£70,000 of public cash is set to be invested in Oxford’s tourism sector to give it a boost for after the pandemic.

£50,000 of the fund comes from a government grant and will be given to Experience Oxfordshire in order to help give tourism businesses access grants and general wider support. 

The other £20,000 will come from Oxford City Council’s budget this year and will be used in order to create a city-wide coach drop-off and layover strategy to allow for more stops where coaches can pick-up and drop-off passengers.

All of the money together will fund Oxfordshire’s official tourism promotion organisation and aim to solve long-term logistical problems with coaches in the city centre. This is expected to secure the future of the tourist economy post-pandemic. 

Oxford City Council additionally announced last summer that they plan on converting Boswells Department Store into a hotel in partnership with the Reef Group, “to increase the number of hotel spaces in Oxford to encourage overnight stays. It is estimated that Oxford now has about 3,215 hotel rooms – an increase of about 27.7% from about 2,517 rooms in 2010.”

Mary Clarkson, Cabinet Member for City Centre, Covered Market and Culture, told the Oxford Mail that the council had “spent years” on efforts to attract more overnight tourists and hopes to see the amount of visitors coming into Oxford grow after the end of the pandemic.

Image: David Hawgood /CC by-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons