Since the beginning of the global pandemic, the travel and tourism industry has come to a near-total shutdown internationally to/from the UK with very few restrictive exceptions. Since then, there has been an increase in visitor numbers but they remain at a fraction of their usual level. Amidst the pandemic, we have spearheaded a movement to win support for our valuable industry. Rallying our competitors and suppliers to the cause, we have jointly lobbied the government to take action.

We have made several important requests and with these measures in place, we should all be able to share the enjoyment and benefits of holidaying in the Great British countryside.

Read on for our full letter to the government, which has gathered sixty signatures of support from throughout the industry.

 

The Outdoor Tourism Industry – An Appeal

We hope that you are keeping well and that this year will see the upturn that we all long for within our industry – as well as the anticipated improvement in the countries fight against Covid19.

We would like to reiterate our current position.

  • We intend to go ahead with closer cooperation with other businesses – marketing-wise, involvement in Visit England and contacting our respective MPs. We intend to keep our profile up and keep advocating for our industry.
  • We need confidence and certainty as our top priority – certainty that the following are possible:
    • Travel within the UK
    • Dining out at pubs and restaurants
    • The ability to stay at (covid compliant) accommodations
  • We know that the government will shortly be laying out further plans for March onwards and we’re looking forward to that to provide us and our customers with more certainty.
  • IF those regular UK customers will be able to go ahead – we’re looking much better for 2021. But we are still going to see significant loss of trade because of the lack of international
    travellers. Different businesses will suffer from this to different extents.
  • We are also seeing financial difficulty – due to the administrative stress of postponing tours, offering refunds, and so on.

What we need

  • To help our tours go ahead, we need to see the UK Government:
    • Encourage local travel, so that we can patch up our overall numbers by swelling the UK market.
    • Set up a workable system for overseas travellers to safely visit the UK and travel within it – vaccination passports, reliable pre-travel testing or some such.
  • If the latter is not possible, then we need to see financial support while we gradually return to a healthy long-term cashflow – with a greater emphasis on UK customers. Such as a further round of the bounceback or tourism funds made available similar to those in Italy.
  • It is also critical that the covid loans offered last year are handled carefully, with government backing, to ensure that businesses like ours aren’t simply flattened by repayments.
  • We would like to be involved in the planning / consultations about setting out an effective framework or road map for how domestic active tourism can resume.
  • The introduction of the Holiday Voucher scheme we have asked for previously.

We are aware that there are many calls for help so we thank you for your time and consideration in
reading our letter.

We will continue to work tirelessly to resurrect the outdoor tourism sector and it’s supporting industries.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Sandamas


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