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The Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced details of a Tourism Recovery Plan to return tourism levels to pre-pandemic levels by encouraging visits to attractions and events.

The plan includes a series of initiatives that will launch later this year and a major push toward encouraging visitors to events including Festival UK* 2022 and the Commonwealth Games next year.

Government research shows that pre-pandemic England was set to see 100 million domestic overnight trips in 2020, and in the previous year the UK welcomed 41m international visitors who collectively spent more than £28bn.

The new initiatives to boost tourism include a £10m National Lottery Days Out scheme to support attractions and a new rail pass to encourage domestic breaks. Meanwhile, a £24 million Business and Tourism Programme will run alongside the Commonwealth Games 2022 to promote Birmingham, the West Midlands and the UK.

The £10 million voucher scheme will be launched by The National Lottery this autumn to encourage trips beyond the peak summer season, the vouchers will be redeemable at tourist attractions across the UK between September 2021 and March 2022.

DCMS said the rail pass for “staycationers” will also be launched later this year, with the aim of helping to make it easier and more sustainable for domestic tourists to get around the country.

It also promised to develop a Sustainable Tourism Plan later this year with the aim of reducing the impact of tourism on the environment while taking into account the needs of local communities and the economic benefits generated by tourism.

Tourism minister Nigel Huddleston MP 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.”

Full details of the plan can be found here.