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Shakespeare's England disappointed at 'broad-brush' approach to restrictions





Helen Peters
Helen Peters

Shakespeare’s England has joined the growing list of organisations expressing disappointment that Tier 3 restrictions are to be imposed on Warwickshire.

Helen Peters, Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s England, the Destination Management Organisation for South Warwickshire, which promotes tourism in the region, said: “Our members have always acknowledged the importance of the need to do whatever it takes to control the virus and to protect the health and safety of the workforce, residents and visitors.

“They have demonstrated that by changing the way they welcome visitors and guests to meet COVID-secure guidelines at a considerable cost to their businesses in terms of additional physical safety measures and significantly reduced capacities, but they just wanted to be able to open.

“I have been impressed by the creativity that has been shown by some of our members, who during August Bank Holiday actually reported an increase in visitor numbers compared to last year, particularly those blessed with large outdoor spaces.

“But, overall visitor numbers have been well below what they would normally have been this year, mainly due to the loss of the international visitor who in certain parts of Shakespeare’s England equate to 30 per cent of the visitation however crucially they have been in line with what we anticipated and have been pleased with the way the local market has reacted to campaigns like #DiscoveryourDoorstep, which shows consumer confidence in the tourism and hospitality industry across Shakespeare’s England.

“We are disappointed with what appears to be a broad-brush approach to the new tier system, which seems to pull places together geographically rather than because the numbers warrant it. And while we welcome the commitment to a review after two weeks, this may come too late for hospitality and retail businesses for whom Christmas income is vital.

“What we really need now is a clear pathway out of these restrictions and an idea from Government as to where it thinks the country will be on January 1, so our members can start planning with real confidence for the start of the new tourist season at the end of March 2021.”



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