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‘Huge relief’ over reopening of hotels

People will be able to stay overnight in hotels, bed and breakfasts and campsites in England from July 4.

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Allowing hotels in England to reopen from July 4 is a ‘huge relief’, according to a leading tourism body (Ian West/PA)

Allowing hotels in England to reopen from July 4 is a ‘huge relief’, according to a leading tourism body (Ian West/PA)

Allowing hotels in England to reopen from July 4 is a ‘huge relief’, according to a leading tourism body (Ian West/PA)

Allowing hotels in England to reopen from July 4 is a “huge relief”, according to a leading tourism body.

Joss Croft, chief executive of UKinbound, a trade association representing the inbound tourism industry, also welcomed the decision to relax the two-metre social distancing rule.

She said: “Today’s announcement that pubs, restaurants, hotels and attractions can officially open on July 4 will come as a huge relief to businesses across the tourism and hospitality industry, who have earned very little revenue since the beginning of March.

“Reducing social distancing from two metres to one will also ensure that many more businesses will be able to viably reopen at the start of next month.

“We’re pleased that the Government has also listened to industry and is on the verge of agreeing air corridors with a number of countries – a step that signals that the UK’s tourism inbound industry is keen to welcome international tourists again.”

Ms Croft went on to urge the Government to recognise that many businesses have “gone through the equivalent of three winters” in terms of financial losses during the pandemic, and will need further financial support to survive.

VisitEngland director Patricia Yates said the announcement was “great news for England’s tourism industry and the millions of jobs and local economies that depend on it”.

She added: “Giving certainty to businesses means they can work with confidence on their plans to welcome visitors back safely and in time to save as much of the peak summer season as possible.”

A spokeswoman for travel trade organisation Abta said the lockdown has resulted in “latent demand” for travel, with people wanting “something to look forward to”.

But she warned that the travel industry “remains in a perilous state” with more redundancies confirmed every week.

“More needs to be done to help the whole sector recover,” she said.

“We need a more comprehensive road map as soon as possible that includes time frames for relaxing international travel restrictions too so businesses and customers can plan ahead.

“The process of sending people on holiday is not like turning on a tap. As much advance notice as possible from the Government is required for travel companies to restart operations.”

The director generals of the British Holiday and Home Parks Association, the Camping and Caravanning Club, and the Caravan and Motorhome Club said in a joint statement: “Our three organisations were delighted to hear today’s announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson regarding the reopening of England’s hospitality sector on July 4 and his specific mention of campsites to cheers from the backbenches.

“The three organisations have been busy building plans for the reopening of our campsites and holiday parks, and we are all looking forward to welcoming holidaymakers back.

“We hope it will be a bumper summer for UK holidays, which will be a key contributor to the nation’s economic recovery while also being essential for the health and wellbeing of individuals.”

PA