Published on : Friday, March 27, 2020
The tourism industry in Cornwall fears a huge loss of money and business due to the coronavirus pandemic. The travel restrictions and border closures that have been undertaken as measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus had adverse effects on numerous tourism businesses. Cornwall has always attracted tourists and the tourism sector has largely contributed to its economy. However, with the coronavirus outbreak, the scenario has been different.
Kim Conchie, CEO, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce said in a statement that the probability of some businesses surviving the summer season is very less. He shared that the tourism industry in Cornwall was worth as much as £2.4 billion a year. He also informed, that this might be the end of many hospitality and retail businesses but business leaders are looking at a recovery plan when the darkest days get over.
Stephen Gibson, Owner, Duporth Guest House in Penzance said a press brief that the coronavirus shutdown had come at the worst possible time of year. He mentioned that the hotel and tourism industry can survive a few months but a chance of survival becomes unlikely if no revenue is generated.
The Duporth Guest House had to cancel bookings worth around £40,000 to £50,000 so far. It also refunded guests their deposited amount.
The Cornwall Airport Newquay has been temporarily shut. All scheduled flights to and from the airport have also been suspended due to the pandemic.
Visit Cornwall, the official tourism board of the county said tourism businesses were facing an avalanche of cancellations and refund requests. It mentioned that businesses, especially the ones involved with tourism are struggling to survive at the moment. Most employees have landed in a position of ‘cannot pay’ and it is not certainly a scenario of ‘would not pay.’ Therefore, the tourism board has also urged customers to have patience and understanding. It has warned that certain businesses may not be able to issue refunds.