Covid-19 Comment: Tourism

Industry stalwarts on the state of the tourism sector in light of Covid-19.

The Old Oaks in SomersetPatricia Yates

Director, VisitBritain/VisitEngland

It is great to see tourism opening back up in the UK as restrictions are lifted.

Tourism was one of the first and hardest hit industries, with millions of jobs and local economies impacted right across the country. Businesses have been working extremely hard preparing to welcome visitors back safely, to save as much of the summer as possible and to extend the season into autumn and beyond.

VisitEngland’s We’re Good to Go industry standard and consumer mark is supporting people to book a break with confidence. We want visitors to be able to enjoy their holidays and to support businesses to be confident they have the correct procedures in place. Almost 30,000 tourism businesses have registered for the scheme since its launch, providing a ‘ring of confidence’ as the sector gets back on its feet.

Brits spent £2.4 billion taking more than 14 million caravanning and camping trips in Great Britain in 2019 and the We’re Good to Go mark is supporting the sector as the summer season gets underway, giving reassurance to visitors as well as staff and local residents that now is the time to take a domestic holiday in our great outdoors.

Our research is showing that confidence in taking domestic breaks has slowly been climbing in recent weeks with caravanning and camping proving to be popular accommodation choices.

The latest weekly sentiment results show that 24 per cent of people surveyed feel confident about taking a domestic holiday in July, increasing to 34 per cent in August and 44 per cent in September. Our public information campaign ‘Know Before You Go’ in England is also supporting tourism businesses as they re-open and reassuring visitors, as restrictions are lifted, by checking what it is safe to do and when, and sign-posting to information about destinations and available services before travelling.

We have an incredible tourism offer on our doorstep. Our coastline and seaside destinations, our B&Bs and self-catering accommodation are consistently rated as some of the best in the world and we have culture, heritage and adventure in spades.

Our priority is to continue to work together with the industry and the government to ensure that tourism rebounds to once again become one of the most successful sectors of the UK economy.


About VisitBritian

Visit Britain logoVisitBritain is the national tourism agency responsible for marketing Britain worldwide and developing Britain’s visitor economy. It works with UK Trade & Investment as well as airlines, travel operators, global brands and the official tourism bodies for London, England, Scotland and Wales.


The Old Oaks in SomersetSimon Numphud

Managing director, AA Media

With the hospitality sector working hard to rebuild customer confidence following the unprecedented impact of Covid-19, the AA has launched a Covid Confident scheme to support the industry at this critical time, with the backing of over 20 industry trade bodies.

Open to applications from all hospitality establishments, the accreditation indicates to customers that an establishment has in place the necessary risk assessments, safety measures and staff training, in line with the government and UKHospitality’s published guidelines, to reopen safely. The scheme is free to enter, although in these immensely challenging times we are encouraging applicants to make a donation to Hospitality Action under the option “AA Covid-19 Accreditation”.

To be eligible, establishments can apply via and must meet the AA’s stringent criteria, including: submitting a Covid-19 risk assessment, providing clear evidence that relevant procedures and measures are in place and that staff training has taken place, completing an online self-assessment, and committing to the Covid Confident charter – a code of conduct that includes a commitment to continuing to update procedures and measures as guidelines change. Each entrant will be carefully assessed and spot checks will be carried out to ensure that guidelines are being met.

Those establishments that are successful in being awarded an AA Covid Confident mark will be able to display this proudly across their marketing materials and will be listed on the AA’s consumer facing website, making accredited businesses easy for customers to find.

To date the AA has had over 4,171 establishments register for the scheme and has so far accredited 876 businesses.


About the AA

AA logoThe AA has been trusted by the public as a source of hospitality recommendations, and by the industry as a benchmark of quality, for over 110 years. Its Rosette and Star ratings, as well as its guides and annual national awards, recognise and celebrate excellence in the hospitality sector, spanning hotels, restaurants, pubs, glampsites, B&Bs and more.


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