As part of the week long celebrations to mark English Tourism Week, Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan has visited one of the most popular tourist attractions in her constituency, the Great Central Railway. However this visit was slightly different as she drove the train from Loughborough to Quorn!
The Great Central Railway, which attracts 138,000 visitors per year, is the only double track main line heritage railway in the country. The aim of Nicky’s hands-on visit was to champion local tourism and to promote English Tourism Week, which is a week-long national celebration of events showcasing the quality and vibrancy of the visitor experience, and the value of the local and English tourism industry.
Tourism is the third largest employer in England and locally, is one of the fastest-growing industries in Leicester and Leicestershire. Last year alone, the value of tourism to Leicester and Leicestershire grew for the sixth consecutive year to reach a record high of £1.571 billion, a six per cent rise on the previous year and a total increase of over 20 per cent over the last five years. Over 30 million tourists visited Leicester and Leicestershire and the industry employs over 20,700 jobs in the city and county.
Speaking after departing the train at Quorn, Nicky said:
“I had a terrific time on the footplate driving the train from Loughborough to Quorn and I thank the Great Central Railway for allowing me this wonderful opportunity. In doing this, I wanted to highlight the importance of tourism locally, and what better place than at one of the most popular tourist attractions in Leicestershire.
“Tourism isn’t just about people visiting our country from overseas, but it is also about us visiting the wonderful attractions on our own doorstep. The Great Central Railway is one of those, and I would encourage everyone to pay a visit.”