Hospitality bosses urge Government to reveal when tourism can return

Hospitality bosses urge Government to confirm when tourism industry can return to trading amid fears many companies will not survive

    British hospitality and tourism businesses fear they are running out of time to survive and have called on the Government to set a reopening date soon. 

    The coronavirus pandemic has acted as a severe blow to these sectors, with the idea of green tourism causing many companies to prepare for a busy 2020 calendar year.

    However, there are fears that reopening these businesses on July 4, the date previously promised by the Government, could cause a second spike of coronavirus cases in the UK due to tourists heading off on summer holidays.  

    UK businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector are fearing they may not survive the coronavirus pandemic if the Government does not allow them to reopen them soon. UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said the Government needs to set a clear reopening date

    Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UKHospitality, said:  ‘We need confirmation of the reopening date for hospitality businesses without any further delay.

    ‘Businesses need time to prepare and the first step in giving them some much-needed clarity is confirmation of when they can open their doors again.

    ‘This is particularly important for hotels and tourism, where 60% of bookings are made more than two weeks in advance.’

    The Government also faces calls to reconsider its two-metre social distancing rule, which would allow these businesses to not only reopen but also create a safe environment for employees and customers. 

    As Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted on Wednesday that the Government were considering bringing in lower distances, Ms Nicholls admitted this would be ‘a positive show of intent’ for the hospitality industry. 

     The UK economy is currently plummeting as a result of the pandemic, with gross domestic product (GDP) falling by a record 20.4% in April.   

    In Cornwall, an area which is heavily reliant on its tourism, the estimated loss in the tourism sector is expected to be around £630million in the county alone. 

    Visit Cornwall chief executive Michael Bell believes that tourists should start planning summer holidays to the county, as the Government should be allowing the tourism businesses to reopen if they can provide a safe environment.

    In Cornwall (pictured), which is heavily reliant on the tourism industry for local funding, losses caused by the pandemic are estimated to be around £630million by the end of June 

    Visit Cornwall CEO Michael Bell told tourists looking to holiday in Cornwall to book their travel and accommodation as the Government should allow these sectors to reopen if they are safe to do so

    Mr Bell also adds that the furlough scheme introduced by the Government earlier this year in the wake of the outbreak should be extended to spring 2021 for this particular sector.  

    He said: ‘When it is one of the bedrocks of your economy you do need to get it going to help the rest of the economy.

    ‘Our message to people is plan and book for a safe and great holiday.

    ‘What we want to do in Cornwall is develop the argument and proposition the Government while at the same time do the best we can to safely operate.’

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