Welcome to Yorkshire’s Response to July 19th ‘Freedom Day’
On July 19, England moved to Step 4 of the Lockdown Exit Roadmap set out by the government, allowing UK-wide recreational travel, a return to normal hours and services across the sector at night-time venues, restaurants, bars and pubs with table limits to be determined by the venue, increased capacity for organised indoor and outdoor gatherings, and more.
During Step 4, businesses are gradually transitioning to new communicable disease plans, and can refer to the government issued guidelines:
Events and Attractions
Restaurants, Pubs, Bars and Nightclubs
Air Ventilation Guidance
Risk Assessment for Event Organisers
COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the tourism sector and has altered Yorkshire’s visitor economy.
Throughout the pandemic, the organisation has consulted extensively with business owners, sector associations and marketing organisations to hear their priorities for recovery and ideas to help Yorkshire remain a domestically and globally competitive destination.
Last year Welcome to Yorkshire gathered industry professionals together to create a Tourism Recovery Task Group, chaired by CEO of The Piece Hall Trust in Halifax, Nicky Chance-Thompson DL.. From July 22nd the group will reconvene to identify and address the emerging industry needs as Step 4 out of lockdown is activated, and develop a path forwards to help all aspects of the tourism industry recover, create jobs and grow the economy.
Liz Smailes, Welcome to Yorkshire Area Manager and Tourism Industry Expert shared advice for the sector:
“As with any business, hospitality and tourism doesn’t just happen at the turn of a switch. Teams and operations need time to reconvene, be trained on new procedures and become familiar with how to work as a team after 18 months out of operation in many cases.
“It’s imperative that visitors respect each venue’s best practise decision to implement the safety measures they deem appropriate for their business environment. In the absence of uniform regulations, a one size fits all approach is no longer applicable across such a diverse sector as tourism and hospitality. My three key pieces of advice for business owners are:
- Know Before You Go: update any info on your site to reflect the latest recommendations; refer people to Welcome to Yorkshire’s Know Before You Go page for the latest guidance; share content from businesses that demonstrates steps being taken to ensure guests’ safety across the industry to support each other.
- Responsible Travel: create or re-share content that educates travellers on responsible travel behaviour in your area; amplify content from Yorkshire.com, transport providers and your local authority pages. Connect your audiences with official sources—communication will be key to follow the most accurate up-to-date information. Keep sharing the messages.
- Local Advocacy: as visitors from elsewhere in Yorkshire and the UK begin to return to your area, highlight their stories on social media; highlight stories from locals to connect visitors with friendly local faces.”
Philip Bolson, Chair of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ambassador group and the driving force behind hospitality business mentor Mr B Hospitality, stated:
“Whilst for some Step 4 has been a time to celebrate, for many in the hospitality and leisure sectors it is turning out to be an extremely stressful and worrying time. The impact of Governments track and trace policy (and subsequent isolation of staffing) is forcing businesses to either significantly reduce the service they offer, or in some cases actually close. We urge local authorities and Government to continue supporting the sector as we make this transition, and ensure that there is adequate financial support for businesses that are forced to close as a direct result of policy.
To those of you who have booked a table at your favourite restaurant, booked a B&B, are attending event, or simply using your local pub or café have an amazing time and raise a glass to those serving you!
Finally, please be patient with those serving you, respect those around you for their choices with regards to their personal space and use of face masks, and check each venue for their individual rules and possible revised closing times"
Fiona Gardham, owner of The House at Hawes, a luxury B&B in the Yorkshire Dales, said,
“We are adjusting to the realisation of living with Covid for the foreseeable future. We all know that it has not gone away and risks still exist. Responsible hospitality businesses have a duty of care to all that pass through their doors.
As with many businesses for now not much will be changing at The House at Hawes. We will be approaching the removal of restrictions carefully and cautiously. Guest safety, minimising risk and making sure everyone feels comfortable when visiting is our number one priority along with making any stay as normal and relaxed as possible.
The Welcome to Yorkshire industry website offers a great source of support and guidance for businesses as do the Visit Britain Good to Go and Quality in Tourism Safe, Clean and Legal Schemes of which we subscribe to all. We will continue to follow their guidance which at present is to risk assess and carry on doing things as we have been in recent months. We all need to do everything we can to play our part in ensuring hospitality remains safe and open”
- ENDS –
- Welcome to Yorkshire is the official destination marketing organisation for Yorkshire, working to grow the county’s visitor economy.
- Welcome to Yorkshire is a not-for-profit membership organisation, funded in part by grants, sponsorship and Welcome to Yorkshire members. All money raised is reinvested directly back into promoting Yorkshire.
- Key facts include:
- Tourism in Yorkshire pre-pandemic was worth £9 billion annually
- The county’s tourism and hospitality industry pre-pandemic employed almost 225 thousand people
- Tag Welcome to Yorkshire in any coverage on Twitter and Facebook using our handles: @welcome2yorks and https://www.facebook.com/welcometoyorkshire
Free Welcome to Yorkshire images: https://industry.yorkshire.com/archive/resources/free-image-library - Username: Media Password: MZHB9LPa5vA8
Contact: Carolyn Nicoll – Head of Communications and Editor of This Is Y E:email@example.com M: 07719 673029