Following the Government’s announcement regarding the reopening of tourism and hospitality businesses in England from 4 July, the area’s official tourist board says it is working hard to ensure local businesses will be ready to offer a warm welcome back.
Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, says: “The announcement that pubs, restaurants, hotels and attractions can officially open on 4 July has come as a huge relief to businesses across the tourism and hospitality industry.
“After so many months of uncertainty, it’s a sign that there are brighter days ahead and we will be continuing to work hard with businesses, partners and local authorities to ensure we can open safely and get the Peak District and Derbyshire’s £2.3 billion visitor economy back on track.
“Public health is at the heart of our recovery planning and there will be extra measures in place to ensure people can visit and enjoy our wonderful destination. The reduction of social distancing to one metre plus also means a visit to our much-loved pubs and restaurants, which are such an integral part of the visitor experience, will be possible.
“The past few months have been incredibly challenging for the sector but since the start of lockdown, we’ve been reminded many times of the resilience and adaptability of the tourism industry in the Peak District and Derbyshire.
“Back in March, coronavirus had already had ‘a major negative impact’ on over 80% of local tourism businesses, with many reporting cancellations as far ahead as October*. However, creative thinking prevailed even in the most difficult of times: food and drink providers launched new takeaway and delivery services, hotels offered accommodation for key workers and many experiences turned virtual.
“To help the visitor economy bounce back, we’ve provided business support and grants of up to £10,000 through our European Regional Development Fund project. Over 200 Derbyshire businesses have so far attended our virtual workshops and webinars on topics ranging from law and finance to PR and marketing.
“Whilst we know the road to recovery will be challenging, we have a strong product here in the Peak District and Derbyshire that aligns with shifts in consumer behaviour. Our research* shows that seeing family and friends is a top priority for 83% of people, closely followed by going on holiday within the UK (67%), going on a mini-break within the UK (64%) and going on walks or hikes (59%).
“As a rural destination, we are fortunate to have many beautiful open spaces that make social distancing easier and providing that visitors follow the guidelines in place, the Peak District and Derbyshire lends itself perfectly as somewhere to switch-off, relax and reconnect with loved ones.”