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COVID-19 Update 2nd March 2022

Impact Of War In Ukraine

I’ve been asked by DCMS to forward on any information regarding impacts that the war in Ukraine is having on UK tourism businesses – be that inbound or outbound – so that they can monitor the situation. So if any of your members are being impacted in any way, could you let me know.


Employment Figures

ONS has published new data on employment in the UK from 2014 to 2021. This includes a section on the accommodation and food services which highlights both the impact of Covid and Brexit on employment in the sector. Some of the key findings are:

    • 296,000 employees in the sector were EU nationals in July 2014. Up to June 2019, this increased by 105,000 to 401,000, a 35% increase
    • 205,000 employees were non-EU nationals in July 2014. Up to June 2019, this increased by 17,000 to 223,000, an 8% increase
    • Between June 2019 and June 2021, the number of EU nationals fell by 98,000 to 303,000, a 25% decrease. Comparatively, payrolled employments held by non-EU nationals remained close to the same level as in June 2019 at 222,000
    • Between June 2019 and June 2021, accommodation and food services saw the largest decrease of employment of any sector. The total number of employees decreased by 124,000, largely due to a drop of 98,000 EU national employees.


Willingness To Self-Isolate

ONS has also published the latest wave of it’s research on public attitudes to Covid. While the data is now a bit out of date dure to it being collected while it was a legal requirement to self-isolate, there is a section that asks people whether they would still self isolate if it was not a legal requirement. In response to this, 72% of people said that they would be willing to self-isolate even if it is no longer a legal requirement. This is close to the 80% of the people that said that they were currently complying with the self-isolation requirement.


Thank You Day Reminder

In an update a couple of weeks’ back I sent out a item regarding support for Thank You Day. To remind you Thank You Day is an initiative that was started last year to thank everyone that helped during the pandemic with an emphasis on NHS workers. The initiative was supported by a wide range of organisations and around 2 million people took part. This success has inspired the organisers to turn Thank You Day into an annual event (this year’s Thank You Day is 5th June which is the Sunday of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee) and to lobby for the creation of a new National Holiday.

As a new National Holiday would be of considerable benefit to the tourism industry the Tourism Alliance is supporting their lobbying.  Part of this is to get as many businesses and associations to sign to the following letter. The deadline for this is the end of this week. Could you therefore email Barry Johnston at Purpose Union to add your organisation to the signatories for the following letter.


Dear Prime Minister/Chancellor,

 On behalf of the British businesses we represent, we are supporting the creation of a new annual public holiday – a Thank Holiday – from 2023.

 All of our businesses will be doing our bit during this year’s Jubilee bank holiday to celebrate the Queen’s extraordinary public service.

 We ask that you take this opportunity not only to recognise the Queen’s enduring contribution but the service and kindness of millions in our communities, especially during the pandemic.

 A Thank Holiday would provide a moment every year for individuals and communities to come together, to thank those who have contributed in ways big and small to making our country a better place to live, and to create new bonds that will strengthen our society.

 The campaign has already received widespread support from an extraordinary number of individuals and organisations. We are pleased to show that businesses are also firmly behind the idea.

 We are convinced that the benefits of a new holiday would outweigh the costs, as well as serving as a demonstration of our national values and compassion. As a group of business leaders, we stand ready to work with you to achieve this.  



More information on the Thank You Day initiative is available on the following link


Welcome To Yorkshire

It has been reported today that Welcome to Yorkshire has gone into administration. The one bit of good news is that it seems like the councils in Yorkshire realise the strength of the brand and are working on setting up a new venture to promote the county. It is speculated that this new venture might be directly controlled by local authorities and operate as public body. This episode highlights the precarious funding of many DMOs and the need for the De Bois Review to be fully implemented so that we have a strong DMO network to develop destinations and the encourage domestic tourism.
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