'You can go and be safe' - Hospitality boss on festive period fun

Stoke By Nayland Winter Wonderland exterior

Stoke-by-Nayland Resort are looking forward to a busy festive period, despite ongoing concerns around the emergence of the Omicron Covid variant. - Credit: SbN Resort

A leading businessman from Suffolk's hospitality sector says he is confident of a fruitful festive period - and reassured customers they will be safe to enjoy the fun.

Peter Osborne, group commercial director of the Boxford group, which runs a group of companies, including the Stoke-by-Nayland Resort, said the new Covid restrictions in the wake of the uncertainty of the Omicron variant will see hospitality adapt.

He said: "The situation is normal, 80% of people were wearing masks anyway on arrival and before they sat down, once they sat down, they relaxed.

"It’s positive for hospitality at the moment, we’ve seen a handful of cancellations in the last week or so for various reasons like worrying about Covid or company policy to not get everyone together.

"In the main enquiries are strong even today."

Peter Osborne, Group Commercial Director of the Boxford group

Group Commercial Director of the Boxford group, Peter Osborne, has said "Hospitality is one of the safest places to be.” - Credit: SbN Resort

Mr Osborne also revealed Stoke-by-Nayland Resort has sold "fantastic numbers" on key dates over this festive period, including New Year's Eve, Boxing Day and Christmas Day.

He added: "Hospitality for me has always been the safest place to be because there’s some really strict protocols put on hospitality, from the Government and from our governing body.

"We’ve got sanitising stations all around the hotel, we have regular cleaning protocols still in place that we had when we first opened back up last year after the first lockdown.”

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He also explained how the hard-working staff are also looking forward to welcoming guests.

He said: "The team love working it, entertaining and seeing other families enjoying themselves, there's a lot of joy from both sides of the bar.”

Stoke-by-Nayland Resort light tunnel

Mr Osborne revealed that Stoke-by-Nayland Resort have only seen "a handful of cancellations" and staff are looking forward to welcoming people during the festive period. - Credit: SbN Resort

The commercial director also believes that despite the current uncertainty around Covid, the region's hospitality sector is in a good place.

Mr Osborne said: "I’m very confident it’ll be a good Christmas.

"We’re very lucky we’ve got some amazing places to party.

“It knocks onto the supply chain, whether it’s local turkeys, local meat, local brussels sprouts, local potatoes, whatever it may be, there’s a lot of local produce being served around the county - we’re very lucky to have a lot of that in Suffolk.”