Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

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18 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 : Urgent - Request for Holiday Accommodation Businesses to provide accommodation for vulnerable groups; Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses; Have you updated your product listing recently?; Addo, a pledge to keep Wales safe while staying local; Skills & Training - Business Wales Skills Gateway / New dates for webinars to help tourism and hospitality business get digital; Extra £150 million to support businesses in Wales; Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Extended; National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates; Research - Wales Visitor Survey / Tourism Business Barometer; Welsh Government support provides green light for Newport Transporter Bridge works; Vital funding to boost coastal towns continued thanks to Welsh Government support; First Minister announces commemorative woodlands; Coronavirus (COVID-19) Bogus email not from HSE; Survey: Current and future health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on employers and their staff; Useful COVID-19 information.

Urgent - Request for Holiday Accommodation Businesses to provide accommodation for vulnerable groups

We are making an urgent appeal for holiday accommodation providers to help by making accommodation available for vulnerable people.

During the national lockdown, and since, we have seen some incredible work across Wales to ensure that no-one is without a safe place and support during these difficult times. Thank you very much to those of you who have and are supporting us in this work. As we move into a relaxing of the restrictions in terms of self-contained accommodation, we are hoping you will continue your support.

Welsh Government guidance remains unchanged; everyone should have accommodation which enables them to follow public health guidance on social distancing, hygiene and to self-isolate if necessary. However, we know that housing services are under severe pressure. In some areas, emergency accommodation is already at capacity and pressures are continuing.

We are therefore asking accommodation businesses across Wales whether they can assist Local Authorities in providing high quality emergency provision.  Some businesses are already providing accommodation for Key Workers and vulnerable groups, which is hugely appreciated. However, the current challenge is to secure sufficient accommodation for people, many of whom will have been displaced as a result of the pandemic – this includes those who are homeless and threatened with homelessness, such as people who are no longer able to stay with family or friends, or individuals whose relationships have broken down.

Further funding is available to support Local Authorities and Health Boards to secure this vital accommodation and to provide the requisite support staff to ensure these people receive the appropriate wrap around support to address their needs.  If supporting this work businesses will enter a contract with their Local Authority for the direct costs involved.

If you can help, please contact your Local Authority (LA) where we have provided a contact name and email address.  For those Local Authority areas without a nominated contact email address please contact Welsh Government and we will collate the information and provide it to your respective LA in order for contact to be made.

  1. Please provide details of the accommodation, which you could offer to house vulnerable people. We will require details of the number of rooms or units, type, location and how long you anticipate it will be available for.
  2. Please provide a named contact in your business and a contact address email and telephone number.

While there is a need across Wales, there is an especially urgent need for accommodation in the following areas and where available, have provided the LA contact email in these areas for you to contact them direct.                                                           

Thank you again to those businesses that provided us with support throughout the last year - we hope to secure the help of this industry once again for this important initiative.  

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

Have you updated your product listing recently?

If you haven’t checked your Visit Wales business listing for a while, it might be worth you taking a look to see if it still has the right information about your business. You can do this by logging into the product listing tool, you can also upload hero images, video content and have links to your social media and booking website. 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. Look out for our Product Listing Bulletin in the forthcoming weeks with more information and support for improving your entry.

Addo – a pledge to keep Wales safe while staying local

As the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions ask people in Wales to stay local, Visit Wales will be relaunching its Addo campaign, asking the people of Wales to make a promise as they start exploring their local communities once again to care for each other, for our land and for our communities.

Addo means to promise. And is about the people working together, making a collective promise to care for each other and our country. Asking people to make a promise is an engaging way for people to invest emotionally in Wales and to show that they care too. By joining with us, and making a promise, we’ll all be playing our part - in caring for ourselves and others. The pledge can be signed on Addo: make your promise.

You can read the full press release at Gov.Wales.

Assets are available on our asset library for you to download and use within your own social channels and marketing to support the Addo campaign. The campaign creatives will also be available to view shortly - providing a flavour of the style, tone and messaging. Please check back regularly as more assets will be added over the next few weeks.  


Business Wales Skills Gateway

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.

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

New dates for webinars to help tourism and hospitality business get digital

Superfast Business Wales have added new dates to their Tourism and Hospitality-tailored webinar series.  The free two-part webinars are designed to show you how to use social media and email marketing to stay in touch with your customers, as well as online tools such as booking systems to help you get your business prepared for when you can safely reopen.

Sign up for the webinars here and find out more about free one-to-one support.

