Cumbria Tourism is seeking urgent clarification around the Government’s latest measures to tackle coronavirus, specifically the practical measures being taken to support tourism businesses at this critical time.
Whilst the organisation has been surveying businesses about the implications of the outbreak for several weeks now, the latest Government advice issued last night around social distancing has significantly raised the uncertainty to an unprecedented level.
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “We absolutely agree that public health is the key priority. At the same time, we have understandably been inundated with messages, questions and concerns from Cumbria’s tourism businesses worried about the devastating impact of the new measures on our tourism industry.
“There are widespread fears that businesses will not be protected by their insurance and wider questions about paying wages, mortgages and how best to protect their staff. We need answers and certainty.
“Our £3billion tourism industry supports 65,000 jobs and Cumbria Tourism is working around the clock, liaising directly with the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), Visit England, the Tourism Alliance and other national bodies to escalate our urgent concerns at the highest levels. We understand that the Chancellor is due to unveil new financial measures for affected businesses, but people’s livelihoods are at stake here and there are so many unanswered questions. An urgent cash injection is needed NOW to help businesses manage their cashflow over this difficult period.
She adds, “The Cumbria Tourism team are continuing to monitor the situation hour by hour and are doing all we can to support businesses through. Our online resource hub is being constantly updated, and we urge businesses to continue sharing their evidence so we, in turn, can make the strongest possible representations and lobby for urgent action.”