£1.3 million fund to support tourism destinations

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston has launched a new emergency fund to support local tourism organisations throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

It means that organisations at risk of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic will receive financial support thanks to a new £1.3 million scheme launched by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The funding, which is available to any at-risk Destination Management Organisation in England which usually receives at least 50 per cent of its income from commercial sources, will be used to cover operating costs and the cost of employees that cannot be furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme because they provide crucial business support services.

Huddleston said: “At the moment it is of utmost importance that everyone plays their part and stays at home to protect the NHS and save lives. However, we also need to act now to help the tourism sector be as strong as possible when we get through this pandemic. Destination Management Organisations will play a vital role in this recovery and this fund will support their essential work.”

Patricia Yates, acting CEO of VisitEngland, said: “Tourism has been one of the earliest and hardest hit of all economic sectors and this fund will help to ensure DMOs can continue to provide crucial support and expert guidance to the hundreds of thousands of small-to-medium sized businesses that make-up England’s tourism sector. Our intention is to get the funds out quickly to DMOs with a light touch application process as we work with them in recovery planning, to ensure that tourism rebounds and once again becomes one of the most successful and vibrant sectors of the economy.”