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Rail pass for ‘staycationers’ designed to boost tourism to Scotland


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A new rail pass for domestic holidaymakers will be launched later this year to boost the recovery of domestic tourism, the Government has announced.

It will be similar to the BritRail pass, which entitles international visitors to unlimited train travel in Britain within their chosen zones and duration.

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Ministers have launched plans aimed at recovering domestic tourism to pre-pandemic levels by 2022 and international tourism by 2023.

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Those passes, which also provide discounted entry to tourism attractions, range in cost from £96 for two consecutive days to £568 for a whole month, according to retailer Trainline.

There will also be a £10 million National Lottery Days Out scheme, which will provide discounts to tourist attractions between September 2021 and March 2022.

This is to encourage trips beyond the peak summer season, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said.

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Further details of the rail pass and lottery vouchers will be announced at a later date.

Scotland Office minister Iain Stewart said: “Tourism is a cornerstone of Scotland’s economy so it’s fantastic that this ambitious UK Government plan is helping the sector recover.

“Scotland has a huge amount to offer tourists, from our vibrant cities to our spectacular scenery.

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“The launch of a new rail pass will encourage people from across the UK to come and explore our beautiful country while giving the tourism and hospitality sectors a much-needed boost.”

UK tourism minister Nigel Huddlestone 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 £25 billion in support so far during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“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.”

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