To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 on the Cornish tourism industry; and if he will make a statement.
We recognise the COVID-19 crisis has significantly impacted tourism across the UK, including in Cornwall. Both DCMS and VisitEngland remain in regular contact with tourism stakeholders and Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) in the South West - including the South West Tourism Alliance and Visit Cornwall - 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 DMOs in the South West, including £22,400 support for VisitCornwall, enabling them to continue their vital business support work.
From 4 July, people will be allowed to enjoy holidays in England. To help tourism businesses prepare, we have published reopening guidance on Gov.uk 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 stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support tourism’s recovery across the UK.