Hoteliers draw up plan to help tourism industry recover
A leading holiday resort has published a Covid-19 action plan so it can reopen its hotels as soon as possible.
Bournemouth and the neighbouring towns of Poole and Christchurch want to be ready when lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Hoteliers also want the Government to consider any trials of lockdown lifting in the tourism sector to be carried out in the Dorset conurbation.
Using experience from other countries, which are beginning to open up, hoteliers and other experts have compiled a code of action aimed at restoring confidence for visitors.
The UK’s tourism industry has been non-existent since the crisis began and now the holiday season is here it is suffering further.
Hotel manager Theo Iakimov, who runs Bournemouth’s Hotel Miramar, led the move to create the plan, with the support of Rosie Radwell from neighbouring Marsham Court Hotel, and hospitality consultant Simon Scarborough.
The BH Area Hospitality Association adopted the project along with the backing of the town’s two business improvement districts, local authority and MPs.
The Stay Safe Code of Action has also drawn interest from VisitBritain, the official arm of the British Tourist Authority.
Mr Iakimov said: “Our local economy is so dependent on tourism, we wanted to create a plan that will allow us to reopen the hotels, guest houses and B&Bs as soon as possible.
“The objective is to reduce risk as much as we can to reassure people that we can safely open again, albeit on a reduced basis.
“In line with Government rulings we want to clearly demonstrate that we have implemented procedures that put the safety and well-being of our guests, our staff and local residents at the forefront.”
The code includes limiting car parking spaces, closing off public areas and reducing hotel capacity in order to adopt social distancing.
“Obviously room cleaning must be extremely thorough, and rooms might be left empty for days after they have been occupied,” Mr Iakimov said.
“Shift patterns should be organised so people are less likely to mix with each other, and staff and guests will be provided with all necessary protection.
“Each hotel is different, but we want them all to sign up to the code which outlines minimum protocols and procedures.”
Tim Seward, chairman of the BH Area Hospitality Association, said: “The hospitality sector is critical to the South West region, and this unified approach involving so many key stakeholders shows our commitment to helping local businesses and the regional economy get back on track.”