One of Wales’ most important industries is its tourism sector, with millions of tourists coming from the rest of the UK to enjoy the country’s beautiful landscape, food, culture and people.
However, as nationwide lockdown has imposed travel restrictions, meaning nobody can make non-essential journeys, this has had a big impact on the country’s tourist industry.
With the sun shining and half-term in full swing, this should be a profitable time for campsites, hotels, BnBs, restaurants, cafes, visitor centres and tourist attractions in Wales. However, they remain empty, as the government tries to control the spread of coronavirus.
It is unclear when these facilities will be allowed to open again, with the government suggesting this could happen in England from the beginning of July. However, there is no confirmation about Welsh sites will be allowed to relaunch at the same time.
When it comes to camping, there could be some leeway as Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam told a Downing Street press briefing recently: “It is absolutely a biological truism that outdoor environments are much less risk than indoor environments.”
Therefore, campsites might be allowed to open earlier than hotels, guesthouses or BnBs. However, he noted that “sharing a tent is a small enclosed space or can be a small enclosed space with generally poor conditions of ventilation”, which could encourage the virus to spread.
It is unsurprising those working in the tourist industry want answers, as official figures show there were more than ten million overnight trips to Wales by GB residents in 2018 and 95.7 million day trips taken. Overall, overnight holidaymakers spent £1,853 million during this period, while day-trippers spent £4 billion, proving just how important tourism is to the Welsh economy.
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