Ribble Valley gears up for summer staycation boom
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Prior to the pandemic, tourism generated over £260m. a year for the Ribble Valley economy and the number of visitors to the borough topped four million, an increase of 7.6 per cent, compared to a Lancashire increase of 1.7 per cent.
Visitors are attracted by Ribble Valley’s food and drink, and countryside, and with ongoing uncertainty around international travel summer holiday bookings in the picturesque borough have taken off.
Ribble Valley Borough Council’s tourism and events officer, Tom Pridmore, said: “Tourism is a key part of our economic strategy and we have worked hard with the Ribble Valley Tourism Association to develop key markets, such as food and drink, walking and weddings. Accommodation and hospitality standards in Ribble Valley were among the highest in the UK tourism industry before the pandemic, but are even higher now.
“With continuing uncertainty around international travel, forecasts of a domestic tourism boom have materialised and much of the borough’s accommodation is already booked for the summer.”
Staycations offer a safe and secure holiday, and the opportunity to explore attractions closer to home.
And research suggests that holidaymakers are seeking Covid-safe open spaces and countryside, and keen on local food and drink.
Mr Robert Parker, owner of Browsholme Hall and The Tithe Barn located in the Forest of Bowland, said hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions in the Ribble Valley can expect to enjoy a bumper year. He added: "We have seen much better demand for our Woodland Glade, since the exclusive glamping site of micro lodges opened and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors to our hall, tearooms and gardens when tours will recommence from May 18th.
"I have every confidence that there is a going to be a strong staycation demand for lots of businesses in the Ribble Valley this year."
Tom added: “From history and heritage to some of the best food and drink in the UK, Ribble Valley has a lot to offer, with some fabulous days out. The local visitor sector has been incredible during the pandemic and deserves all the success it can get. We look forward to working with our tourism and hospitality businesses over the coming months to welcome visitors to our beautiful borough.”
At 300 square miles, most of which is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Ribble Valley is the largest district in Lancashire, but it has the smallest population – around 58,000. It has two towns, Clitheroe and Longridge, and 44 villages set in unspoilt countryside.
Further details about visiting Ribble Valley are available at visitribblevalley.co.uk.