The CCB have submitted a response to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism’s Inquiry ‘Pathways to Recovery’. It was a combined response with Visit Buckinghamshire (VB), Buckinghamshire Business First (BBF) and the Chilterns Tourism Network. Between us we represent hundreds of tourism/retail and leisure businesses in the region.
The focus of the consultation is to identify what measures businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors of the UK’s economy will need in order to successfully re-open, recover, and thrive in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.
The consultation questions look broadly at what support measures businesses would like to see from Government, while also looking at the internal and operational challenges that businesses face when looking to re-open. Our consultation response was informed by an online survey of leisure and hospitality businesses carried out by BBF and input from the Buckinghamshire and Chilterns strategic tourism group (BCSTG) which includes a cross-section of key visitor attractions in the region along with Chiltern Railways, Buckinghamshire Cultural Partnership, Buckinghamshire Council economic development team and the Buckinghamshire Museums Service.
Key messages highlight that:
Read the full response
- Many businesses are unable to access the current grants, as there are too many exclusions. Greater flexibility is needed. Without that support many businesses will not survive.
- Financial support must be extended to cover businesses unable to open until later in the year, and unable to operate at viable capacity straight away. Businesses will have missed out on the 2020 summer season and it will take many more months to get back to anywhere near ‘business as usual’, both operationally and in terms of re-building consumer confidence and demand.
- The rules and requirements around a staggered re-opening will need to be clear, and the industry will require clear information, guidance and a proposed pathway (with timescales) to full recovery.
- Destination Marketing Organisations like the Chilterns Conservation Board (Visit Chilterns) and Visit Buckinghamshire will need additional funding to help re-build and promote local days out and domestic tourism. Communications campaigns will be needed to reassure the public that it is safe to visit, especially indoor venues and attractions. Effective and joined-up visitor management will also be required.
The Chilterns Conservation Board has also submitted a separate response on behalf of the National Association of AONBs, taking on board the experiences of other AONBs in the network. This is all helping to build support nationally as well as locally for our visitor economy.