Insights and Lobbying
Visit Kent continues to measure and monitor the impact that Covid-19 is having on the sector and along with colleagues from across the tourism and hospitality sector, have been actively voicing concerns and feedback from businesses directly to Government. We welcome the support and measures that The Chancellor has announced so far but understand that there is so much more support still required for our vital sector, to preserve jobs, the economy and future growth.
In this section, you'll find more details about our campaigning as well as links to all the latest research available across the tourism and hospitality industry.
Visit Kent Covid-19 Business Impact Survey
With many businesses being closed during March, instead of collecting visitor footfall as part of our monthly Business Barometer, Visit Kent invited businesses from across Hertfordshire to complete a short survey, to gain an insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting businesses.
This report aims to summarise the challenges that are currently faced by businesses in the county and identify what support and guidance businesses need. The report also looks to identify which financial schemes businesses are accessing, alongside highlighting any operational difficulties businesses felt they may have with a staggered reopening and with social distancing measures in place.
In addition, the report will also highlight ways in which businesses felt the tourism and hospitality sector could be boosted in the immediate aftermath of COVID-19 and what steps the Government should take to boost UK inbound tourism when social distancing measures are lifted.
For serviced accommodation performance, this report presents data provided by hotel benchmarking company STR Global, who were also awarded the contract to provide serviced accommodation data by VisitEngland.
We would also like to thank all the businesses who took the time to complete the survey during this difficult time. The findings from this survey are valuable not only to help ensure businesses are getting the support they need but also to help build a strategy for recovery.
Findings from the Visit Kent Covid-19 Impact Study were submitted to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tourism & Hospitality as part of their Pathway to Recovery Consultation.
Some of the key findings reported include:
- Tourism and hospitality businesses need more flexibility from the furlough scheme, including an extension that will support businesses beyond the summer season.
- The ability to operate with a staggered reopening structure varied depending on the size of business. Many businesses reported that operating in historical properties make it difficult to operate with social distancing while making a profit.
- Clear guidance is needed from the government on health & safety requirements to allow consumers to feel confident in our hospitality businesses.
- ALVA Attractions Recovery Tracker - The Association for Leading Visitor Attractions have published their findings from research that explores what the road to recovery may look like for attractions. This report includes an interesting analysis of consumer sentiment. Download the report here.
- mia Social Distancing Survey - mia, the meetings industry association conducted a survey across their members, including conference and events venues, organisers and suppliers on how they could operate with social distancing measures in place. While 82% of respondents thought that it was possible to apply social distancing measures, over 80% also expect to lose more than half of their turnover per month. Download the report here.
- Events Industry Prospects Report - The Events Industry Forum (EIF), Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) and the Production Services Association (PSA) ran a survey between 3-7 April 2020. The survey showed that “60% of the UK’s event industry’s supplier base is facing collapse within three months, unless event businesses receive further support from the Government”. Download the report here.
- World Tourism Organisation Travel Restrictions Review - The scale of disruption caused by COVID-19 to global tourism is shown in a comprehensive new report on travel restrictions from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The landmark report, published at a time of unprecedented disruption for the sector, shows that almost 96% of global destinations have imposed travel restrictions. Download the report here.
- BVA - BDRC Tracking Consumer Sentiment on the Impact of COVID-19 - download the report here.
- VisitBritain COVID-19 Consumer Weekly Tracker - VisitBritain has commissioned a weekly tracking survey to understand domestic intent to take short
breaks and holidays both within the U.K. and abroad, with a particular focus around the current barriers
and concerns around travel and how these will evolve over time. Download the report here
- Association of British Wedding Businesses - The ABWB has published a hub of resources to support wedding businesses. Read more here.
- Professional Association of Self-Catering UK - The PASC UK have published a Self-Catering COVID cleaning protocol. Download the document here.
- Safer Public Places - Urban Centres and Green Spaces
- New ONS on the Economy - ONS have published two new reports which highlight the fact that tourism and hospitality businesses continue to be the most impacted parts of the economy by some considerable margin. Please see the below links to the reports.