Yesterday’s announcement to open up hospitality and UK tourism from 4th July was just the life line the industry had been campaigning hard for. Married with the unseasonably good weather we’re currently experiencing, it looks like we may be about to see a staycation boom this summer (with Bojo’s blessing). After being cooped up for so long there is a sense that certainly a sizeable chunk of the population rather fancy a change of scene having stared at the same four walls for the past three months.
With air travel feeling like rather a big step, not to mention the two weeks of quarantine required, the obvious choice is to stay closer to home and head for some of our amazing UK countryside and coastline, providing our domestic tourism industry with a much needed shot in the arm. Indeed Paul Ainsworth, Chef Proprietor of No.6, Caffe Rojanos, The Mariners and The Townhouse, all in Padstow in Cornwall, took over an incredible 3,000 bookings across two days when they opened their booking on Monday 22nd June. Clearly showing the demand is there when it comes to operators consumers can trust.
Much Like Paul, hotels, restaurants, pubs, B&Bs, caravan parks and camp sites across the country have been busy prepping on the assumption the 4th of July would go ahead, ensuring they are Covid safe to open when the time comes. Things will of course be different, gone are breakfast buffets (instead in-room breakfast hampers), there’ll be no mini bars, contactless check-in and check-out, regular deep cleaning and of course 1m+ social distancing – the Covid era list goes on! – but hey, it’s a major step in the right direction for the industry. Timed to allow operators to make the most of what is left of the season, it won’t just be the accommodation sites that will see the benefit. Businesses such as local shops and take-aways who rely on tourist trade throughout the summer season to take them through the winter will also be breathing a sigh of relief.
I for one was included in Paul Ainsworth’s 3,000 bookings and will be supporting our great industry with a few days down in one of our favourite spots, Padstow, eating out safely at Caffe Rojano and The Mariners (both dog friendly) and staying at the Townhouse (which to our delight has now introduced dog-friendly rooms, so Whisky can hang out in style in between walks on the beach and stealing bits of Cornish pasty!). If we can all be sensible and stick to the rules we can support the hospitality industry and have a lovely safe staycation. Here’s to hoping the sun keeps shining!