Simon Calder on the impact of travel disruptions
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The number of tourists visiting Cornwall is still expected to be high as tourists choose staycations due to airport chaos. However, officials fear they may not spend much.
“The most concerning thing is the cost of living crisis”, Visit Cornwall Ceo Malcolm Bell told Cornwall Live.
He said that tourists may cut short their stays in Cornwall or reduce the number of breaks they take.
Bell said that other high costs such as fuel and energy could stop tourists spending money on holiday.
Many tourists travel to Cornwall by car and the long journey with the current cost of fuel could put some off.
Visit Britain found that 40 percent of British tourists think the cost of living crisis is their biggest worry.
Personal finance and cost of fuel fears were also near the top of the table while other holiday concerns such as the weather ranked lower.
Mike Saul, Head of Hospitality and Leisure at Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “The hospitality and leisure industry was undoubtedly one of the hardest hit by prolonged periods of lockdown during the pandemic.
“In the early part of 2022 however, in a society free from restrictions, the sector enjoyed strong sales, leaving many confident about their growth prospects.
“The worsening cost of living crisis is now a serious threat to that growth, with the latest Barclaycard Consumer Spending Index showing that restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs have all seen a slight decline in May 2022, compared to the month before.
“Crucially for the industry, our research shows that talent shortages are also a major concern, with businesses in every vertical finding it challenging to fill their vacancies.
“It means there is now an added imperative for hospitality and leisure firms to find new and novel ways to recruit, reward and retain their staff.”
Cornwall is also struggling with staffing issues, with Mr Bell saying chefs were particularly in demand.
The region has also struggled with a growing number of holiday lets which has upset some residents.
Local people have found that the area is too expensive and many have been forced to leave.
However, a new Government review into Airbnb properties and holiday lets could bring in restrictions.
The Government is planning to look at regulation of holiday properties as well as considering the benefits.
Nigel Huddleston, tourism minister, said: “We’ve seen huge growth in the range of holiday accommodation available over the last few years.
“We want to reap the benefits of the boom in short-term holiday lets while protecting community interests and making sure England has high-quality tourist accommodation.
“While no decisions have been taken, this review will help us work out the options to look at so we can protect our much-loved communities and thriving holiday industry.”
Airbnb said: “The launch of a UK Government review into short-term lets is an opportunity to secure clear and modern rules that unlock the benefits of hosting for everyday families and clamp down on speculators, while giving local authorities the information and tools they need to regulate home sharing effectively.
“Airbnb recognises the historic housing and tourism challenges facing the UK and we want our platform to be part of the solution. We welcome regulation and have led the way in championing progressive rules for our industry.”
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