Coronavirus: Tourism Industry Update

Visit Wales
Industry News

Wales Logo

News for the Tourism Industry in Wales

To subscribe to our newsletter, click here.

Having trouble viewing this email or to share, view online.

21 May 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 - New international travel rules for Wales confirmed by First Minister; Alert Level 2 Frequently Asked Questions; Welsh Government Funding; Pub is the Hub – community grants; Reminder for businesses: Clarification on who can stay in holiday accommodation / Updated Hostels Guidance / Guidance and live performances in hospitality settings / Events and organised activity / What is meant by an organised activity?; Welsh Fire Services are calling for holiday home owners to take action; Skills and Training; “Addo – My promise to Wales”; Have you updated your product listing re-cently?; COVID-19 International Tourism Consumer Tracker Survey; Making COVID-19 measures accessible for your blind and partially sighted customers; Returning to work during the pandemic; Free data check-ups for small businesses; Useful COVID-19 information.

New international travel rules for Wales confirmed by First Minister

International travel restarted for people in Wales from Monday 17 May, the Welsh Government has confirmed.  As part of changes to Wales’ coronavirus regulations, people living in Wales will be able to travel to some overseas destinations without the need to quarantine on their return. But additional safeguards will be put in place to help prevent new cases of coronavirus being imported into Wales.  Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales.

Alert Level 2 - Frequently Asked Questions

A list of Frequently Asked Questions in relation to Coronavirus can be found on Gov.Wales. These continue to be updated so please check back regularly for the latest information.

Welsh Government Funding:

Please note we currently have 3 Eligibility checkers available on the Business Wales website:

  • COVID-19 Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) Business Support – May and June 2021 Eligibility Checker

Applications for the ERF will open on the 24 May 2021 and close at 5pm 7 June 2021.  Application Guidance Notes and Frequently Asked Questions are available on the Business Wales website.

The ERF will provide support in the form of cash grants for businesses, social enterprises and charities and associated supply chain businesses that have experienced a material negative impact as a result of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. The grants will help meet operating costs (excluding staff wages) for the period 1 May 2021 to 30 June 2021. 

Please review the criteria to check your eligibility via the Business Wales website

  •  Freelancer Fund - open

The Cultural Recovery Fund Freelancer Fund opened for applications at midday on Monday 17 May 2021. Applications close at 5pm on Tuesday 1 June (delivered by the local authorities in Wales).  The fund supports freelancers who work in the following sectors:

  • The Arts
  • Creative Industries
  • Arts and Heritage
  • Events
  • Culture and Heritage

The fund will also support freelancers who work in events that have been significantly impacted by the pandemic, including those working in weddings and corporate events, but not sport events.  

Please review the criteria to check your eligibility via the Business Wales website.

  • Residential Outdoor Education (ROE) Fund Expression of Interest Eligibility Checker

The Welsh Government has established a fund to support the residential outdoor education sector in Wales with an initial allocation of £2m. This fund will provide eligible centres across Wales with support to cover essential operating costs during the period June to September 2021. The fund will have a capped maximum grant of £45k per successful applicant.

Check eligibility for ROE. Closes on 4 June 2021 at 5pm.

Pub is the Hub – community grants

Grants of up to £3,000 are available to enable rural pub owners, licensees, and local communities to work together to help support and sustain local services in England, Scotland and Wales.

Pub is the Hub’s Community Services Fund will assist projects which support the needs of local communities by using pubs to offer a new service or replace a service that has already been lost, such as a local shop, library, post office or community centre, or encouraging the local sourcing of products, providing school meals, IT training and church services.  Visit the Business Wales website for more details.

Reminder for businesses:

  • Clarification on who can stay in holiday accommodation

From 17 May, Wales moved into Alert Level 2 which means that all holiday accommodation can re-open fully.  However, businesses still need to ensure that their holiday accommodation (which includes hotel rooms, bed and breakfast accommodation, hostel or bunk house dormitory, holiday home, caravans and tents) is only occupied by people in the same household and people in their extended household (or anyone who is a carer of a member of the household). 

  • Updated Hostels Guidance

As we look at a phased re-opening, Hostel owners and managers need to be aware of and following the updated guidance for Hostels which can be found in the UKHospitality Wales Guidance. This should be read in addition to the Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality businesses.  As each hostel is different, owners and managers should read all guidance to understand the measures to be considered to re-open the business safely.