Extra £150 million to support businesses in Wales

A further £150 million has been made available to support Welsh businesses in dealing with the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The additional support will help businesses in the hospitality, tourism, leisure and non-essential retail sectors that pay non-domestic rates and will operate as a top up to the Restrictions Business Fund.  Read more on the Business Wales website.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Extended

The UK Government announced in November 2020 that there would be a fourth grant for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and the grant will cover the period February 2021 to April 2021. 

The UK Government has also announced that there will be a fifth and final grant covering May 2021 to September 2021; you will be able to claim from late July 2021 if you are eligible for the fifth grant and further details will be provided in due course.  Find out more on the Business Wales website

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates

The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates will increase on 1 April. In addition to the new rates, the age from which workers become eligible for the National Living Wage will be lowered. From 1 April all workers aged 23 and over must be paid the National Living Wage or above.  Read more on the Business Wales website.


Wales Visitor Survey

We have published the latest set of reports based on the Wales Visitor Survey 2019, with UK day and overnight visitors, and overseas visitors to Wales.  The reports track the profile of visitors, motivations for visiting, activities undertaken, perceptions of attractions visited, eating out, accommodation, sustainability and sense of place, marketing recall and holiday planning, satisfaction with overall visit experience, and likelihood of revisiting and recommending Wales.  The main reason for visiting Wales among all audiences was to enjoy the country’s landscape/countryside/beaches.

Tourism Business Barometer

The latest Tourism Business Barometer report is now available.  Findings, from the survey conducted in late February with 800 tourism businesses, indicate that around two thirds of businesses are taking advance bookings.  Two thirds of these businesses report fewer bookings than usual, and only 1 in 10 have more than they would normally expect at this time of year.  

Welsh Government support provides green light for Newport Transporter Bridge works

Major restoration work on the Newport Transporter Bridge has been given the green light thanks to Welsh Government funding.  Finance Minister Rebecca Evans has confirmed that the Welsh Government will provide a £1.5 million shortfall in capital funding, as part of the 2021 to 2022 Budget, to help the planned work to get underway.

The £11.9 million project is being delivered in conjunction with Newport City Council and the National Heritage Lottery Fund. It will fund the major renovation work of the bridge and the development of a new visitor centre in south east Wales.

The multi-million pound makeover is forecast to attract more than 46,000 visitors each year and will help reconnect the local community with its heritage and culture. There will be opportunities for educational visits, guided walks and climbing challenges, as well as plans to use the bridge café and facilities to host small scale meetings, weddings and community events to help generate growth in the local economy.  Read the announcement in full on the Welsh Government website.

Vital funding to boost coastal towns continued thanks to Welsh Government support

Coastal communities and town centres will receive a £6 million boost thanks to the Welsh Government’s £110 million Transforming Towns Programme. Delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund, Welsh Government has stepped in to provide this vital support after the UK Government decided not to continue with the Coastal Communities Fund in England.

The £6 million fund is the sixth round of the Transforming Towns Coastal Communities Fund, designed to support the economic development of coastal areas, promote sustainable jobs and bring regeneration to coastal town centres and high streets. This investment will enable the delivery of projects worth £17 million in total.  You can read the full press release at Gov.Wales.

First Minister announces commemorative woodlands

First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced the creation of commemorative woodlands in memory of those who have died from coronavirus. 

Two new woodlands will be planted – one in north Wales and one in south Wales – as a symbol of Wales’ resilience during the pandemic and one of regeneration and renewal as the new woodlands grow. It is hoped they will be places of commemoration where families and friends can remember lost loved ones. The woodlands will also be locations where the public will be able to reflect on the pandemic and the huge impact it has had on all our lives.  The locations of the two sites will be announced shortly and Natural Resources Wales will engage with local communities to plan and design the woodlands.

The First Minister also announced there will be a National Coronavirus Commemorative Event broadcast on BBC One Wales and S4C at 5pm on 23 March.

Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Bogus email not from HSE

You may have received an email falsely claiming to be from HSE, informing you of 'health and safety violations', 'escalations of complaints' or something similar. HSE is investigating these emails and advises you to delete them. Do not click any links and do not open any attached files. For more details visit the HSE website

Survey: Current and future health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on employers and their staff

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on workplaces and the workforce in Wales and the rest of the UK.

Healthy Working Wales is keen to hear from a wide range of employers to better understand the current and future health impacts on employers and their staff of the COVID-19 pandemic and have developed an online questionnaire for employers. The survey will be live until 31 March 2021. Healthy Working Wales will use these insights to work with policy makers and other partners to address the needs identified.  For further information please visit 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.