Hellifield line.
“By working together to provide a safe and welcoming destination, we will overcome the present difficulties and achieve prosperity for our borough.”
The council’s tourism officer, Tom Pridmore, said: “This has been a particularly challenging time, with the whole of the tourism industry in lockdown.
“We are, however, drafting a response and recovery plan to promote tourism in the borough, when it is safe to do so for visitors and the community.”
The plan, which is out for consultation to local businesses, looks forward to a boom in domestic tourism, or ‘staycations’, being been predicted by industry experts.
Research predicts an increased interest in the countryside and outdoor activities, along with eating and buying locally-sourced food, which will provide unique opportunities for Ribble Valley, where the countryside is a strong selling point and the food offer renowned.
National Tourism Week is a celebration of tourism in England, highlighting the benefits tourism brings to the economy and environment.
Tourism and hospitality are a major part of the Ribble Valley economy, contributing over £260million to the local economy, with visitor numbers increasing year-on-year by seven per cent.
And the proposed reopening of the Clitheroe to Hellifield line, which will see the restoration of rail links for passengers and freight between Clitheroe and Skipton, Leeds to the east and Lancaster and Carlisle to the north, could be bring tens of millions of pounds to the local economy and East Lancashire as a whole.
Amanda Dowson, chairman of the Ribble Valley Tourism Association, added: “Ribble Valley is an incredibly special place, alive with innovation and home to many entrepreneurs, tourism and hospitality businesses.
“We have recovered from difficult times before and with change, creativity and collaboration we can recover again.”
The Ribble Valley Tourism Response and Recovery Plan is available at ribblevalley.gov.uk.
The film, When the Time is Right, is available at youtu.be/nvWrRCyYPRA.