A PICTURESQUE rural borough has published a tourism recovery plan.

It has prepared a schedule, health and safety advice and a film 'When the Time is Right' to help businesses prepare for the return of visitors as the coronavirus lockdown eases.

Ribble Valley Borough Council and the Ribble Valley Tourism Association are encouraging visitors to adhere to the government’s Stay Alert coronavirus restrictions, while behind the scenes carefully planning for the borough’s return to the ‘new normal’.

The plan, which is out for consultation to local businesses, looks forward to a boom in domestic tourism, or ‘staycations’, being been predicted by industry experts.

Stuart Hirst, chairman of Ribble Valley Council’s economic development committee, said: “Our tourism and hospitality businesses are enduring the most painful economic crisis of recent times, but the industry has good reason to look forward in a spirit of optimism.

“By working together to provide a safe and welcoming destination, we will overcome the present difficulties and achieve prosperity for our borough.”

The council’s tourism officer, Tom Pridmore, said: “This has been a particularly challenging time, with the whole of the tourism industry in lockdown.

“We are, however, drafting a response and recovery plan to promote tourism in the borough, when it is safe to do so for visitors and the community.”

Amanda Dowson, chairman of the Ribble Valley Tourism Association, added: “Ribble Valley is an incredibly special place, alive with innovation and home to many entrepreneurs, tourism and hospitality businesses.

“We have recovered from difficult times before and with change, creativity and collaboration we can recover again.”