Correction Covid-19 Update PM 4 Nov 20
Apologies the UKinbound resilience fund paper mentioned at the bottom of this post had not been added to the c-19 research page as promised. It has now or go direct to it at: 2 Nov 20 Ukinbound resilience und proposal
Yesterday’s post reads:
Again I have taken the view this week that you don’t need me to tell you how potentially grim things are, for example, already under a firebreak lockdown in Wales or with a month-long lockdown looming in England from tonight, following on as it does from the recently introduced tier system in England and Scotland. Nor, did I think that it would have been helpful to bombard you with in England’s case with updates on the emerging “rules” that by now you are well used to accessing elsewhere; some of which, on past form, are likely to be tweaked and reinterpreted before they are implemented.
What is more important to me now is to understanding what questions have not been answered by the emerging direction and any omissions or anomalies being seen or experienced on the ground in destinations , either now or as the lockdown starts to takes hold in the coming week or two. The sooner we know what they are, the sooner we can seek to have them addressed.
I also think but need you to confirm, that the critical path now lies with understanding, with as much certainty as possible, when these new restriction might be lifted and what level of tier/restrictions, different places are most likely to return to. Even if that at best is a simple understanding of the optimal and worst case scenarios. Restoring some degree of both business and consumer confidence and doing it as soon as is practically possible, is essential if anything is to be salvaged for leisure, tourism, hospitality and high street retail out of the traditional pre Christmas , Christmas and New Year boast.
Beyond the problems of the immediate lockdowns I feel we should now be looking at what might be done locally or more importantly, nationally to ensure that the most can be extracted for the visitor economy during the normally dire January February period. Nothing is normal, so what could or should now be done to positive influence the normally slow first quarter of 2021?
We also need to be taking a joint view on what realistically can be expected in the opening months of the 2021 season from late March onwards. I doubt anyone in the industry is still clinging to the hope that the new season heralds anything like an immediate return to the old normality. Understand what the best and worse case might be and then starting to managing consumer expectation well in advance would seem to me to be prudent, if not an absolute must do. Views from those of you actual having to deliver on the theory would as ever be greatly appreciated.
I have received a copy of an excellent lobbying paper from UK Inbound on the support needed to see the UK inbound industry through its current unprecedented crisis. I believe most destinations, regardless of the relative importance to them of inbound international tourism, would be very supportive of claim for support made by UK Inbound, of which two of the three I believe are essentially ” no brainers”, (access to tourism and hospitality business rate relief and airport based testing). The third being a resilience fund specifically for hard pressed businesses entirely relent on inbound tourism.
I have sat on the report for a couple of day while I got confirmation of what precisely is mean within the paper by “Destination Management Company” one of the categories of business identified as being in need of targeted financial support. As I had assumed, DMCs are not either public or private sector based Destination Management or Marketing Organisations (some of which are companies) but are commercial inbound operators, offering overseas tour operators logistic services in their destination providing: meet and greet, transfers / transportation, hotel accommodation, restaurants, activities, excursions, conference venues etc. For absolute clarity a typical example being: Tour Partner Group . In the absence of anywhere more appropriate I have added it to the covid-19 research page, see link below.
The latest Great Yarmouth business survey is also now available on the covid-19 research page: https://britishdestinations.net/c19-research/