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Tourist industry in Suffolk hopes to save some of 2020 season, if it is safe

PUBLISHED: 07:30 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 09:30 03 June 2020

Places like Southwold are key for tourism in Suffolk Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Places like Southwold are key for tourism in Suffolk Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Suffolk tourism chiefs and business owners say the industry is desperate to get going and is optimistic that it can make something of the remainder of 2020.

Pete Waters of Visit East Anglia. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPete Waters of Visit East Anglia. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Despite concerns a few months ago that businesses might not be able to trade until 2021, there are hopes that the easing of lockdown could help save the year for some.

Pete Waters, from Visit East Anglia, said: “The devolved Northern Ireland government has announced that self-catering accommodation can re-open from July 20, maybe hotels too, with the appropriate safety measures in place, and it would be good to get a date for England,” said Mr Waters.

“But we cannot risk a second spike. If that happens, and we go back into lockdown, it will be devastating.”

Alex Tarry, from holiday lettings company Best of Suffolk, said: “Whilst it’s impossible to say, I am sure the entire tourism industry in the region hopes we’ll be able to save at least part of the summer, not least as a lot of people will be in need of a break after this crisis.

Alex Tarry, Director of Best of Suffolk Picture: RUTH LEACHAlex Tarry, Director of Best of Suffolk Picture: RUTH LEACH

“For our part, once the Government guidance says it is safe, right and proper for us to do so, we will re-open our properties and welcome guests back to Suffolk to spend their money in our communities.

“However, we predict there will be a staged opening, probably with restrictions, such as ‘fallow’ periods between bookings, maybe restricted group sizes, we’ll have to wait and see.”

Harry Embleton, managing director at Air Manage Suffolk said the UK tourism industry could benefit from holidaymakers’ reluctance to go overseas.

“In my opinion international travel is not going to be in a reasonable state for at least a year,” said Mr Embleton.

“The domestic travel market will see quite an increase in demand perhaps even in the seasons when we usually lose it.”

In the meantime Mr Embleton said the company would be working with local people ensure all were happy with tourists returning.

“Guests need to know that houses are safe and the community needs to know that guests are well informed about what people are concerned about,” said Mr Embleton.


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