The impact of Covid-19 will be more pronounced on the UK’s coastal and lakeside regions because of their dependence on hospitality and tourism, a new report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for hospitality and tourism finds.
The research, which aims to highlight the damage the pandemic has had on the hospitality industry in these areas shows that by July, almost 10% of businesses in the coastal areas had already permanently closed.
A similar picture has emerged in the UK’s lakeside areas. With the report unofficially dubbing South Lakeland the ‘furlough capital of the UK’, as 40% of its population was on specialist government support in the early months of the crisis.
According to the study this is largely due to the “reliance on the tourism economy” with an additional study taken in Loch Lomond suggesting that there would be a 45% reduction in the number of jobs this year as a result of the pandemic.
Beyond the Covid crisis, the report has also called for an “urgent need” to tackle seasonality which limits productivity, employment, investment and skills in coastal and lakeside communities.
Chair of the APPG, Steve Double MP, said: “This has been a comprehensive investigation into the challenges and opportunities being faced by tourism and hospitality businesses in coastal and lakeside communities.
“The work this year has also thrown into sharp relief the devastating effect the ongoing Covid-19 crisis has had on these fantastic, yet precariously balanced regions.”
He added: “Without the further assistance that we have called for, many businesses and jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors will not exist by Spring 2021.
“Without these vital industries, coastal and lakeside areas across the UK will be thrown into penury. The report gives us the best chance of understanding how these communities can be supported and encouraged to grow.”