  • Guidance and live performances in hospitality settings

Loud noises, which will require people to raise their voices or shout and therefore increase aerosol spread, must be avoided. To that end businesses should ensure that TV broadcasts and recorded music should be kept at background level. Dancing, singing and live performances are not permitted at this time. Businesses need to be mindful of any noise nuisance from the premises at all times. This is outlined in the UKHospitality Wales Guidance

  • Events 

Events (other than Life Events) are still prohibited. The Welsh Government is running a second phase of pilot events in Wales (May and early June). The lessons learned from these pilots will help to inform Welsh Government’s review process on when events can recommence and at what scale, when the public health position allows. 

  • What is meant by an organised activity?  

Organised activities encompass a broad range of activities that can be attended by people of any age. This includes activities such as team sports, exercise classes, meetings of religious groups and support groups. During these activities, up to 50 people of any age will be able to gather from a mix of households as long as they remain outdoors. If the organised activity is taking place indoors, the maximum number of people aged 11 and over that can take part is 30.

Organised activities do not include activities such as parties or wider social gatherings of families and friends beyond the arrangements for meeting other people. Organised activities must not take place in private homes, including in the gardens or grounds. Organised activities must not involve the consumption of alcohol.

An organised activity must be organised by a business, public body or a charitable, benevolent, educational or philanthropic institution, a club or political organisation, or the national governing body of a sport or other activity. The organiser of the activity must meet requirements in the regulations to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus and must carry out a risk assessment.

Organised activity includes business meetings and is permitted in Alert Level 2 as 30 indoors/50 outdoors with social distancing in place.

Welsh Fire Services are calling for holiday home owners to take action

As the weather improves and the COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, an increase in staycations is predicted with many choosing to holiday in Wales’ beauty hotspots. Fire Service’s across Wales are working in partnership with Visit Wales and holiday home owners to ensure they are familiar with new and updated guidance to continue keeping themselves and their customers safe this summer.

This toolkit offers unique tailored advice and support on taking the necessary steps required to ensure their property is fire compliant. The guidance includes handy checklists, simplified fire risk assessment advice and tips on how to reduce the risk of fire.

Read the Welsh Fire Service Self-catering Holiday Accommodation Guidance.

Skills and Training

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.

“Addo – My promise to Wales”

Our Addo: make your promise campaign promoting responsible tourism behaviour in Wales is continuing and as we look forward to further easing of the restrictions within the tourism sector next week, we will be communicating messages around hospitality and reinforcing positive behaviour. 

The campaign encourages everyone to follow the rules, be kind and courteous to staff and to support local businesses within our communities. The campaign is live across all of our digital channels and will be amplified further with a new version of our Addo film running on S4C, ITV and Sky from 17 May onwards as well as on Video on Demand, Spotify and digital radio. 

Please support the Addo campaign: Download the Addo assets from our handy industry toolkit and use them in communications with your own customers. 

Have you updated your product listing recently?

If you haven’t checked your Visit Wales business listing for a while, or work with a range of markets, 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.  As well as the consumer-facing your business can also be listed on our Travel Trade and Business Events websites.  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 guides for the respective listings.

COVID-19 International Tourism Consumer Tracker Survey

The latest report on inbound consumer sentiment and trip intentions from international markets will be available on the VisitBritain website this week. 

Making COVID-19 measures accessible for your blind and partially sighted customers

Social distancing relies on being able to see where others are, something that’s impossible for many people with sight loss, and this has impacted on people’s independence and confidence.  The RNIB have created some best practice guidelines to help businesses understand how they can help their blind and partially sighted customers with these changes.  Visit the Business Wales website for more details.

Returning to work during the pandemic

Coming back to work after time away during the pandemic may be difficult for some people.  If workers have been away from the business for prolonged periods they may have experienced a decline in ability or proficiency.  They may need additional time and support to get back to pre-pandemic performance.

The Health and Safety Executive have published guidance on returning to work which can help you talk to your workers and provide the right support. You can find more details on the Business Wales website.

Free data check-ups for small businesses

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is providing free advisory data check-ups for owners of small organisations, such as small businesses, small charities, groups or clubs and sole traders.  The check-ups are tailored to an organisation's size and the type of work they do, with a particular focus on areas that are important to customers, volunteers and members.  You can find more details 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.