Tourism: Coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 1st July 2020.

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Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Treasury), Acting Leader, Liberal Democrats, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Social Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the coastal tourism industry; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

We recognise the COVID-19 crisis has significantly impacted the coastal tourism industry. DCMS, DEFRA, MHCLG and VisitEngland remain in regular contact with tourism stakeholders and Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) in coastal regions to closely monitor the situation and to assess the economic effects.

The Chancellor has announced a host of measures to support businesses and individuals through the crisis, including those in the tourism sector. This includes the recently extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Bounce Back Loans scheme.

Through VisitEngland, we announced a £1.3 million scheme to provide financial support to DMOs at risk of closure due to COVID-19. The DMO Resilience Fund has supported a number of coastal DMOs around the country, as well as the National Coastal Tourism Academy, enabling them to continue their vital business support work.

From 4 July, people will be allowed to enjoy holidays at the coast in England. To help coastal tourism businesses prepare, we have published reopening guidance on for the visitor economy as well as hotels and other guest accommodation.

We set up the Cultural Renewal Taskforce to help our sectors’ businesses prepare to reopen when it is safe to do so. Within this taskforce, I meet regularly with stakeholders through the Visitor Economy Working Group. We will continue to engage with the industry to assess how we can most effectively support the coastal tourism’s recovery.

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