Call for funding support for Dales tourism businesses hit by flooding and coronavirus

A call has been made for local authorities covering the Yorkshire Dales to be ready to help tourism businesses bounce back as fears grow about the impact on the industry of the coronavirus.

Susan Briggs, who runs the Dales Tourism Network, which helps businesses within the visitor economy better market themselves, has written to Richmondshire Council, North Yorkshire County Council and Craven District Council to call for funding for a collaborative tourism campaign to help tourism bounce back in the Yorkshire Dales.

She said tourism businesses in the Dales had already been adversely affected by both the flooding and coronavirus.

“They are struggling with cancellations and fewer advance booking,” she added.

“Tourism businesses rely on income generated between now and September to remain in business during the remainder of the year.

“Many use local suppliers and are farm diversification projects that supplement farm income. The negative impact of a tourism downturn on the broader Dales economy will be considerable.”

Susan said she had requested funding support to create  a promotional campaign that could be activated as soon as the coronavirus crisis subsides, to help businesses bounce back.

“Work we do now will have a major impact on the success of the industry later in the season,” she added.

“Businesses are very happy to collaborate on a joint campaign and to make a financial contribution but we really need seed funding to kick-start activity.

“So far I’ve given my time on a voluntary basis and am spending a third of my working week on voluntary projects to support local tourism businesses and run the Dales Tourism Network.

“I have spoken to many business owners recently to identify the help they need.

“I have provided some initial advice which has been well-received.

“Having worked in tourism marketing for over 30 years I’ve helped businesses survive many other crisis so have a good idea of what we need to do – we just need some local authority help to do so.”