The hospitality industry may be able to be partially re-activated in July after an extended period of lockdown and closure for the UK tourism economy.
This was announced in a special TV address by the Prime Minister this week and has created much debate among businesses right across the country. They’re anxious to have clarity and much more detail with regard to this prospect.
Hotels, attractions, destinations, retailers and a variety of tourism companies and businesses have been completely closed to customers since the middle of March. And coach and tour companies around the UK have similarly been almost totally inactive over this period.
'In terms of maintaining the prosperity and economic value of the tourism industry the COVID-19 pandemic has been the perfect storm,' says Steve Reed, Champion of Travel World Association [TWA] and MD of UK group travel specialist company Steve Reed Tourism Ltd of Hampshire.
‘The pandemic is the worse threat to this country since the last World War. It truly has been frightening to see the impact upon the lives and livelihoods of people of the United Kingdom. But the lockdown measures that the government introduced have largely been observed by most people who understand the severity of the situation.
‘Hopefully over the next few months there can be an incremental and a gradual return to activity for at least part of the huge number of tourism businesses – vital players that the UK economy depends upon for employment, wealth creation and of course leisure activity,’ says Steve.
TWA and a number of other national tourism associations are also pressing for the Government to recognise the economic contribution made by thousands of businesses such as coach and tour companies, attractions and hotels. Some sectors of the leisure and tourism industry seem to have been overlooked.
‘Without targeted help from government, hundreds of coach and tour companies and tour operators for example will disappear completely from the UK scene,’ says Steve.
'We need to see a little light at the end of this long dark tunnel in terms of a gradual re-opening with clarity where possible. We also need the urgent introduction of grant support for the many businesses that have been overlooked so far.’