Virgin Trains joins forces with VisitEngland to boost tourism in regions hit by floods

Published on : Monday, February 1, 2016

Virgin TrainsVirgin Trains is offering an exclusive discount of 30% off Advance fares to areas affected by recent flooding as part of a three-month promotion starting next week.


The train company has teamed up with VisitEngland to boost tourism and support the #Openforbusiness message in Cumbria, Yorkshire, Lancashire and Northumberland, to encourage people to visit the outstanding national parks, historical cities and cultural places of interest.


The partnership comes four days after the Government’s announcement of the Flood Recovery Fund and a new £1 million ‘Staycation’ marketing campaign to promote tourism in the North of England.


Virgin Trains, which operates passenger services on both the East Coast and West Coast, aims to increase visitor numbers following the damage caused by storms Desmond, Eva and Frank in December 2015. The offer is timed to coincide with the February half-term holiday and Easter break in March.


Discounted fares can be purchased from Tuesday 9th February on direct Virgin Trains services to destinations including Carlisle, Lancaster, Oxenholme, Penrith and Preston on the West Coast route and Berwick-upon-Tweed, Doncaster, Leeds, Morpeth and York on the East Coast.


Destination organisations along the East and West Coast are also pulling together a raft of late availability offers and deals to help customers make the most of this great travel offer.


Phil Whittingham, Managing Director at Virgin Trains, said: “We’re pleased to support VisitEngland’s campaign; we want to demonstrate that the regions affected by the storms are very much open for business. By working together with Virgin Trains East Coast we are demonstrating our commitment to the communities we serve. We hope people make the most of these great offers and show their support for the region.”


David Horne, Managing Director of Virgin Trains East Coast, said: “This is a fantastic initiative to bolster areas affected by flooding and put them back on the map for visitors. As our head offices are in York we have seen firsthand the damage the storms caused to communities and businesses this winter. Indeed we were one of many businesses affected as our offices were flooded. York is just one of the wonderful destinations on our route which is linked by some of Britain’s most breathtaking scenery. From the Flying Scotsman season at York’s National Railway Museum to the great shopping on offer in Leeds or the spectacular backdrop of Berwick-upon-Tweed, there are plenty of great reasons to visit and we hope customers take advantage of this offer.”


Sally Balcombe, Chief Executive at VisitEngland, said: “With half term and Easter on the horizon there is no better time to give the Great British public a reason to book their short break or holiday, especially to areas recently affected by the adverse weather. We want to emphasise that they are very much open for business. Tourism is an essential part of local economies and incentives such as this travel offer will give these areas a much-needed boost.”


Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale, said: “I very much welcome this initiative by Virgin Trains which will encourage even more people to visit the North and see its stunning countryside, vibrant cities and world-class attractions.“The Government is actively supporting our tourism businesses as they recover from the recent floods and showing that the area is open for business. This new deal will encourage many more people to enjoy a break in the North over the coming weeks.”


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