We are writing to you as a group of MPs representing coastal constituencies. As the National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) told the DCMS Select Committee on Tuesday 19 May 2020, the impact of Covid-19 will have a detrimental effect on constituencies like ours.
Pre-Covid-19, coastal tourism in England was valued at £13.7bn. If businesses open in July (under current Government guidance), the economic loss will be £7.96bn in England, equating to the loss of more than 100k jobs in England alone.
Seven per cent of coastal businesses have already closed permanently; 25 per cent of accommodation stock is forecast to close.
Tourism employs 20 per cent of the workforce in most coastal towns and more than 50 per cent in many other towns including Newquay, St Ives, Skegness,
Mablethorpe, Cleveleys, Whitby and Minehead.
74 per cent of businesses are temporarily closed and when they do open, they only expect to operate at 40 – 60 per cent capacity.
To address this, the NCTA has set out a framework to mitigate the predicted loss of over £7bn to the sector in England this year alone. This framework would work
alongside the Tourism Sector Deal.
It recommends a four-year programme of support to 2024 to restore the visitor economy in coastal economies back to pre-Covid-19 levels and build resilience against future economic shocks by:
- Working collaboratively at a national level with all major coastal stakeholders to coordinate a programme of change and support that will directly target small and micro businesses and help coastal communities
- Providing business support to diversify the product to address the challenge of seasonality on the coast, through research, product development and training – building on the success of the work pre-Covid which was proven to reduce seasonality
- Establishing clear strategic leadership of coastal tourism issues – including the House of Lords’ Regenerating Seaside Towns Committee’s recommendation for the continuation of the Coastal Communities Fund programme, support for coastal Destination Management Organisations and organisations like the NCTA
- Product Development and marketing support to address seasonality and rebuild coastal communities through joined-up campaigns to kick-start environmental and economic recovery 1) Locally 2) Nationally 3) Internationally
- Capturing and sharing best practice and lessons learnt to support recovery and build resilience
The launch of a three-year tourism coastal recovery campaign to replace the Year of the Coast celebrations scheduled for 2021 led by coastal stakeholders including the National Coastal Tourism Academy, Natural England, Coastal Communities Alliance, Coastal Partnership Network, National Trust and others. The new programme would broadly deliver against the following framework:
2021 – Coastal Recovery: focus on rebuilding the economy and communities
2022 – Coastal Reimagining – sustainability and environment
2023 – Year of the Coast – a celebration of the UK’s coastline
To deliver this and ensure the future prosperity of our coastal communities across England and off-set the loss of almost £7bn in 2020, the National Coastal Tourism
Academy requires much-needed funding of £200k to kick-start activity for 2020-21, followed by £450k per year in 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24, a total for the whole programme of £1.55m.
Whilst the current pandemic has dealt a devastating low to coastal tourism, we believe with urgent Government intervention, our coastal constituencies can plot a route from survival to recovery.
Your support would be invaluable.
Rt. Hon. Tobias Ellwood MP
Peter Aldous MP
Tim Loughton MP
Rt. Hon. Conor Burns MP
Caroline Lucas MP
Richard Drax MP
Paul Maynard MP
Tim Farron MP
Anne Marie Morris MP
Sally-Ann Hart MP
Robert Seely MP
Gordon Henderson MP
Rt. Hon. Sir Desmond Swayne MP
Chris Loder MP
Giles Watling MP
CC: Rt. Hon. Oliver Dowden MP
(Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport)
Nigel Huddleston MP
(Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage)