South Warwickshire MPs are encouraging people to visit the area’s attractions – and to let the train take the strain.
Matt Western MP for Warwick and Leamington, and Kenilworth and Southam MP Jeremy Wright made the most of the improved weather to back English Tourism Week.
Mr Western visited Warwick Castle, while Mr Wright went to Kenilworth station as part of a day organised by Shakespeare’s England, the body which promotes tourism in the county.
Both were keen to promote the tourist assets which bring more than £800 million into the area’s economy.
Mr Western said: “It is great to see so many people – all socially distancing – out and about in the improved weather and taking advantage of the sunshine to visit Warwick Castle.
“We have some superb tourist attractions and some fabulous outdoor spaces to visit and as they open up again after such a long time closed, I really hope people take advantage of what is on their doorsteps.
“We know that the attractions draw people to Coventry and Warwickshire from further afield, but often it is easy to overlook what is in our own area, and I would urge people to make the most of what is here at a time when we cannot travel to many places abroad.”
Mr Wright, who was joined by Sarah Windrum chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP which part-funded the station, was keen to urge for more people to use the facility – and for services to become more frequent.
“The station is a great asset for people – both from the town but also for those traveling here to visit places such as Kenilworth Castle. I am lobbying the rail operators to run a more frequent service so that people automatically think of it as a convenient option to travel both in and out of the town.”
Shakespeare’s England CEO Helen Peters said that championing tourism businesses was vital after the lockdown had seen the majority closed for long periods.
“All our operators are very aware of the restrictions we have in place and have taken measures accordingly, but it is vital that we get out and support them.
"They are essential to our economy and we need them to bounce back, so they are in as healthy a state as possible once international tourists are able to return.”
Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford, speaking on a Shakespeare’s England forum, said: “I am incredibly proud to represent the birthplace of William Shakespeare and I am equally delighted to support English Tourism Week as we begin to bounce back from the pandemic.
“Confidence is important to getting people back to doing the things they love.
"It’s important to stress that being a tourist domestically is not only hugely enjoyable but it’s also providing much-needed revenue to maintain and preserve our heritage sites.
“This year is a unique opportunity to demonstrate that once we are through the pandemic when people booked their next holiday that rather than Sao Paulo or Singapore, Stratford should be their destination of choice.”