Working in collaboration with Visit England, Visit Cornwall, Visit Devon and Cumbria Tourism, the Visit Isle of Wight team have been developing a local framework to offer reassurance and confidence to visitors, tourism businesses, attractions, destinations and the local population and linking this into the development of a national framework.
Tourism brings £127 billion to the UK economy – it will be seen as one of the first indicators as to how the economy will begin to recover.
The framework is being developed nationally by Visit England with input by Public Health England, national trade bodies and local Destination Management Organisations to ensure the integrity of the scheme which will be completed online, with a toolkit including logos and certificates.
On the Isle of Wight, the tourism and hospitality sector is acknowledged as one of the main economic drivers, with an overall economic impact of nearly half a billion pounds annually and responsible for 16% of the population in employment. The Isle of Wight welcomes 2.4 million visitors each year who spend £303 million.
Visit Isle of Wight Managing Director Will Myles says the Tourism Standards scheme is a vital piece of work:
“This process is very important, It will offer assurances and confidence to visitors that the destination and the tourism businesses are of the standard required, it will also offer confidence to local residents and businesses that national standards are being adhered to whilst attracting visitors to their island.
“Working on this project for the island is critical to ensure that our tourism and hospitality economy can revive itself and that we can welcome visitors back to the Island when the time is right”.
Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely says:
“I welcome this piece of work. Many Isle of Wight businesses rely on the visitor economy including our B&B’s, hotels, pubs, restaurants, leisure attractions and many more.
“When the time is right we need to start welcoming guests – on and off the Island – we must do so in accordance with the official guidance.
“No one is talking of lifting the lockdown. We will only do so when all necessary measures have been put in place. We need to protect the NHS here, be mindful and alert to risks and look after each other.
“However, we do need to start thinking about this now so that when the time comes we can ensure that measures we have put in place are the right ones to reassure people, including Islanders.
“This scheme will provide reassurance to visitors that the Isle of Wight is acting responsibility as a tourist destination. We need this reassurance for ourselves and our visitors”.