Lincolnshire County Council said tourism generated around £2.4 billion in 2019. Alongside this, 2.1 million people visited Lincolnshire in the spring and summer of 2019.
In June 2020, Visit Lincoln conducted a survey to determine the impact of COVID-19 in Lincolnshire. It revealed that during lockdown 65% of businesses were closed and over 20% of all businesses lost 100% revenue during this time.
Many were expecting the tourism and hospitality sector to survive this terrible time. Councillor Colin Davie of Lincolnshire county council said, “there was no reason why the country wouldn’t return better from the pandemic.”
However, since the lifting of lockdown, the government has introduced a 10pm curfew on all restaurants and pubs as well as social distancing. Due to this, only 32% of businesses in Lincolnshire are making a profit. Many have feared a loss and over 4% of the businesses cannot open again until at least 2021. Jack Wilson, an employee at Major Label, an events company in Lincoln, said “we are in a really difficult position. It is a terrible time for our industry.”
The social distancing rules mean you can only have tables of six and they must be widely spread out among the building. This reduces the number of customers and tables you can have. This had detrimental effects on businesses as 25% of them would be making a loss and therefore would not want to open at all.
The loss of income has led to many redundancies and the amount of people now unemployed is now 1.5 million. Chloe Moore, a former employee of The Royal William IV pub said: “I was absolutely devastated to lose my job, it was my only income. Understandably it was hard for the pub, but I was left in the dark a week before I was supposed to go back after lockdown.”.
The United Kingdom tourism sector lost £4.46 million due to COVID-19.
Craft, Lincoln Cosy Club, Lincoln
Charlotte Corsbie-Smith Charlotte Corsbie-Smith