Home truths and easing lockdown
It looks like the “tail” of the pandemic plan and easing lockdown is going to be a long. drawn-out affair. We have switched to less frequent blog updates. This update covers a fortnight. The next will cover a month. Meanwhile, we are all hoping for a return to summery scenes before too long.
Self isolating and staying at home
At home, we are still self-isolating as much as possible, collective shopping and waving to neighbours from a safe distance. About once a fortnight, we take waste plastic bottles and cans to the recycling bins about 300 yards away. This is simply to prevent blocking of our fire exit. The neighbourhood online quizzes have stopped briefly, while we pause to think of new tricky questions.
Recovery – easing lockdown
We are also pondering the weekend (week 7) announcements about slight easing of lockdown, with a degree of trepidation. Uncertainty remains about exactly how our business would cope with working under the present pandemic plan. We have re-opened bookings for January 2021 but will probably not serve breakfasts. This would be to protect guests via maintained social distancing.
Problems facing the Tourism Industry
There is an excellent and rather comprehensive article online in “The House”, which outlines current problems facing the hospitality industry. At risk is the £127 Billion-a-year UK Tourism industry and the livelihoods of 3,1 million workers in 300,000 businesses. These figures include 8% of the Nation’s workforce and the third largest industry sector in Britain.
The article suggests the impact of the Covid-19 emergency and lockdown is equivalent to three consecutive winter seasons. Certainly, in our case, we lose an average of £3,000 – £4000 per month in winter because of fixed costs. It takes us till mid-July to start to break even – and that is not going to be possible this year. Many colleague businesses are in far worse shape than us.
Gaps in Government help for Tourism businesses
The report goes on to highlight dependent businesses, such as Tourism Travel companies and booking agents. Such groups do not receive any Government support presently. Further, the many suppliers, delivery drivers, repair firms and specialist infrastructure firms are also at financial risk and facing very uncertain futures. The Tourism landscape is going to be pretty bleak for a long time after Covid-19 has been and gone.