Millions of people have had to cancel their Easter holiday plans because of the spread of COVID-19 in the UK. But the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), which represents 5,000 rural tourism businesses, is now urging them to re-book 'once it is safe to do so'.
Rural tourism is worth a huge £18.5 billion a year to the economy and employs over 600,000 people. Yet, almost overnight, many businesses have shut down for an unknown period of time. According to the CLA, this is having 'crippling consequences'. Many farms now provide holiday lets, camping, bed and breakfasts and farm stays as a way to support their business. But these farmers, who have already suffered from flooding and uncertain trading conditions, now face another hammering to their income.
The land owner group is now seeking reassurances from the UK Government on support for the sector, such as fast payments of financial support to struggling firms, including wage cost support. The CLA is calling for a clear definition of what businesses make up the tourism industry so every firm that needs it can access relevant government support schemes.
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