Coronavirus (COVID-19): Tourism Industry Update

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5 June 2020


Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

The situation is developing quickly. Please follow the news reports and for latest advice regularly visit the Public Health Wales website and the Business Wales website

Best Practice Guidance on working safely

We would like to thank everyone who responded to the draft consultation documents sent out to Regional Tourism Fora members this week.  We realise that timescales to provide comments were very short as we are working at pace to deliver guidance to the sector.  Thank you for your continued support.

COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker

As reported in our bulletin earlier this week, Visit Wales is collaborating with Visit Scotland and Visit England on this new consumer behaviour tracker.  It concentrates on Great Britain (GB) residents to assess their domestic holiday intentions for the remainder of 2020 and early 2021 and is being conducted weekly for three months. Results of the first wave of activity are available and covers:

  • Mood of the nation – a measure
  • Consumer confidence regarding taking a domestic short break/holiday and likelihood of when they will plan, book and take any break
  • Where in the UK that break may be, what type of accommodation they will use and how they plan to travel to the destination
  • What types of activity are they more or less likely to undertake at their destination of choice  

More detailed analysis for Wales will be available on a monthly basis.

VisitBritain have recently updated their inbound forecasts for the UK in 2020. The latest impact data based on the most recent assumptions can be found on the VisitBritain website.

The underlying model includes data for Wales based on the same assumptions which shows a decline of 64% in visits to 369,000 and 67% in spend to £169m.

Have you updated your product listing?

We have been working hard behind the scenes to improve the delivery of your product listings through our websites. Did you know you can upload hero images, video content and have multiple links to your social media and websites? Visit the product listing tool to update your listing and look out for our Product Listing Bulletin in the forthcoming weeks with more information and support for improving your entry. To get the most out of your listing, take a look at our user friendly “Top tips for an epic listing” on our Working With visit Wales page, where you can download our industry guide. Reminder that as part of that listing you can link directly to your own booking system.

Economy Minister Ken Skates: commitment to the tourism sector

Economy Minister Ken Skates recently wrote in the Daily Post about the Welsh Government’s commitment to the tourism sector: Read a copy of the featured article text (English feature).

Honouring bookings and advertising availability

To help further clarify, no bookings can lawfully be honoured in respect of ‘stays’ during any restricted period, which is currently up to 18 June 2020 unless you are requested to re-open by the Local Authority or Welsh ministers for specific purposes only. 

As a reminder, businesses should also not be advertising availability during a restricted period. If you advertise via third party websites or the Online Travel Agencies, please take some time to review your entries on these sites and amend your availability accordingly.

You are able to accept bookings or reschedule bookings that fall outside this restricted period, however, there is a risk the restrictions will remain in place once the rescheduled date comes round and therefore any bookings will be at your and your customer’s risk so you will need to make this clear when entering into any contractual arrangements. 

Take a look at some Frequently Asked Questions.

Draft guidance for insurance companies

As part of its investigation into Coronavirus (COVID-19) related business interruption insurance, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have published draft guidance on expectations for insurers and insurance intermediaries when handling claims and complaints for business interruption policies during the test case. The guidance highlights the steps firms should be taking to:

  • identify the potential implications of the test case on decisions to reject claims
  • keep policyholders informed about the test case and its implications for policies, claims and any settlement offers
  • treat policyholders fairly when the test case is resolved

In addition, the FCA have provided an update on where they are in terms of their legal case – they have reviewed over 500 relevant policies from 40 insurers and identified a sample of 17 policy wordings that capture the majority of the key issues that could be in dispute – and set out a timetable for the court case which is scheduled for the second half of July.

Schools in Wales to enter next phase: autumn half-term break will be expanded to two weeks

All children will have the opportunity to “Check in, Catch Up, Prepare for summer and September”, the Education Minister Kirsty Williams announced today as she published details of the next phase for schools in Wales.

It is proposed that all schools will start the next phase on 29 June, with the term extended by a week, therefore ending on 27 July.

In the next academic year, beginning in September, the intention is that the autumn half-term break will be expanded to two weeks. Read more in the Welsh Government announcement.

Stay up to date with tourism industry news

We are committed to providing the support and assurance the business community needs during these unprecedented difficult times and have issued several Coronavirus (COVID-19) related bulletins which can be found on the Tourism Industry Coronavirus (COVID-19) Bulletins page. The most recent bulletins are below:

  • 03 June: Bulletin - Self-Employment Support Scheme and furlough next steps; Economic Resilience Fund; COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker; Business Interruption Insurance; Test, Trace, Protect: employer guidance; Best Practice Guidance on working safely
  • 29 May: Stay local to keep Wales safe: changes to the lockdown announced
  • 28 May: Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update
  • 22 May: Supporting the tourism Industry as visitors are asked to visit Wales. Later. / Honouring bookings and advertising availability
  • 21 May: Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

Make sure you stay up to date with tourism industry news by following us on Twitter @VisitWalesBiz and also encourage others who may benefit, to stay up to date by subscribing to our newsletter.

Business Wales is providing businesses with tailored support and advice about dealing with coronavirus, from financial and supply chain planning to advice on staffing issues. We would advise Tourism businesses and stakeholders in Wales wanting specific guidance to visit the Business Wales website or call Business Wales helpline on 03000 6 03000, and to regularly visit the Public Health Wales website for up-to-date public health information for you, your staff and your visitors