05/01/2024 - Permalink

Travel experts tip Shropshire in the top 10 up and coming global tourist destinations

Related topics: Leisure, culture and heritage / Partner organisations

Shropshire has been named as one of the world’s top 10 tourist destinations to watch by renowned travel experts ABTA – The Travel Association.

Ahead of what the organisation recognises as “Sunshine Saturday” – the day people turn their attentions to booking a summer break – it has put Shropshire on the map of go-to destinations alongside countries such as Mauritius, Aruba and Vietnam, and regions such as Saxony and Tyrol. It is the first time ABTA has included a domestic location in its listing.

The report says: “This idyllic English county on the Welsh border has some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes, towns and villages. Shropshire is not only a rural gem, it was also the birthplace of the industrial revolution.”

Lezley Picton, Leader of Shropshire Council, said:-

“This is exciting for Shropshire. Our county has so much to offer and appeals to a wide audience for that reason. Whether people are looking to explore the county for its history, its beautiful countryside or characterful towns and villages, we are happy to accommodate them and are actively encouraging people to come and visit.”

Ludlow Castle

Ludlow Castle

Graeme Buck, ABTA’s director of communications, said:-

“The first Saturday in January, known in the travel industry as “Sunshine Saturday”, is one of the busiest days in the year for people to book a holiday as they look to take advantage of the great availability and good deals on offer at this time of year. Good value is increasingly important for customers, and many have told us that they will be looking to use a travel professional to get the best possible deal, with ABTA members being extremely busy helping people achieve their dream break.

“We know that many people are looking for inspiration and new suggestions of where to go, so our team of experts at ABTA has put together a list of 10 ‘Destinations to Watch’ which offer varied and memorable experiences around the globe. Some are a little unexpected, and all are well worth a visit. The destinations showcase the amazing range of experiences that our world offers to holidaymakers.”



Last year Shropshire Council’s Cabinet approved the county’s destination management plan.

The plan explains how Shropshire Council wants to work with partners and industry specialists to promote Shropshire as a fantastic destination for anyone looking for somewhere to relocate or as a new destination to visit.

There are three clear objectives:-

  • Establishing ‘One Shropshire’: By 2025 public, private, voluntary and community groups will come together under the name of One Shropshire, to focus on what makes us different from other rural destinations; to consider both physical and digital connectivity in a sustainable way; and to maximise public and private skills and capacities, and encourage business engagement.
  • To grow value added by the visitor economy, which will grow at a rate of five per cent per year by adopting a sustainable model of development that includes longer stays, value over volume, addressing seasonality, and by showcasing more of Shropshire to new audiences.
  • Promoting Shropshire as a destination that can leverage resources and is worthy of consideration for any future tourism funding initiatives, because it is well organised, internally joined up and engaged with external partners.

Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and digital, said at the time:-

“By making sure we are always offering something fresh, and by enhancing Shropshire’s reputation for quality experiences and excellent service, we want to encourage more visitors to the county, and we want them to stay overnight and visit more than one location.

“It is also important to recognise the importance of sustainability, and we want to set high standards that will allow as to be exemplar in our sustainable tourism strategy.

“The plan sets goals for the council and our partners and industry experts to work together to achieve, and provides a clear strategy that will carry us forward.”