MP: ‘Foreign visitors need to head north’

Richmond MP Rishi Sunak is pictured with hotel owner David Reilly at Yorebridge House Hotel.
Richmond MP Rishi Sunak is pictured with hotel owner David Reilly at Yorebridge House Hotel.

Richmond MP Rishi Sunak is backing an inquiry into how rural areas can do better out of Britain’s booming tourism industry.

Mr Sunak is a member of a Government watchdog committee which has launched an investigation into why so many foreign visitors to the UK never get beyond London.

Latest figures from Visit England show that more than half of international visitor spending was in the capital and the number of overseas tourists visiting the UK’s rural areas was down.

Mr Sunak said the Parliamentary Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee wanted to find out how best to spread the economic benefits of tourism throughout the UK.

Mr Sunak visited a rural businesses in his Richmond constituency that would benefit from a growth in foreign visitors. Yorebridge House has established itself as a successful boutique hotel in the former Yorkshire Dales National Park headquarters in Bainbridge, Wensleydale.

The hotel has announced a partnership with the prestige French champagne house Laurent-Perrier to create a champagne cellar in its basement for tastings and intimate dinners and also to convert a small barn in the grounds to a luxurious bolt-hole.

After meeting Yorebridge House owner David Reilly and seeing the hotel’s facilities, Mr Sunak said: “David and Charlotte Reilly’s plans for Yorebridge House are exciting. This is just the sort of business which would do even better if we can persuade more of our foreign visitors to venture north.”