Despite further national lockdowns here in the UK, 2021 is beginning on a note of hopefulness as vaccinations continue to roll out. There is some positivity for travel and tourism to come off the backend of 2020 and into 2021, signs that show industry is sure to come out of this lockdown in a better position than before. Below, we have listed some positive news stories for UK travel and tourism in 2021.
Trees for Life to build UK’s first rewilding centre
Located at Dundreggan Estate in Inverness, Trees for Life is to establish the world’s first rewilding centre thanks to more than £2million of support from The Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and other funding. The charity submitted detailed plans for the rewilding centre in July 2020 and construction is due to begin in 2021. The centre aims to show to up to 50,000 visitors a year that the Great Caledonian forest is vital for wildlife, helping community resilience, reducing flooding risk and improving soil quality. It will also highlight native species, such as pine martens and golden eagles, and explore Gaelic culture.
England Coast Path nears completion
The England Coast Path is due to be complete this year. Measuring a total of 2795 miles in length, the coastal path will become one of the longest walking trails in the world, not to mention one of the most stunning trails too as it passes through some of the country’s most beautiful locations. The England Coast Path has been a long time in the making with parts of it open since 2012. The route stretches from the edge of Gretna on the west coast, around to Marshall Meadows on the east and will wind along the headlands and beachfronts of England. The completion of the coast path comes at a no better time as we’ll have spent so many months inside and by spring, we’ll all be eager to get out walking and embrace the fresh coastal air.
UK’s first river to achieve bathing-water status
From 2021, part of the River Wharfe running through Ilkley in West Yorkshire will be added to the Government’s list of bathing waters in England. The river’s water quality will be monitored by the Environment Agency from May until September to assess if further action is required to cut contamination levels and reduce bacteria. Previously, only coastal waters in the UK have been given bathing water status which are classified annually as excellent, good, sufficient or poor, based on an assessment of the level of bacteria in the water over the preceding four years.
Cardiff named UK’s most bike-friendly city
These lockdowns aren’t all bad. With roads being a lot quieter, the UK is experiencing a cycling revolution, especially in the capital of Wales, Cardiff. A 2020 survey of 2,000 UK adults named Cardiff as the most bike-friendly city in the UK. It’s not hard to see why. Cardiff is a very flat and compact city and can easily be explored by bike. The city has hundreds of miles of excellent cycling routes suitable for cyclists of all abilities. The cycling routes connect with holiday areas, country parks and historic attractions enabling cyclists to combine their bike ride with a sight-seeing experience. Hopefully when the lockdown restrictions are lifted by Spring this year, more people can experience the UK’s most bike-friendly city.
Tourism Ireland outlines plans to restart overseas tourism
Tourism Ireland is actively planning to restart international tourism. The kick-start campaign is expected to be launched possibly around St Patrick’s Day to help drive bookings and create a demand around Summer holidays in order to save businesses and create jobs. Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “This has been a catastrophic year for everyone in our industry, but I do believe that tourism can, and will, recover from this pandemic. Recent news about vaccines is really positive and gives us hope for travel in 2021. In our research, Ireland has consistently been shown as one of the destinations that holidaymakers would be most comfortable visiting, even while social distancing measures are in place. So, while we in Tourism Ireland certainly don’t underestimate the challenges that may lie ahead, we look to 2021 with hope and optimism.”
It’s all too easy to focus on the doom and gloom, so everyone at Best of Scotland Holidays is staying hopeful for Spring/Summer 2021. We’re delighted to be accepting bookings for Spring/Summer and onwards. We advise booking early to avoid disappointment when travel restrictions are lifted. View our experiences here or contact us directly to speak to a travel expert for advice.