Preseli MP Stephen Crabb today held a specially convened tourism and hospitality forum following the Welsh Government’s latest lockdown review.
Joining Stephen were 20 business from across the sector, Paul Davies MS and representatives from Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Pembrokeshire Tourism. The discussion focused on detailed questions that still need resolving, ensuring the hospitality sector is not forgotten about and measures to build public confidence and support to welcome visitors back to the county.
The tourism economy which supports around 16,000 full-time jobs and brings in £585m to the county, has been closed since the start of the lockdown in March. With the main summer season and earning potential being jeopardised, many businesses are now in a critical position. The meeting coincided with the Chief Medical Officers’ decision to downgrade the UK’s coronavirus alert level from four to three
Speaking following the forum, Stephen Crabb said: “I am pleased that the First Minister has given a green light for tourism to re-start in Wales from next month. I know some local people may feel anxious following today’s announcement. There have been concerns about people trying to visit Pembrokeshire during the lockdown. But it’s important that we all now work together to ensure that the visitor economy can re-open smoothly.”
“I have been impressed by the efforts being made by local businesses to implement new safety measures from day one of re-opening. They know that things will be very different from before and they are ready to go the extra mile to reassure the public. New national ‘Covid-secure’ standards like the ‘Good to Go’ scheme will help build that public confidence.”
“Today’s announcement still leaves some big gaps though. I’m particularly keen to see more clarity for pubs and restaurants as they are an important sector for locals and visitors too. With the coronavirus alert level being dropped across the UK, I hope Welsh Government will follow up with further announcements shortly.”
Paul Davies MS said, “It’s so important for me to continue to engage with the tourism sector and so I’m very grateful to those tourism businesses in Pembrokeshire who took the opportunity to spell out their concerns for the future of the industry this afternoon. The message is clear – businesses will not survive if the sector continues to be neglected. Urgent action is needed to ensure our tourism sector is viable in the future and I will continue to push the Welsh Government to do more to support tourism businesses across the County and help keep the sector afloat for the future.”
Pembrokeshire Tourism's Liaison Manager Dennis O'Conner added: “I’m grateful to Stephen for organising these calls which gives the industry an important opportunity to voice their concerns and thoughts.
Tourism is such an important part of local economy that it’s important that we all work together to ensure its safe return.”