The UK Government has launched it’s Net Zero Strategy.
Two funding announcements that are of particular relevance to the UK domestic and international tourism sectors are:
DCMS released statistic on businesses in the sectors under its responsibility. The data is from 2019, historical, but they do provide a base level by which to measure the impact of Covid.
Some of the main findings are:
The WTA made contribution to the recent BEIS Binding Arbitration and Code of Practice for Commercial Rents Roundtable discussion. The resolution of rent arrears and the need to reach fair negotiated agreements remains a critical issue for both tourism businesses and landlords. With many businesses still requiring protection from the threat of eviction due to uncertain trading conditions, it is important that an ability to pay is based upon viability, which at the current time must embrace uncertainty in supply chains, staff shortages and Brexit impacts. Clarity within the proposed arbitration over the term “those that can pay rent should do so” was sought together with detail relating to process and cost of entering into the process.
The Commercial Rents Bill is due to receive Royal Assent in March 2022.
The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) has launched a consultation on whether councils should have a statutory obligation to plan for and provide charging infrastructure. The government has committed to phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. All new cars and vans will be fully zero emissions at the tailpipe from 2035. OZEV is asking for views on whether to introduce:
The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 22 November.
From today, you must show a COVID Pass or demonstrate their COVID-19 status to enter nightclubs and attend large events.
All adults over-18 will need to show an NHS COVID Pass or a negative COVID-19 test to enter:
• nightclubs and similar venues
• indoor, non-seated events for more than 500 people
• outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people
• any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance
After a suspension in grading visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Quality Assurance team will be resuming their duties over the coming weeks.
The Quality Advisors will have a considerable backlog of telephone calls to make, and because of this, it is felt that the best way to move forward and re start the grading process is, on an initial ‘trial basis’, to contact those businesses who have applied for quality grading for the very first time. However, please be reassured, that we will be coming out to visit all properties in due course.
In order to support businesses there will be no charge for participation in our quality schemes for the foreseeable future (apart from where the costs for overnight grading visits and entry fees, use of food and drink outlets, etc. for tourist attraction assessments will need to be covered by the business). If you are a new business or if you were previously graded and would like to participate in quality grading once more, please email email@example.com.
The Wales Tourism Business Barometer provides a ‘snapshot’ of industry performance after important points in the tourism calendar.
Findings for the summer period 2021 are now available which show:
Hospitality and tourism sector bodies unite to call for a permanent lower rate of VAT to help boost recovery
Trade bodies call on Chancellor to keep VAT at 12.5% to help businesses rebuild post-pandemic
Leading trade associations representing the UK’s hospitality and tourism sectors have joined forces to call on the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to introduce a permanent lower rate of VAT for these fragile sectors, helping to safeguard their future, protect jobs and to accelerate the UK’s economic recovery.
Under Treasury plans, hospitality and tourism VAT rises to 12.5% from today (1st October) and will return to its pre-pandemic level of 20% come April 2022, just as next year’s peak season begins for much of the sector. Now the trade bodies - UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association, the British Institute of Innkeeping, Tourism Alliance and the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions - are warning that unless VAT remains permanently low at 12.5%, the Government risks derailing the recovery at a time when businesses are still in survival mode.
Across the course of the pandemic, hospitality and tourism were the hardest hit sectors, with spend down £100bn, 12,000 businesses permanently closed and 660,000 jobs lost. However, the reduction in VAT helped protect hundreds of thousands of jobs and allowed many businesses to stay open and serving customers when permitted to trade. A survey of the trade associations’ members covering 815 businesses operating tens of thousands of venues found that:
“We’re now calling on the Chancellor to commit to introducing a permanent 12.5% rate of VAT in his upcoming Budget, later this month. This will help protect jobs and continue the support for our hospitality and tourism businesses which contribute hugely to the nation’s economic and social wellbeing.”
With the end of furlough and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, all the guidance on the CJRS and SEISS has been updated here:
There is also updated guidance for employees whose employer now has less or no work for them because of coronavirus. This signposts to:
The first major tourism and hospitality conference held in Wales since the Covid-19 pandemic began in the UK last year is to go ahead in Llandrindod Wells in November.
MWT Cymru has announced that the 2021 Mid Wales Tourism and Hospitality Conference will be held at The Metropole Hotel on November 9 from 9.45am to 3.30pm
To help ensure a safe conference, everyone attending must have an up to date NHS Covid pass, details of which are available at https://covid-status.service.nhsx.nhs.uk/
“We all have a responsibility to keep each other safe at this year’s conference,” said Val Hawkins, MWT Cymru’s chief executive. “Whilst the success of the vaccine programme in Wales has provided us with the opportunity to meet in-person this year, we all must take steps to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
MWT Cymru is an independent organisation that represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and the Meirionnydd region of Gwynedd.
“The tourism and hospitality sector has been one of the economic sectors hardest hit by the pandemic,” said Mrs Hawkins. “The focus of this year’s conference is to explore how individual businesses, communities and organisations can pull together and rebuild as we move forward to 2022 and beyond.
“With the unlikely return of the international market to the levels seen pre-pandemic for another few years, destinations across the UK will be focusing their attention on the domestic and staycation trend. With increased destination competition, how will Mid Wales compete?
“Our conference provides an opportunity to cover topics that matter most to tourism and hospitality businesses. It is an event not to be missed, no matter how big or small your business is.
“The conference is designed to give businesses a clearer idea of what's going on, what's changing and what we can all do to better work together to keep Mid Wales at the forefront of people's minds.”
Delegates will hear from experts in their fields and have an opportunity to network with other tourism and hospitality professionals, industry leaders, suppliers and business support organisations.
The line-up of speakers for the conference, which is being sponsored by pan-Wales apprenticeship provider Cambrian Training Company and supported by Visit Wales, will be announced in the next two weeks. For more information and to book tickets visit www.midwalestourismconference.co.uk
MWT Cymru’s membership and marketing manager Claire Owen chats with Populate Social founder Dan Simmons at the Mid Wales Tourism Conference in 2019.