Breaking: Greater Manchester to remain in tier three restrictions

Some breaking news as it has just been confirmed by the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock that Greater Manchester will remain in tier three restrictions until the next review. This is another disappointing blow for our tourism, hospitality and leisure sector and there will likely be much discourse about the decision over the coming days.

It means that Greater Manchester will need to continue to follow the current tier three guidance until Wednesday 23 December when the rules will be relaxed for five days through to Sunday 27 December – see guidance for the Christmas period. Greater Manchester will return to tier three rules from Monday 28 December and the tier system is expected to be reviewed on or around Wednesday 30 December.

Here at Marketing Manchester and across our parent organisation, the Growth Company, we understand that it is more important than ever that businesses within the tourism, hospitality and leisure sector have access to support services and practical advice.

Therefore if you, or a business that you work with, need such support we encourage you to visit and make use of our Tourism and Hospitality Support Hub that outlines all the support available. From the hub you can also access Business Growth Hub’s Business Support Service which offers a full suite of advice and signposting for things like access to grants, as well as the Tourism and Hospitality Talent Hub which can help you or your employees with skills, training and recruitment.

Marketing Manchester Christmas and New Year closure

The Marketing Manchester team will be taking a break over the Christmas and New Year period. The majority of the team will finish within the next few working days and whilst there will be emergency standby cover in place across comms and digital, the company will be closed from Thursday 24 December until Monday 4 January.

If you urgently need to contact someone in the Marketing Manchester team please send an email to press@marketingmanchester.com and info@marketingmanchester.com.

Useful announcements that you may have missed

Our colleagues at VisitBritain have shared details of several announcements in the past week which may be useful to know.

Check if you’re eligible for the Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs

The Christmas Support Payment is for wet-led pubs (pubs that predominantly serve alcohol rather than provide food) that have been severely impacted over the festive season due to temporary local restrictions. Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of £1,000 from their local council in areas under Tier 2 or Tier 3 local restrictions. Local councils will use their discretion to identify the right businesses to receive this funding. For eligibility criteria, please click here.

Self-isolation period reduced from 14 to 10 days from 14 December

This change started to apply in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 00:01am on Monday 14 December. People who return from countries which are not on the travel corridor list should also self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days. People who test positive should continue to self-isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms or 10 days from point of taking a positive test if asymptomatic. For more information, please click here.

Updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been updated to inform employers that they do not need to be facing a wider reduction in demand or be closed to be eligible to claim for employees who are clinically extremely vulnerable or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus. For more information and eligibility criteria, please click here.

Travel Corridors 

The Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Grant Shapps has announced the latest updates to travel corridors in the UK.

  • Botswana and Saudi Arabia have been added to travel corridors list. Arrivals do not need to self-isolate after 4am on Saturday 12 December.
  • The Canary Islands have been removed from travel corridor list due to rising cases of coronavirus. Those arriving from 4am on Saturday 12 December will need to self-isolate.

For more information and a list of countries, territories and regions where you can/cannot travel to/from, please click here.

VisitBritain’s inbound tourism forecast for 2021 predicts first signs of slow recovery

VisitBritain’s inbound tourism forecast for 2021 is predicting the first signs of a slow recovery for overseas visits to the UK.

Its forecast published last week shows a gradual increase in the value of inbound tourism during January to March 2021 with a step-change heading into Easter and the spring, if national restrictions are eased as expected, particularly from short-haul European markets. To read the full press release, please click here.

In case you missed it: get involved with our ‘This One is on Us’ campaign

We want to help Greater Manchester’s tourism, hospitality, leisure and cultural sectors bounce back stronger this January by asking partners to join our This One is on Us campaign by offering ‘Buy one get one free’ or another great deal on products and services.

If you represent a restaurant, café or bar; an attraction or activity; a tour or day trip; a paid-for experience; or a transport or parking provider, all you need to do is think of a great New Year This One is on Us deal, fill in this form, and join the campaign.

Your offer will be hosted on visitmanchester.com – the best performing website for city information – and will be backed by a significant marketing campaign that will reach over 3 million potential customers. Together we’ll get Greater Manchester buzzing again!

To submit details of your offer, please click here.

To find out more, please contact Richard.Fowler@marketingmanchester.com.

Tourism Alliance VAT campaign survey

The Tourism Alliance has worked with the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign for many years to lobby for the reduction of the rate of VAT applying to UK tourism and hospitality businesses from 20% to 5%; attempting to end the sector’s competitive disadvantage compared to other European countries that apply varying reduced rates to visitor accommodation, attractions and meals.

In July 2020, taking on board the case that the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign has made over many years, the Chancellor cut VAT to 5% on tourism and hospitality as an emergency measure to counter the effects of Covid-19. As this reduction is due to be reversed in April 2021, the Tourism Alliance want to lobby Government ahead of next year’s spring budget that the 5% VAT rate on tourism and hospitality goods and services should be made permanent.

Therefore, in partnership with the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign and UK Hospitality, a preliminary survey of tourism businesses has been created to determine how they have benefitted from the VAT reduction and what the impact of reverting back to the 20% rate on 1 April 2021 would have on their future viability.

If you or your business has benefitted from the reduction, can complete the short survey – which should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes – to provide your thoughts. To access the survey, please click here.

Partner and industry news

Tourism and Hospitality Support Hub

Throughout the Covid-19 crisis the Tourism and Hospitality Support Hub has been available to ensure that tourism and hospitality businesses are given the most up to date information including reopening standards and guidance.

In addition, our colleagues in the Business Growth Hub have launched a new suite of support services specifically aimed at tourism and hospitality businesses who need practical advice at this current time. Anyone who needs specific and detailed support should  contact: supporthub@marketingmanchester.com

If you apply for a Local Restriction Support Grant and are in the tourism, hospitality or leisure sector, you may be eligible for an additional grant for the period when Manchester was under extra restrictions. You can find out more via the Business Growth Hub, or from your local authority.

And finally, voting open for the Downtown in Business Awards

A short plug to end this week’s update. We are delighted that Sheona has been nominated in the renowned Downtown business awards. Voting is now open and Sheona is up against some inspiring women in the category ‘Woman of the Year 2021’. There are also excellent people from across the full spectrum of business nominated in 20 different categories for you to get behind.

Voting closes this Friday 18 December, so if you find yourself with five minutes, please take a look at the voting form and cast your votes with our industries in mind. To find out more, please click here.