Hope For Tourism In Wales After Devastating Pandemic

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Hope For Tourism In Wales After Devastating Pandemic

There is hope for the tourism industry in Wales for the coming year, despite the “devastating” impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, business owners have said.

Welsh Government data showed occupancy levels in all sectors of the tourism industry fell dramatically in 2020.

However, in August and September, when restrictions were loosest, occupancy rates in most sectors were similar or better than in the previous two years.

The Welsh Government said it had set aside £180m to support tourism.

According to the data, about 66% of hotel rooms were occupied in 2018 and 2019, but this number fell to an average of 39% between March and September of 2020 as a result of lockdown restrictions.

Businesses without shared facilities were allowed to reopen again on 11 July, leading to a resurgence in figures over the summer months.

In August and September, the occupancy rates in hotels were 71% and 67% respectively, short of the previous two years’ averages of 78% and 75%, but much closer to a typical season.

And self-catered accommodation and bed and breakfasts recorded higher occupancy rates over those two months in 2020 than in the previous two years.

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Lynette Esposito, who owns the Elm Tree Hotel in Llandudno, Conwy, said 2020 had been “absolutely awful” and the impact of the pandemic had been “shocking” and “devastating” for her business.

She added that, not only did the hotel miss out on business due to closures, but it also incurred extra running costs in order to abide by the regulations.

She said: “I think that with the restrictions and guidelines that we need to follow, it definitely did have an impact on establishments where your service would automatically bring people together in one room. It did increase costs.

“We couldn’t do our usual open buffet. Being a hotel you definitely had to take more precautions in making sure everyone was safe, bearing in mind there are a lot more common areas – we have a lift, a bar area and a lounge.”

Hope For Tourism In Wales After Devastating Pandemic

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