Posted: Thu 18th Jun 2020

Welsh Government needs to ‘bring urgent hope and clarity on plans for tourism’ says Federation of Small Business

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 18th, 2020

Federation of Small Business Wales has called upon the First Minister to give urgent clarity and a timescale to plans for allowing the reopening of the tourism industry in Wales.

Tourism businesses, like many other businesses, remain ineffective ‘hibernation’ because of the impact of Coronavirus.

Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair said: “Tourism businesses have already lost a huge amount of trade because of the effects of this virus. Many businesses fear that without an opportunity to trade during this summer season, they simply won’t be able to continue operating into 2021.

So many local economies depend directly and indirectly on this important industry. Many of these businesses exist in areas we know will already be among the hardest hit communities in Wales economically.

Businesses within tourism have been vocal in their concern at the prospect that Wales may remain closed as other UK Governments move to reopen the industry elsewhere. We need to ensure that the industry in Wales remains competitive.

“We welcome comments by Economy Minister Ken Skates suggesting that some more positive news for the industry might be forthcoming soon but there is an urgency to the current situation.

We also welcome the support for the industry shown by Secretary of State Simon Hart and would support the call, made in this recent letter to the First Minister for the Welsh and UK Governments to work together to make sure that the industry can re-open safely in a way which protects communities and allows businesses to make the best of this season.

We accept the complexities and difficulties in making these judgements. However, we know that economic recovery into next year will depend heavily on the viability of the tourism industry this year. These businesses need to be in the best place possible to aid our economic recovery and regrowth.

Clarity is needed now from the First Minister to allow businesses to plan and prepare. Confusion surrounding the way forward for the industry is corrosive to the hope of those thousands of businesses and individuals whose livelihoods depend so heavily on the success of this vital industry”.

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales, Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “Lots of tourists interest hadn’t had any income at all since last October.

For then this didn’t start in March this started before last winter and it will run all through this winter.

If that happens, there are 200,000 jobs in Wales depending on this industry, which are going to be at risk, it is that serious

I have been genuinely inundated with businesses across Wales saying please please please do what you can to persuade Welsh government to give us some indication of what their plan is.

Not to open in a rash or dangerous, just to let us know.

This is about the last week they can make plans which will actually take effect during this tourist season.

Unless we get an announcement from Welsh Government tomorrow about what their plan, and what they’re thinking then this season gone, and if this season has gone a lot of jobs will go with it, that is really serious.”

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