Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

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4 March 2021


Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

Please follow the news reports and for latest advice regularly visit the Public Health Wales website and the Business Wales website

BULLETIN CONTENTS - UK Government Budget 2021; Written Statement: Welsh Government’s response to the UK Budget; Business rates holiday extended for 12 months; Additional £30 million for Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism; Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses; Welsh Government backs business in new campaign; COVID-19 UK Tourism Consumer Tracker Survey; Skills; Gŵyl 2021; Your views and voices are needed on exciting plans for the National Forest for Wales!; Smoke-free laws – Changes from 1 March 2021; £680m COVID cash boost for Wales; Town Centres in Wales to benefit from £15.2 million placemaking fund; ‘Society is the Disability’: What does this mean for your business?; Cyber Security for Sole Traders and Microbusinesses; If you engage or supply contractors, there are some important tax changes; Useful COVID-19 information.

UK Government Budget 2021

The UK Government has published its Spring Budget, some key points include:

  • An extension of the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme to September 2021 across the UK.
  • An extension of the UK-wide Self Employment Income Support scheme to September 2021, with 600,000 more people who filed a tax return in 2019-20 now able to claim for the first time.
  • A new UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme to make available loans between £25,001 and £10 million, and asset and invoice finance between £1,000 and £10 million, to help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery.
  • Extension to the VAT cut to 5% for hospitality, accommodation and attractions across the UK until the end of September, followed by a 12.5% rate for a further six months until 31 March 2022.

Visit the Business Wales website for more details.       

Written Statement: Welsh Government’s response to the UK Budget

On 3 March, the Chancellor of the Exchequer presented the much anticipated UK Budget at a critical juncture for the economy as we begin to take the first steps that are needed to begin recovery.  This Statement provides an update to Members on the immediate implications for Wales.  Read the statement in full on Gov.Wales.

Business rates holiday extended for 12 months

The rates holiday for the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors in Wales will be extended for a further 12 months, the Finance Minister Rebecca Evans has announced.

The £380m package provides retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with rateable values up to £500k, and charities in Wales with a straightforward year-long business rates holiday – going beyond what has been announced in England – providing a much-needed boost for small and medium sized businesses struggling to cope with the impacts of the pandemic.

This relief package, in combination with our existing Small Business Rates Relief scheme will ensure that more than 70,000 businesses will continue to pay no rates at all in 2021-22.

The Minister has also committed to providing businesses and charities in the leisure and hospitality sector with a rateable value of over £500k with 100% rates relief for 2021-22 too.

Read the announcement in full on the Welsh Government website.

Additional £30 million for Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism

The Welsh Government has announced a further £30 million for sector specific businesses affected by ongoing coronavirus restrictions. 

The latest round of the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) will be targeted at small, medium and large businesses in the hospitality, leisure, tourism sectors and related supply chain businesses.

It has also been confirmed that pending the outcome of the next review on 12 March, a further £150 million in grants could be made available to firms, including micro businesses, through the Welsh Government’s Non Domestic Rates (NDR) scheme if coronavirus restrictions are extended.

The ERF Sector Specific Grant application phase 2 window opens Tuesday 9 March 2021 until 8pm on Friday 12 March 2021.  For further information, and to access the eligibility checker, please visit the Business Wales website.

Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses

As we look towards a phased re-opening, you need to be aware of the guidance for Tourism and Hospitality businesses

To help you decide which actions to take, Coronavirus Regulations require you to carry out a specific COVID-19 risk assessment, just as you would for other health and safety-related hazards. This risk assessment must be done in consultation with staff and representatives (recognised trade union or a representative chosen by workers) and be made available to staff. 

HSE (Health & Safety Executive) provides useful templates to help you undertake a specific COVID-19 risk assessment that will take you through the hierarchy of controls from the most to the least effective.  An overview of the hierarchy of controls can be found in Appendix 1 of the Tourism and Hospitality Guidance. You will also find links within the Welsh Government guidance to sector-specific and industry guidance containing further detail including the UKH Cymru Guidance

Welsh Government backs business in new campaign

Welsh Government has launched a new campaign to promote the important support available to businesses to help them deal with the continued pressures of coronavirus and plan for a brighter future.

The ‘We’re in Your Corner’ campaign will encourage firms the length and breadth of Wales to take advantage of the skills and employment advice and guidance that is on offer through the Skills Gateway for Business online portal.

A range of support is available such as assistance with developing the capabilities of staff to advice with recruitment and training programmes. This will help businesses move forward through the coronavirus pandemic and thrive in the future.

To find out more about the programmes on offer, call Skills Gateway for Business on 0300 060 3000 or visit the Business Wales Skills Gateway.

Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales.

COVID-19 UK Tourism Consumer Tracker Survey

The latest report on consumer sentiment and trip intentions from the UK market is available on the Welsh Government website.  This shows that 15% of UK adults anticipate an overnight trip in the UK this spring, rising to 27% this summer. 


For up-to-date information on skills, recruitment and training support for your business, as well as other support such as Wellbeing for employers and employees, visit our Skills pages.

Gŵyl 2021

Four of Wales’ best-loved festivals – Festival of Voice, FOCUS Wales, Other Voices Cardigan and Aberystwyth Comedy Festival – have joined forces in lockdown to create Gŵyl 2021; a free, online festival packed with unforgettable music and comedy, embracing diversity and dialogue. Filmed or recorded over recent months in Wales and internationally within Coronavirus guidelines, Gŵyl 2021 will be broadcast online on the BBC’s website at across the weekend of 6-7 March.

Your views and voices are needed on exciting plans for the National Forest for Wales!

The National Forest for Wales will run the length and breadth of the country, boosting our health, our economy and our country’s wildlife. It belongs to us all, which is why we want to know what it means to you and what it can do for the people of Wales.

The National Forest for Wales – Your Views and Voices events on the 10th, 11th or 12th March 2021 to plant your own ideas and book your place here.

Smoke-free laws – Changes from 1 March 2021

On 1 March 2021, the law around where people can smoke in Wales changed. It will be an offence to smoke in a smoke-free area and anyone caught breaking the law could face a £100 fine.

The legislation will also make changes in the tourism sector. There are currently exemptions that allow smoking in self-contained holiday and temporary accommodation (cottages, caravans, chalets and Airbnb etc.) and for hotels, guesthouses, inns, hostels and members’ clubs to have smoking bedrooms. The new legislation keeps these exemptions, but only for a limited time (until 1 March 2022). It also requires that designated smoking bedrooms in place in hotels etc. before 1 March 2022, meet certain conditions. 

Therefore, from 1 March 2022 all types of self-contained holiday and temporary accommodation and all hotels, guest houses and inns etc will be required to be smoke-free.  For further information please visit Gov.Wales website. 

£680m COVID cash boost for Wales

Wales’ public services will receive a cash boost of more than £682m to support their COVID efforts over the coming months, the First Minister has announced.

The package includes more than £635m for the NHS and local councils to help them support the people of Wales over the next six months.

In addition, we are strengthening support for apprenticeships, which are a crucial part of our economy with an extra £16.5m investment and providing a further £18.6m to maintain vital public transport provision.  Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales.

Town Centres in Wales to benefit from £15.2 million placemaking fund

Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn, has announced a £15.2 million ‘placemaking’ funding package to help Wales’s town centres build back better.

It’s all part of a wider £110 million investment through Transforming Towns, the Welsh Government’s town centre regeneration programme, which funds projects for the benefit of local communities in town and city centres in Wales.

The new funding package, available to all of Wales’s Local Authorities, is designed to be as flexible as possible and will offer support for a wide range of projects, from green infrastructure developments and the creation of active travel routes, to internal and external improvements for business owners.  Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales.

‘Society is the Disability’: What does this mean for your business?

Join Chwarae Teg for their upcoming Hive webinar where employers across Wales will discuss Chwarae Teg’s recent ‘Society is the Disability’ report, which looks at disabled women’s experiences in the Welsh economy. 

Find out the business benefits of employing a person with a learning disability and in addition, how the ‘Engage to Change’ model programme can support employers and workers with a learning disability.

The webinar takes place on Thursday 18 March 2021 from 10.30am to 12pm. Register for the webinar here

Cyber Security for Sole Traders and Microbusinesses

Whether you work for yourself or you run a small business with fewer than 10 employees, cyber security needn't be a daunting challenge for small business owners.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have produced actions you can take to protect yourself online, Cyber Aware promotes six practical steps to help protect you and your business.  For further information please visit the Business Wales website.      

The NCSC is also running a series of free cyber security webinars and talks aimed at UK businesses of all sizes, educational institutions and charities.  

If you engage or supply contractors, there are some important tax changes

Changes to the Off-payroll working rules (IR35) come into effect on 6 April 2021.

If you engage contractors who work through their own limited company or other intermediary, and you are a medium or large sized non-public sector organisation then you need to take action to prepare.

HMRC’s are running a series of webinars giving an overview of the rules, watch out for dates for topic based webinars.  Read more on the Business Wales website.

Useful COVID-19 information

As each premises is different, businesses should read all guidance. This continues to be updated so please check back regularly for the latest information.

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. 

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.