Following advice from the British Government to avoid "non-essential" travel and contact with others, Janet Finch-Saunders (Member for Aberconwy) has called on the Welsh Government to immediately release its promised business grant support for those sectors hardest hit.
Her calls come as the Llandudno Hospitality Association advised that future bookings equate to just 10 per cent of those made at the same time last year. A local hotelier has warned that “Llandudno will turn into a ghost town over the next few weeks.”
Tourists spend around £17 million a day whilst in Wales, amounting to around £6.3 billion a year. However, it is forecasted that a significant proportion of this may be lost as a result of the virus.
In response to two written questions submitted by Janet, the Welsh Government said that “Visit Wales will undertake research across the sector to understand and monitor the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on businesses.”
Commenting on the situation, Janet said:
“While I welcome the Welsh Government’s announcement of business rate support, urgent delivery of its promised business grant support is required to help those hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak.
“Due, in part, to the compound issues of flooding and COVID-19, hotels throughout the Conwy Valley are recording their worst quarter since the Foot and Mouth Crisis.
“Without the usual level of customers, businesses are at threat of going into administration and local jobs lost.
“With Banks overwhelmed by requests for more funds, immediate intervention is required to help prop our businesses up.
“I would like to ask the Welsh Government to end the current uncertainty around availability of funds, and request that it establishes an easy and efficient distribution system.
“For the sake of stability, we must avoid the inefficiency of the emergency funding relief scheme that was established in the wake of storms Ciara and Dennis.