Deirdre Wells of Visit Kent calls for 'district-led' tier approach to help save tourism industry

Tourism firm Visit Kent has added its voice calling for a district-led approach to the tier system.

The organisation, which promotes the county's attractions to a global audience, says such a move is necessary given the number of tourism businesses struggling under the current restrictions.

Deirdre Wells, CEO of Visit Kent
Deirdre Wells, CEO of Visit Kent

It comes after Duncan Leslie, the CEO of Hever Castle, near Tunbridge Wells, where rates were low, said its closure was as a result of those in the east of the county where infection rates have been high.

However, while the county's tier rating will be reviewed on December 16, the latest figures reveal many districts are still seeing a rise in cases.

Deirdre Wells, CEO of Visit Kent, said: “It is clear the government recognises the enormous strain and burden currently being experienced by the UK’s tourism and hospitality industry and I know businesses in Kent that have to close due to Tier 3 restrictions will be grateful for the additional financial support that has been announced.

"With rents and other overheads particularly high in the South-East however, these new grants will still fall short of helping to plug the gap of average overheads so we will continue to push the government to increase the level of support and to take a more granular, district-led approach to the imposition of tier restrictions.

"It goes without saying that whilst we are optimistic about a vaccine, we will continue to do all we can to support businesses over the next few months to ensure their survival so they can re-open and respond to demand as life begins to return to normal.”

Firms reliant on tourism have been hit throughout the pandemic as footfall has taken a massive dip
Firms reliant on tourism have been hit throughout the pandemic as footfall has taken a massive dip

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