To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to support British tourism during the covid-19 pandemic.
The Government is committed to helping the British tourism industry through this crisis and beyond. We will continue to engage with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support the sector during the recovery period.
We have announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. This includes employee support, business rates relief and grants for eligible hospitality and leisure businesses, plus £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans. The Chancellor also introduced a Bounce Back loan scheme to help small businesses access loans of up to £50,000, with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders.
To accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme, the Government has allocated additional funding to Local Authorities in England in the form of a discretionary grant fund of up to £617m. Through VisitEngland, we announced a £1.3 million scheme to provide financial support to Destination Management Organisations at risk of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
We have recently set up the Visitor Economy Working Group which will specifically focus on the practicalities and guidelines for opening up the tourism sector and recovery.