Liverpool joins call for winter tourism lifeline

With midsummer already the UK tourism sector is already having to write-off the 2020 season due to the coronavirus crisis – now it is calling for Government support. Tony McDonough reports

Pier Head, Liver Building, Three Graces, waterfront
Pier Head, Liver Building, Three Graces, waterfront

 

Liverpool’s head of tourism is joining with other tourism heads across the UK in calling Government lifeline to ensure the industry survives the winter.

With midsummer already past tourism business across the UK are already having to write-off the 2020 season due to the coronavirus crisis. Hospitality venues will be allowed to open from July 4 but the sector faces a bleak period.

Now destination management organisations (DMOs) across the country have joined together to back a campaign encouraging government to ensure the tourism sector is supported through winter 2020 and into 2021.

Last month a petition was launched by Tim Farron MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale alongside Cumbria Tourism, the county’s DMO, asking visitors, businesses and partners to show their backing for a government winter support package.

The petition has quickly gained momentum including support from cross party politicians as well as National Park leaders. Now, DMOs the length and breadth of the country are adding their weight.

Liverpool city region’s visitor economy has been a huge success story over the past decade. It now contributes more than £5bn to the economy every year and employs more than 50,000 people. However, the COVID-19 epidemic has thrown the sector into a period of turmoil with many businesses unlikely to survive.

Chris Brown, director of Marketing Liverpool, said: “As destination management organisations we have worked together to support businesses over the last four months.

“It is clear that what all of our businesses have in common is the urgent need for confirmation that existing government support will be extended into the winter. This will provide confidence to businesses who are struggling to make their businesses viable and give them a chance to be able to stand on their own two feet again next spring.”

Mr Farron added: “I’m massively grateful to tourism leaders from right across the country for adding their support to the campaign. This is very much a national issue with hospitality currently the UK’s 4th biggest employer.

“I am in regular conversation with MPs from across the House about gathering cross-party support so we can continue to push the Government to help this crucial industry through the winter.”

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