Latest industry guidance and more.

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Half a dozen quick points:

1. With the lifting of the majority of restrictions looming in England on Monday a raft of new and updated guidance, particularly around risk assessment, has been issued both for general and industry specific usage. A very good single source of tourism and hospitality guidance, produced by Government has been distributed by VB/VE : Updated Working Safely during Coronavirus: Guidance from step 4 in England (visitbritain.com)

2. Visit Wales have published a useful update on the plans for Wales and the aspiration to move to alert state zero on 7 August: News Bulletin: “Next steps towards a future with fewer covid rules” – First Minister (govdelivery.com)

3. Latest reports on recovery and national mood from BVA BRDC, ahead of planned full reopening, are available on our C-19 research page: https://britishdestinations.net/c19-research/

4. There has been a lot debate and noise around the problems of accessing payment of business interruption insurance (in large part now resolved?) cancellation insurance for events and other activities (ongoing) and now a number of press reports around significant increases in general and business specific premiums which are only now becoming apparent as increasing numbers of businesses hit annual renewal dates. Issues highlighted include significant hikes in director’s liability insurance brought on by a perceived higher risk of business failures, but there are many other examples. These additional costs add to the burden of doing business and are bound to impact on the nature and pace of recovery, if not the product and service costs passed on to the customer.

Are members picking up on any significant issues around increased insurance cost for local businesses? If so let us know.

I am assuming (know) event insurance remains an issue. It is far too late to influence major events for 2021, many already cancelled but we do need to look towards the implications for both destination and individual business organised outdoor and indoor events, post 2021 main season and, in particular, for both small and large events in 2022. Efforts to get Government to underwrite liabilities for some or all events have not had much traction but if problems persist efforts to obtain assistance to overcome them in some way need to be pursued.

5. I have picked up on some worrying indications that at least one Destination BID has yet to collect c 40% of its levy, way higher than normal level of resistance for what is a legal binding payment. Any updates from other destination/ tourism BIDs would be appreciated (with or without caveats on confidentiality).

It also begs questions about policies on charging voluntary fees like memberships subscriptions and participation in revenue generating commercial activities in 2021 (some didn’t charge and other didn’t receive normal levels of payment in 2020). If such voluntary or commercial charges have been made, what has the reaction and payment level been like?

6. I mentioned Subsidy Control in my last update, not an issue that everyone will be immediately drawn to. For those who are interested in the Government’s proposed new approach I have received a copy of a 2019 report from colleagues in the Industrial Communities Alliance (ICA) on the role of state subsidy which you might find informative. This can be accessed at: https://britishdestinations.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/2019-state-aid-its-role-in-rebuilding-industry-and-the-regions.pdf For any colleagues in economic development, or for those with a more specific interest in the consultation, plans and ongoing development of the new UK rules email me and I can send you copies of the ICA’s submission and other associated papers which I have not posted to the consultation page on Britishdestinations.net.

Please do share your thoughts and comments

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