GNF Members Update 22 May - Issue 35

Dear All,

Only a few national updates today, including Guidance from the Welsh Assembly on their approach to reopening the economy, which has some significant differences to the approach in England.

Good to see the Chair of the DCMS Select Committee has written to the Tourism Minister saying the Government needs a national recovery plan for tourism.

Hopefully, those of you who have access to a newsagent will have read the GNF Recovery Plan story on page 5 of today's Lymington Times.
National Tourism Recovery Plan urgently required
Tuesday’s hearing of the DCMS Select Committee heard that domestic tourism earnings will drop by £22bn, with businesses being forced to close permanently without strong Gov’t intervention. MPs are calling on ministers to set out what steps they intend to take to help kickstart the tourism industry and promote ‘safe’ UK holiday destinations to encourage people to book a staycation when they are able to do so, rather than an overseas holiday.
Maximum Business Interruption Loan Scheme increases to £200 million
From 26 May the maximum loan size under the scheme increases from £50m to £200m. this will help those very large firms which do not qualify for the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility.
Extra £20m for Fast Start Competition
An additional £20m has been allocated to provide grants of up to £50,000 to technology and research-focussed businesses. The competition is to develop new ways of working to build resilience in industries impacted by Coronavirus and could be helpful to tourism businesses developing online tools.
Welsh Assembly Risk-based Approach to reopening
The Tourism Alliance have continued to put the case to the UK Government that it should adopt a more risk-based approach to reopening businesses. For example, there is no scientific reason why it is safe to picnic in local parks now but unsafe to picnic in botanical gardens or the grounds of historic houses until 4 July. In this vein, it is heartening to see that the Welsh Assembly is using this approach in their new document (below) on restarting their economy. In this they outline their three stage approach to reopening – Red, Amber and Green – where accommodation that does not use shared facilities is placed in the Amber group as lower risk and therefore able to open sooner than customer contact industries where physical distancing is more difficult.

UK News includes Tourism Insight
For interest, see below News UK weekly update. While the first slides are just promoting their products, the last four slides will be of interest as they look at what people are searching on and reading regarding tourism and what the public’s concerns are regarding Coronavirus and travel.

NFDC Business Recovery Plan - Survey
New Forest District Council is currently working on a Coronavirus Business Recovery Plan. However, to understand where the greatest challenges lay they are asking all local businesses to complete a 5 minute online survey which identifies the issues experienced over recent weeks, but importantly highlights support required in the coming months.

Upcoming GNF Virtual Sector Group Meetings
The following Sector Group Zoom meetings have been scheduled - invitations will be sent to each group with agenda and joining instructions:
Food & Drink -  Wednesday 27 May at 11am
Attractions  - Tuesday 9 June at 11am
Bed & Breakfast  - Wednesday 10 June at 11am
Self-Catering  - Thursday 11 June at 11am
Hotels Pubs Inns & Restaurants -  Wednesday 17 June at 11am

As we approach the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend, let's hope those visiting the forest and our beaches continue to treat our special destination with the respect it deserves. As we lead up to the reopening of tourism, we will continue to update you on how you can support our Recovery Plan.

Very best wishes,