Bookings at some of Shropshire’s most popular holiday spots have seen a huge spike in the past month, says Visit Shropshire, with a high number of tourists choosing to stay at home, rather than travelling abroad.
Visit Shropshire have said how pleased they have been by the recovery of the visitor economy during the past two months with many of their accommodation providers reporting strong bookings into the months ahead.
Mark Hooper project lead said: “It has been great to see how busy the county is after one of the most difficult years with the floods shortly before lockdown. It was always going to be difficult to predict how quickly the visitor economy will recover but after speaking with many of our members all areas of the visitor economy are reporting high numbers of visitors and bookings.”
Dilwyn Jones, Owner of Sabrina Boat, Shrewsbury, said: “It’s great to see how many visitors we are getting who have never been to Shropshire before. We have implemented a number of social distancing measures to ensure we are keeping our passengers safe and this has been welcomed by many of our guests.”
Jennifer Sibbald-Wall General Manager at the Albrighton Hall Hotel said: “Since reopening to the general public, we have seen an incredible volume of guests coming through our doors and truly enjoying all this beautiful hotel has to offer. This is like a breath of fresh air in these unprecedented times.”
Richard Corfield from Oaklands Campsite near Church Stretton says “We reopened in July and were a little cautious as we were not too sure what to expect regarding the expectations of guests for what measures we put in place. We have been extremely busy since reopening and have found a high number of guests who are camping novices. We would strongly advise any first-time campers to know before you go. Oaklands Campsite usually found bank holidays to be extremely busy periods, but we are now finding ourselves fully booked on average about 5 days in advance including midweek and are receiving bookings as far ahead as September.”
Launch of VisitShropshire.co.uk
Visit Shropshire launched the brand new official tourism website for the county in June www.visitshropshire.co.uk and can report its success with over 70,000 users in the first two months of launch! The website is now home to over 200 Shropshire businesses who all have their own dedicated pages along with events and articles to promote Shropshire far and wide.
Sarah Creighton project lead said: “Over the past few months we have been working closely with our members to provide them with the latest news, information and opportunities to ensure Shropshire is at the forefront of people’s minds for the staycation boom this year. We work closely with Visit England and Shropshire Council to ensure all of our guests and members are kept up to date with the latest guidance and promoting the national ‘Know before you go’ message.”
Visit Shropshire launched their free membership during March which has now been joined by over 300 businesses from across the county. They have been successful in promoting Shropshire in the national press, TV adverts, various publications, are regular speakers at Visit Britain meetings and have recently produced the welcome back to Shropshire promotional video working with local businesses and town ambassadors.