Charles hopes ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ will help hospitality sector bounce back

The Prince of Wales hopes the nation’s “entrepreneurial spirit” will “secure brighter and much more sustainable times ahead” as pubs, restaurants and hotels prepare to reopen after months of lockdown.

Charles’ comments came in a video message in support of the hospitality sector, and he also spoke about how staff employed by his Prince’s Foundation had been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The heir to the throne said in his message: “I need hardly say that it is exceptionally welcome news that hotels, restaurants and pubs are to begin opening their doors.

“Hospitality connects people and enables them to create wonderful memories with families and friends, be it over a pint of beer, a special meal with family or an overnight stay to explore new places. All these experiences have been dearly missed as normal life has been put on hold.

“I know that those at the forefront of hospitality have missed their guests too, so I can only express my warmest appreciation for the resilience and fortitude shown by those in hospitality and offer my deepest sympathy to those who are struggling to keep their businesses going or are having to cope with the appalling misery of seeing their businesses go into administration.

The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Charles and Camilla at Dumfries House, which is due to reopen to the public next week. Danny Lawson/PA Wire
The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Charles and Camilla at Dumfries House, which is due to reopen to the public next week (Danny Lawson/PA)

“I only pray we can begin to rebuild a vital and resilient industry and that the wonderful entrepreneurial spirit I come across so often can help secure brighter and much more sustainable times ahead.”

Nearly 200 members of staff working for Charles’ Foundation were furloughed, with their salaries funded by the foundation.

The gardens of Highgrove, Charles’ Gloucestershire home, are open to visitors but have been closed due to coronavirus – while Dumfries House, a historic Scottish country estate in Ayrshire saved for the nation by the prince, will reopen next week.

Charles said in his message: “I know full well from the enforced closure of properties run by my Foundation, both in Aberdeenshire and East Ayrshire, let alone the complete disruption of all charitable enterprises at Highgrove, just how far reaching the effects of the lack of trading can be.

“At Dumfries House, for example, the closure has had a direct impact on those who show more than 32,000 visitors around the house itself, and also those who work in the bed and breakfast, cafe and events business – not to mention, of course, the catalogue of suppliers whose businesses depend on this activity taking place.

“At Highgrove there has equally been a severe impact on the staff who look after nearly 40,000 visitors, as well as on the loyal suppliers to our shops.”

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