Extending the holiday season to boost tourism businesses
Findings of the Wales Tourism Business COVID-19 Barometer published today show that although Wales has had a busy few weeks in welcoming guests, an extended period of staycations through the autumn is needed to boost business.
The Barometer results indicate that 78% of businesses are open with 51% of those open operating at full capacity. Whilst 80% of open self-catering businesses are fully open 43% of serviced accommodation is fully open and that is lower for attractions, hostels and activity providers.
Eleven percent of open businesses have had more customers since reopening than they would normally have at this time of year, and 45% have had the same level. However, 44% have had fewer customers than normal. This has more to do with limited capacity to allow social distancing and keep people safe than demand from customers.
More than half of Wales’ tourism businesses have signed up for the ‘Good to Go’ industry standard and consumer mark. Over 5,000 Welsh businesses are now registered.
These businesses can demonstrate that they are adhering to Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and checked that they have the required processes in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing, thereby giving visitors, staff and communities confidence to holiday safely.
Ahead of the bank holiday, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism has reinforced the need for visitors, businesses and communities to work together to keep Wales safe and said:
Only by us all doing our part and taking personal responsibility for our actions can we continue to tackle coronavirus.
For individuals, this means keeping a two metre distance from others, washing our hands often and wearing a facecovering on public transport. For businesses this means taking action to protect customers, including operating safe workplaces and social distancing measures, practicing rigorous hygiene and taking customer contact details so that the NHS contact tracing service can reach them in the event of an outbreak. We want everyone in Wales to feel that can enjoy the bank holiday - in a safe way.
Some areas of Wales remain very busy and people are encouraged to plan their visit, be prepared to change plans if places are too crowded and respect the landscape and local communities by not littering, fly-camping and parking illegally.
Visit Wales has also launched a campaign encouraging visitors to sign their pledge to promise to help care and protect the people and places they visit. ‘Addo. Make your Promise to Wales’ is an online pledge by Visit Wales in partnership with the tourism industry.
Lord Elis-Thomas, concluded:
Although we’re approaching the last of the summer bank holidays, Wales also has so much to offer in the autumn – and planning days out and discovering, in a responsible manner, what’s on our doorstep will help to extend the season and support Wales’ visitor economy.
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