Recovery Plan to save 20,000 tourism jobs in the New Forest
Travel & tourism represents 10.3% of global GDP and supports 1 in 10 jobs on the planet, but in the New Forest, it is double. Tourism is the engine which drives the whole local economy which is why it’s vital we save the 20,000 jobs it provides by giving visitors the warmest possible welcome as soon as Government guidance allows the New Forest’s hospitality industry to re-open.
Whilst it’s really understandable that some residents might be nervous about welcoming visitors back, it is critical we do so because all our tourism businesses are already in a very precarious financial situation. If they and the livelihoods and services they support are to survive the coming winter, it is essential for them to do as much business for as much of the summer season as possible.
That is why we’ve produced a New Forest Tourism Recovery Plan which helps guide all visitor, environmental, resident and business interests towards a new way of doing things as we move through and past the recovery process. The first step over the next month or so will be winning the support of all New Forest residents as we work to re-open tourism in early July.
Mutuality will be the key to ensure local tourism survives so it can continue to fuel the economy and sustain the huge number of non-tourism jobs in its supply chain. In so doing, our local hospitality sector will adapt to an enduring shift to a way of life that re-defines the “new normal”. This will see us placing a much greater emphasis on health security, hygiene, wellbeing and environmental and social responsibility.
If we can get everyone to pull together, then we have a fighting chance of staying afloat during the quiet winter months. If not, the industry everyone relies on here in the forest will simply collapse and we’ll all lose out. Our plan will also build on the wonderful support we’ve received from lots of local people already. Residents who’ve bought into forward buying gift vouchers, individual business crowdfunding schemes and used our businesses who are currently open to offer takeaways, deliveries and online sales.
Anthony Climpson OBE
CEO Go New Forest