Tourism’s huge economic benefit to Shropshire as staycation demand tipped to continue

The tourism industry continues to make a huge contribution to the Shropshire economy, with one leading business confident the staycationing boom will continue this year.

An aerial shot of Salop Leisure and Love2Stay resort.
An aerial shot of Salop Leisure and Love2Stay resort.

Shrewsbury-based Salop Leisure attracts around half-a-million visitors every year to its headquarters at Emstrey where it has Love Coffee restaurant and Love Plants specialist plants centre in addition to its award-winning caravan and motorhome dealership.

Alongside the dealership is the company’s Love2Stay resort, with a glamping village with 35 lodges, touring caravan park with 124 pitches and an adventure centre.

Domestic consumer research, 31 per cent of respondents indicated that they are still more likely to choose a trip in the UK than overseas, compared to pre-pandemic, with the top reason – 60 per cent – being that UK holidays are easier to plan.

Data released by the ONS this week also showed visits by UK residents abroad were down 15 per cent in October, compared to October 2019, and down 23 per cent in November compared the to same time two years before.

In contrast, ONS figures showed visitors to the UK from abroad were up from 3 million in September 2022 to 3.3 million in November.

Award-winning Salop Leisure generates £2.85 million annually for the local economy and Ed Glover, Salop Leisure’s marketing manager said: “Tourism makes a massive economic contribution to Shrewsbury and Shropshire in terms of the money spent in the town and county by visitors and the number of people employed in the industry and associated supply chain businesses.

“We and other tourism businesses in Shropshire are gearing up for another busy year as we expect the staycationing boom to continue strongly which is great news for the county.”

The theme of this year’s English Tourism Week is ‘celebrating amazing experiences and amazing people’.

It highlights the role played by wonderful people working in the sector and how they ensure visitors have amazing experiences and add to the vibrancy of local communities.

Making up 80 per cent of the UK’s visitor economy, English tourism in 2019 generated more than £100 billion a year and supported 2.6 million jobs. Tourism spend in the West Midlands was £6.2 billion.

The industry is a major employer of school leavers and young people, as well as an incubator for entrepreneurs and innovation.

Visit Shropshire launches its first countywide Tourism Expo at Wrekin College next Tuesday. It will feature Visit Shropshire’s tourism marketing campaigns for the year ahead as well as the opportunity to meet suppliers and find training opportunities.

This will include 15-minute bookable advice pods providing free business advice from a network of solicitors, financial advisors, and more.

The event will also feature tourism expert speakers including Visit Britain and Shropshire Council and pointers for free training opportunities for business owners and their staff.

Mark Hooper, project lead at Visit Shropshire, said: “This will be the first time tourism businesses from across the county have been able to meet and share ideas and discuss the state of Shropshire’s tourism industry. Tourism in Shropshire is worth a massive £561 million and it contributes nine per cent of the total West Midlands tourism spend.”

Register for free tickets by booking at

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