Bristol news Seaside resort hit by loss of Easter tourists for second year MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Much of the hospitality and tourism industry in the seaside resort will have to wait until mid May to open
Breaking News ! Tourism businesses in Weston-super-Mare are calling for the Government to put extra financial support in place - after news they will not be able to open for the Easter holidays. Initially it had been hoped that some businesses, including self catering holiday lets and some attractions, may have been allowed to open at the beginning of April for the start of the Easter break. The Easter holidays signals the start of the summer season for many and brings in much needed cash after the winter. But the Government has said in its road map that the earliest some hospitality - including self contained holiday lets and pub gardens - can re-open is April 12. Hotels and other hospitality including tourist attractions will have to wait until later in May. Carley Betteridge, who is the general manager and director at the Royal Hotel in Weston-super-Mare, says the pandemic has cost the family owned business tens of thousands of pounds in lost revenue. Carley, whose family purchased the 200 year old hotel in 2001, says the Government needs to put in place additional measures to support the hospitality industry as it navigates its way out of lockdown. Carley said: “We have received Government support but it doesn’t cover much. “It doesn’t even cover the gas and electricity bills. “When we were forced to close last March we didn’t think we would be in the same - and worse - position a year on.” The hotel, in a prime place on the seafront, has been able to stay open due to key workers during the pandemic. “But the revenue we are bringing in does not cover the costs of running the hotel,” said Carley. “We have lost tens of thousands in revenue due to the pandemic. To lose the Easter trade for a second year running has come as a massive blow.” The hotel is planning to open up its large beer garden on April 12. “We are working hard to get it ready, buy new benches and heaters and parasols because no one wants to sit in the rain.” Carley said business for the rest of the year was looking good. “People are ringing to book to come and stay later in the year,” she said. "Visitors are also keen to rearrange any rebook any stays that had to be cancelled due to the lockdown and restrictions.
Jason Potter, who runs the Snack Shack on Weston Seafront, says most of his business comes from tourists. “We have opened on some weekends this year, but we are not selling hot food, it’s just hot drinks,” he said. “Most of our business comes from the tourists and without them here we have seen our level of trade plummet. “On a busy bank holiday we could take around £1500 a day. Today I have taken £7.10. “This is the second Easter we have lost.” As well as fish and chips the shack also does alcoholic drinks such as vodka and gin slushies. But due to restrictions they have also been unable to sell these. “Sunny days and the continued lifting of restrictions is what we are hoping for,” said Jason. “Once the sun comes out and the tourists return, then hopefully we will be ok.” Business leaders say that improvements planned for Weston, such as new beach showers, an overhaul of Marine Lake and a planned rooftop bar for the Sovereign Centre will mean there is more to offer tourists when they do return.
Visit Weston tourism manager Caroline Darlington said: “Not to have the usual Easter trade for a second year has come as a blow to businesses in Weston-super-Mare. “But from a tourism point of view going forward there are lots of good things happening to improve the town such as new beach showers being installed and a facelift of the water park. “A new restaurant is going in the old Seaquarium and there are plans for a roof top bar at the Sovereign Centre. “There is lots happening to look forward to in the town. “All these will be provide an additional boost for the hospitality and tourism businesses when they can re-open.”
Source = MetiNews.Com