Coronavirus: Parliamentary inquiry into hospitality and tourism recovery launches

A GROUP of Westminster politicians has launched an inquiry into the best ways to support the hospitality and tourism industries after the COVID-19 shutdown is lifted.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism is assessing what will be needed to help the industries recover once the pandemic has passed, including factors such as the right timing for venues to reopen, support for businesses and supply chains and marketing support and advice for the sector. The group will then pass recommendations along to the government.

Conservative MP Steve Double, who chairs the group, said the tourism and hospitality sectors “were two of the first to feel the impact of first social distancing and then the lockdown and businesses have been hit hard in every region”.

“It is vital that, as the danger of COVID-19 passes, these businesses are able to hit the ground running and return to full strength as rapidly as possible,” said Double.

“Ensuring these sectors get back on their feet quickly should be one of the government’s top priorities.”

The inquiry was welcomed by UK Hospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls, who said there has been “no corner of the country which has not seen job losses, shuttered venues and communities anxiously looking to the future”.

“Our sector is in a unique position to begin the rebuilding process, both economically and socially, once we emerge and the time is right. This inquiry will focus on how we get restarted rather than necessarily when,” she said.

“It is clear we will only be able to recover if the right plan is in place, the government understands the scale of the task and the opportunities it presents, and the correct support is provided – particularly the extension of the job retention scheme to protect jobs and wages.”