The future of tourism in the West Country: part two

A combination of virus fears, economic hardship and travel restrictions could tip the balance in favour of domestic rather than international travel.

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The tourist industry in the West Country is oscillating between fear of huge crowds bringing the coronavirus with them – and the desire to open up for business:

The future of tourism in the West Country

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Meanwhile, airlines and airports are facing a catastrophe:

Flybe administrators fight to retain carrier’s operating licence | flightglobal.com

Heathrow’s third runway project now ‘impossible’, says IAG chief | ft.com

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However, as suggested by the Telegraph last week, the West Country might be one of the few places able to take advantage of the eventual unlocking:

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Britain set for staycation boom

As airlines struggle to survive coronavirus, domestic tourism could be the big winner when lockdown is lifted

When Garri Rayner started Go Glamping in 2008, the financial crisis loomed large over the launch of his online directory for holidays in cabins, treehouses and yurts. “I was thinking ‘is this the right time to be launching this thing?’.” However, he found that the deep downturn actually helped his cause as more Britons opted for “staycations” rather than flocking to Mediterranean beaches. “People were staying at home and anything related to camping did well because people were looking for budget holidays,” says Rayner…

The UK’s tourism hotspots could enjoy a staycation boom in 2020 driven by homebound Britons heading for beaches in Devon and Cornwall rather than the Costa Brava. Even if lockdowns are lifted, leisure travel abroad is likely to be severely hampered by restrictions or risk-averse holiday-goers wary of another wave of infections…

A combination of virus fears, economic hardship and travel restrictions could tip the balance in favour of domestic rather than international travel in the coming years. The pandemic will infect the world’s tourism industry, but Britain’s seaside towns and rural retreats appear able to shake the disease.

Britain set for staycation boom | telegraph.co.uk

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However, if things are to work, tourist spots will have to be innovative.

Narrow streets will have to be made walkable:

Is this the future of tourism? How York plans to make visitors walk one-way down its famous street The Shambles to ensure social distancing after lockdown | dailymail.co.uk

Cafés will have to be allowed to spill out onto the streets:

Lithuanian capital to be turned into vast open-air cafe | theguardian.com

High streets and shops will need to bring in more signage and sanitisers:

COVID19 Checklist: Pre-Recovery / Recovery Stages | highstreetstaskforce.org.uk

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photo: Old Fore Street, Sidmouth © Mike Smith cc-by-sa/2.0 :: Geograph …

   
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