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County tourism and hospitality businesses awarded post-coronavirus safety standard

Attractions | Published:

More than half of the county’s tourism and hospitality businesses have been awarded a new post-coronavirus industry safety standard – as new research shows holidaymakers and day-trippers are likely to stay close to home this summer.

The Severn Valley Railway

Around 300 businesses across Telford and Shropshire have already been awarded the official 'We’re Good to Go' quality standard demonstrating they have followed all the Government’s Covid-19 guidelines to make them as safe as possible for visitors.

It comes as a major piece of research shows more people were planning to explore their own region’s local attractions and hidden gems in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown rather than venturing further afield.

The research – which questioned 1,800 people about their travel plans for the summer – showed people were increasingly planning to take day trips and staycations close to home and wanted to know their destinations were as safe as possible.

It was carried out by Discover Shropshire and Telford, the destination management organisation, funded by Telford and Wrekin Council.

Both councils’ Cabinet Members responsible for the Visitor Economy, Shropshire Council’s Lezley Picton and Telford & Wrekin Council’s Carolyn Healy, said there was a real appetite for people to rediscover their local region.

Councillor Picton said: “There is a clear picture that people will emerge from lockdown quite carefully, looking to stay close to home for their travel and wanting to be sure that anywhere they visit has taken all the necessary precautions.

Ludlow Castle

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“More than half of the county’s tourism and hospitality businesses have already gained the VisitBritain We’re Good to Go industry accreditation, showing they have rigorously followed all the regulations and demonstrating Shropshire and Telford’s commitment to keeping everyone safe.

“Whatever you want from your day trip or staycation, Shropshire can offer. From the stunning countryside and wide open spaces of the Shropshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the award winning country parks or even kayaking down the River Severn, it’s all here.”

Councillor Healy added: “The research shows that the appeal of home turf has never been greater and in Telford and Shropshire we are truly blessed, with award-winning museums such as those at Ironbridge, 50 remarkable nature reserves, fabulous family attractions for those who love steam trains or planes and a real sense of community and artisan craftsmanship in all our market towns.

“The feeling that a place is ‘safe to visit’ is absolutely crucial and our tourism and hospitality businesses have made huge strides in this area through the VisitBritain We’re Good to Go scheme.”

The Discover Shropshire and Telford survey also found:

  • 82 per cent think Shropshire is a safe place to visit – the same percentage who said safety was a key factor in choosing a destination
  • 50 per cent will take more day trips than usual in this country and 31 per cent say they are looking to book more UK overnight stays.
  • 54 per cent said they would take fewer foreign trips in the wake of Covid-19
  • 54 per cent said they would feel completely safe visiting Shropshire’s outdoor attractions and beauty spots
  • 43 per cent of respondents would stay in a hotels without facilities and 95 per cent visit a destination without shops open
  • 50 per cent said they would feel safe in Self Catering and B&B, citing a strong appetite for single space and small unit demand

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