Shropshire Chamber of Commerce has welcomed a report from travel trade organisation ABTA naming the county as one of the world’s ‘destinations to watch’ in 2024.

It comes just weeks after the publication of a report which revealed tourism is already contributing more than £767 million a year into the county’s economy.

ABTA picked out 10 destinations to watch in 2024, and Shropshire was the only UK location to make it onto the list.

It said: “This idyllic English county on the Welsh borders 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.”

Ruth Ross, Shropshire Chamber’s chief executive, said: “A thriving tourism and leisure sector is absolutely vital to the success of the Shropshire economy, and this report well and truly puts us on the global map.

“We know from our quarterly economic surveys that the tourism and leisure sector has been hit particularly hard by the Covid pandemic; let us hope that this report signals that a more prosperous 2024 is in store.”

She added: “It’s not just the visitor attractions and accommodation providers who benefit from a healthy tourism economy – transport companies, restaurants and town centre retailers all feel the benefit too.

“And from a more general perspective, a county with a positive public profile is going to be seen as a more attractive opportunity for inward investment – so this could even bring in new businesses, and create jobs.”

Alongside Shropshire in the ABTA list of 10 destinations to watch this year are Albania, Aruba, Crete, the Spanish region of Extremadura, Mauritius, the east German region of Saxony, the Austrian Tyrol, Vietnam, and Zambia.

ABTA said: “The destinations were chosen following input from a range of ABTA travel experts. They are intended to inspire and inform customers’ holiday choices with new and surprising holiday suggestions.