COVID-19 Supporting our Tourism Industry

This page outlines our latest projects and activities as well as the latest advice and information from partners such as VisitBritain and Tourism Alliance.

We would like to hear from you so that we can feedback to VisitBritain and government regarding what is happening in our region. Please email research@ngi.org.uk to let us know how COVID-19 is affecting your business.


Where can I find national and international tourism and travel sector information and advice?

Latest government news (11/05/20): Our Plan to Rebuild: The Government’s COVID_19 recovery strategy
Parts particularly relevant to tourism can be found on pages 29 (international borders) and 31 (phase 3).

VisitBritain has a dedicated news and updates page for all those working in the sector.

VisitEngland’s Business Advice Hub features a dedicated section containing the support available to tourism businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, from funding to guidance on mental health.



I’m looking to reopen my business, what’s the latest advice on that?

On 4 July the government produced guidance on reopening specifically for businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector:

Following the publication of this guidance, UKHospitality published guidelines for hospitality businesses.

Organisations representing professional tourist guides have issued COVID-19 Guidance for Tour Guiding, to ensure guides can work safely and members of the public can book and go on tours with confidence.

The government has also published guidance for food businesses which includes a section on the management of outbreaks including collecting and providing contact details for health protection teams.

To help tourism businesses to prepare for reopening, the business support team at VisitEngland has developed a new website to bring together all the guidance and resources available to businesses.

 

I’ve heard that there is a tourism industry standard to reassure visitors that tourism businesses are reopening with COVID-19 measures in place. Could you tell me about that?

The ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark means businesses across the sector can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place. The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses across the sector.

To obtain the mark businesses must complete a self-assessment through the online platform including a check-list confirming they have put the necessary processes in place, before receiving certification and the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark for display in their premises and online.

Once the mark is obtained for your business, please complete our online survey to let us know about this and any information people should know before visiting your venue. We’ll then update your listing/s on NewcastleGateshead.com and mark your business with We’re Good To Go.

 

Most of my the staff in my organisation are furloughed, how can I help them use this time to learn skills that will benefit my business when we reopen?

NGI has been coordinating a project with Gateshead College and Newcastle College, who have pulled together a set of tourism online training resources which anyone can access, completely free. There is a wide variety of courses on offer, from infection control and mental health awareness to digital marketing and IT.

 

How can I access the latest thinking around the current challenges faced by the tourism industry in the North East?

VisitBritain have commissioned a weekly tracking survey to understand domestic intent to take short breaks and holidays both within the U.K. and abroad, with particular focus around the current barriers and concerns around travel and how these will evolve over time. Latest reports from the survey are published on VisitBritain’s website.

The tourism industry has been one of the worst affected by current challenges and is now looking at what a ‘new normal’ might look like. Our ‘Adapting and Innovating in 2020’ webinars series continues to explore and discuss the challenges and potential opportunities for the industry. Sign up to receive email alerts as new webinars in the series are announced.

VisitEngland’s business recovery webinars will give you practical insights, tips and guidance to set you on the road to recovery.

 

How can I promote our virtual / alternative offer to potential visitors when they’re unable to come to North East England or while my venue is closed?

At NGI, we are working hard to keep all of our information up to date on our leisure tourism website, and we are grateful to you all for notifying us of changes, cancellations and new ways of operating when reopening.

However, we are also very keen to hear about any new, alternative or remote activities that your organisation might be offering. Please email our Digital Content Manager, Hannah Lambert with any information and we will do our best to promote it as part of our day-to-day communications activity.

 

Where can I find out about consumer sentiment and concerns regarding reopening?

The ALVA attractions recovery tracker and BVA-BDRC weekly research briefings are both useful resources for consumer sentiment and potential barriers to visiting once the tourism industry reopens.

ALVA attractions recover tracker wave 1
ALVA attractions recovery tracker wave 2
BVA-BDRC weekly briefings are available from their website.

 

What’s the latest advice for accommodation providers?

The government has a dedicated page for all providers of hotel and other accommodation types. 

 

Is there any guidance for charities?

Charity-specific information is available on the government website.


Guidance and templates:

Resources:

Check out our COVID-19 Business Resources page for the most useful COVID-19 resources we’ve seen (webinars, blogs, guides etc), alongside our own content which is designed to help our partner organisations and other businesses across North East England.

 

Supporting businesses:

Check out our COVID-19 Supporting Businesses page for a summary of initiatives being established to help support businesses and employers who are affected by COVID-19.