Oxfordshire’s MPs showed their support for the visitor economy by dropping in on businesses in their constituencies to mark English Tourism Week 2022.

Experience Oxfordshire, the destination management organisation for the county, invited the MPs to meet with operators, to see how the sector is building back and to discuss the range of employment opportunities available in this area. 

Hayley Beer-Gamage, chief executive of Experience Oxfordshire, said: “In 2019, over 30 million trips were made to Oxfordshire and the visitor economy was supporting over 42,000 jobs, contributing over £2.5 billion a year to Oxfordshire’s economy.

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"The impact of the pandemic has had a devastating effect on local businesses across the county. It’s vitally important that we all show support to our local businesses in order to build back a thriving visitor economy."

Anneliese Dodds MP took an Oxford Official Walking Tour.

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She said: “After such a challenging time for the sector, it’s great to see visitors returning to Oxford, but it’s also good to see Oxford locals enjoying all that our city has to offer.”

Victoria Prentis MP visited Bicester Hotel Golf and Spa and commented: “This family-owned operation not only attracts business from across the country into the area, but provides a much-loved focal point for the local community. ”

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Witney MP Robert Courts visited Fairytale Farm near Chipping Norton.

“It was a pleasure to spend time at Fairytale Farm, an attraction which was developed to provide a safe and entertaining experience for all children, but where the needs of children with disabilities have been put first," he said.

"One in five people in the UK have some sort of impairment and as the tourism sector reopens after two difficult years, it’s essential that a warm welcome is extended to all."

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David Johnston MP described Didcot Railway Centre as "an attraction at which you never fail to learn or see something new - including the upcoming return to service of one of Great Western Railway’s most celebrated steam locomotives, the Pendennis Castle.

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"We have fantastic examples of built heritage in our county, and it’s really heartening to see here what can be achieved through dedication and solid support.”

And Layla Moran visited Jurys Inn Oxford and said: “It’s been good to catch up with the team, and hear the positive feedback they’ve been receiving from leisure and business travellers," she said.

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"Prior to the pandemic tourism supported 42,000 jobs in Oxfordshire.  It’s essential that we get those numbers back up, and we rely on the service providers, like Jurys, to ensure our visitors are welcomed and will want to return.”

Experience Oxfordshire’s activity during English Tourism Week can be followed at @ExperienceOxBiz