The Government has announced the launch of a bargain ‘Staycation’ national rail pass before the end of the year, “subject to a successful business case being developed”.
In a move intended to put the UK’s tourism industry back on its feet, Tourism and Sport Minister Nigel Huddlestone says the new Rover ticket will be based on the controversial BritRail pass (which is up to 60% cheaper than similar tickets, but is only available to overseas visitors).
No precise details about the ‘Staycation’ pass have been published, but the idea is for rail to play its full part in the Government’s Tourism Recovery Plan (TRP), as relying on increasing car use and growing the coach and bus market would not satisfy a green agenda.
Before the postponement of an end to restrictions beyond June 21 threw it off course, the TRP’s aim was for a return to pre-pandemic tourism levels by 2022 and international tourism by 2023 - both at least a year ahead of independent forecasts.
Huddlestone said the Government is determined to level up the country and ensure that every region is reaching its full potential, which could be difficult for areas that have lost most of their rail services, such as Northumberland, West Wales, Norfolk and Dorset.
The multi-route rail tourer ticket has been around for decades, but poor marketing has almost turned it into an afterthought in train operators’ fare structures.
Many of the special offers are unknown to booking office clerks and can often only be sought out by a laborious trawl of company websites or those run by National Rail and Trainline.
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