Tourism groups across North West join forces to monitor coronavirus fightback

Tourism boards from across the North West are coming together to launch a fortnightly business barometer.
Marketing Lancashire chief Rachel McQueenMarketing Lancashire chief Rachel McQueen
Marketing Lancashire chief Rachel McQueen

Measuring shifts in employment, trends in revenue and overall business confidence, it is hoped the initiative will help firms steer the choppy waters of life post-lockdown.

The group, which includes Marketing Lancashire, has agreed to recruit panel members from within the tourism economy that will consistently participate in a survey.

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The survey is supported and funded by NatWest and will run for three months until the end of October.

The first set of responses have been received, revealing several key take-outs which will now form a benchmark to report against every fortnight.

Among the overall take-outs is that nine in 10 businesses have reported that they are currently trading with a revenue loss on 2019, with over half of businesses reporting a revenue loss of 75 per cent.

Rachel McQueen, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: “Throughout the crisis Marketing Lancashire has supported local tourism businesses and, in the new #RedefiningLancashire campaign, is now focused on recovery.

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“The new NatWest tourism business barometer will be invaluable in the development of that campaign, especially as the Covid-19 landscape is so changeable.

“The initial findings of the barometer show some optimism from Lancashire businesses who believe recovery in the county and more rural areas, will come sooner.

“There are also good indications that early bookings for 2021 are slightly ahead of where they would normally be.

“We’re grateful to NatWest and those participating Lancashire tourism businesses who are helping provide such useful sector insights; highlighting areas of good practice and success across the North.”

Eighty seven per cent of businesses also reported a reduced level of advanced bookings for October to December on what they had on the books at this point in 2019.