Latest UK Government updates

Further to the Prime Minister’s update last Friday, details about the next phase of reopening and pilots in England are now available.

From now/this week:

  • Meetings of up to 30 people indoors are now allowed in permitted venues if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate that it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
  • Face coverings will be mandatory in shops and supermarkets from 24 July 2020.

From the 1 August, if prevalence remains around or below current levels, the Government will take the following steps: 

  • Enable the restart of indoor performances to a live audience, in line with COVID- 19 secure guidelines, subject to the success of pilots that are taking place as soon as possible.
  • Carry out pilots in venues with a range of sizes of crowds, particularly where congregating from different places, including business events. The pilots (some of which will begin late July) will be carefully monitored and evaluated to inform future decisions on any further relaxation of the rules.
  • Enable wedding receptions – sit-down meals for no more than 30 people, subject to COVID-19 secure guidance.
  • Exhibition and conference centres are allowed to show small groups (of up to 30 people with social distancing requirements) around to view the facilities and plan future events and to enable Government-backed pilots to take place. They should not be open fully to host events more widely.

From 1 October: 

  • It is expected that events of all types, including sporting events as well as business events and conferences, will be permitted to resume from 1 October, provided rates of infection remain at current levels. The Government will hold a number of pilots at event venues around the country to plan for the return of large-scale events and test how to implement social distancing practises. Details of these pilots will be finalised in the coming weeks.

Guidance on working safely in the visitor economy has been updated to include business events and consumer shows.

Increase your tourism bookings online with visitmanchester.com and TXGB

There has never been a more important time to get your business online and bookable as we look to reboot the tourism sector in Greater Manchester. That’s why we have teamed up with TXGB to make it easier than ever for you to get online and feature in our digital activity.

As people start planning to book their next holiday within the UK, we are creating a one-stop shop for accommodation, attractions, tours and events; enabling tourists to discover and book everything our region has to offer.

Working with TXGB enables us to do this quickly and easily, giving you the ability to immediately take advantage of the inevitable domestic market increase.

Key benefits:

  • You can feature in our campaigns to drive tourism in the area;
  • You will be paid directly, in advance, by the consumer for all bookings made on our website, protecting cash-flow at a time when cash is king;
  • You will receive the customer data, we will not mask or hide this from you, so you can develop a direct relationship with each customer;
  • You can connect your pricing and availability via one of 75 booking systems or direct, so there is no barrier to taking part;
  • We will only charge 10% commission on bookings, and this will go back into supporting promoting and supporting the region;
  • You can utilise TXGB to add bookability to your own website, and access a diverse range of other distribution channels, from new and niche to established OTAs.

Get in touch with stuart.aiken@marketingmanchester.com to discuss this further.

To help us to plan and forecast our digital activity in the bookable area it would be really helpful to find out what booking systems our partners are using. You can let us know by completing this 30 second survey.

UKinbound asks UK hotels and attractions to confirm 2021 rates

Inbound operators looking to put business into the UK are calling on Greater Manchester’s suppliers to confirm their rates for 2021 so that they can begin booking international travel for next year.

UKinbound CEO Joss Croft has asked for hotels and attractions across the country to think long-term and supply rates to avoid serious problems with pipeline visitation to the UK next year. He said: “Because a lot of attractions and hotels are having to operate at reduced capacity, they are not setting trade rates with operators. That’s giving my operators a real problem.

“Some suppliers are waiting to see what 2021 looks like and the other factor is that many yield managers are on furlough. We have 140 operators and members. With over 50% of all people booking through an intermediary, those operators are critical.

“It’s important on an economic front because, a lot of the time, it’s these operators that drive the regional tourism economy. These hotels and attractions wouldn’t get the visitors without the tour operators.

“Major markets like the US still aren’t allowed into the UK. People want to push back their bookings until next year, which is great news for the UK. But not knowing rates for 2021 is starting to become a real issue. I was on a call this week with operators based in the US and they want to start getting booked in for their clients now. The bookings will turn into deposits, which will turn into valuable cash flow.”

As a city-region with significant international footfall, Marketing Manchester would encourage all suppliers in Greater Manchester to follow UKinbound’s advice and promote rates for 2021 as soon as possible.

Get involved: VisitEngland’s visitor attractions survey

All attractions in England should have now received an invitation to take part in VisitEngland’s annual survey of visitor attractions. We appreciate that this is a very difficult time for everyone as the effects of COVID-19 are felt across the UK and impacting businesses and individuals but hope that you will be able to find the time to take part.

This year VisitEngland has extended the survey close date until 10 August 2020, to allow as many attractions the chance to take part as possible, so there’s still time to submit any data you may have.

The research is particularly important this year as it generates a lot of press, which VisitEngland hope will help to drive people back to attractions when they open. All attractions completing this survey will receive a personalised benchmarking report and be entered into a prize draw to win £100.

VisitEngland is conscious that site closure and furloughing of some staff may mean that survey invitations have not reached the most appropriate person this year. If you think that your attraction has not yet received an invitation to take part in the survey, please contact Tanya Sharapova at annualattractionssurvey@bva-bdrc.com.

Reminder: get accredited for VisitEngland’s ‘We’re Good To Go’ consumer mark

To support you as you work towards re-opening and welcoming customers, the ‘We’re Good To Go’ COVID-19 industry standard and consumer mark is now available to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for businesses, attractions and destinations as well as reassurance to local residents and visitors that clear processes are in place and that as a business you are good to go.

Around 150 Greater Manchester businesses have signed up including many of our partners. We’d love to see more of our partners sign up, especially food and drink operators, so please take a moment to find out more and get accredited for free, here.

Register now: Tourism and Hospitality Talent Hub industry support webinar

Due to COVID-19 many businesses have been forced to reduce numbers within their current workforce and adapt to a new normal. Such drastic change can be incredibly difficult, and The Tourism and Hospitality Talent Hub is here to help you and your staff to navigate this period.

If you would like to hear more about the vast range of support the Growth Company and Marketing Manchester can offer to the tourism, hospitality and leisure industries, please join Margaret Bartnikiewicz, Employment Project Manager at the Tourism and Hospitality Talent Hub on our free webinar.

The webinar will take place at 11am on Wednesday 5 August. Sign up here.

For more information and general enquiries about the Tourism and Hospitality Talent Hub, please get in touch with Margaret Bartnikiewicz via email: talenthub@growthco.uk or call 07503 620815.

Partner news you should know about

Some welcome news from our partners that we think you should know about:

Please email your news to press@marketingmanchester.com FAO of Andy Parkinson and also add this email address to your media/press distribution lists.

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. We have streamline the Hub to give the most useful information; however, we will continue to deliver the service throughout the reopening of the visitor economy and anyone who needs specific and detailed support should contact supporthub@marketingmanchester.com for bespoke help and advice.

Latest Links

Eat Out to Help Out

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme updates

  • Guidance on how HMRC works out trading profits and non-trading income
  • Guidance on how different circumstances affect the scheme

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) updates

A number of updates have been made to guidance on the CJRS:

  • New guidance has been published on claiming for inpiduals who are paid through PAYE
  • Guidance on calculating how much you can claim.
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance has been updated to clarify that notice periods being served by furloughed employees include contractual notice periods.

Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus outbreak

  • Guidance has been updated to confirm that the flexibility to suspend level 2 functional skills for level 2 apprentices has been extended, and to provide more information on support for redundant apprentices.

Updated transport guidance

  • The Department for Transport has updated its travel and transport guidance with the ‘avoid public transport’ message removed. The collection of guidance can be found here.

Customer logging toolkit for businesses

  • Public Health England has published the Customer Logging Toolkit. This contains a variety of template materials for businesses to display, as well as guidance on how the policy works. Businesses should be storing the information securely for 21 days and sharing it with NHS Test and Trace if asked to do so. Businesses do not need to do anything else with the information.

Webinars

  • Government is hosting a series of free webinars for hospitality businesses and to hear your feedback on practical implementation, clarification and amendment needed:
    • Spa, gym and beauty 11am Tuesday 28 July Register here.
    • Restaurants, Pubs and Bars: 3pm, Tuesday 28 July Register here.
  • A new webinar on the Eat Out to Help Out scheme is also now available on multiple dates register here

HMRC support

  • If you have any detailed questions about the reduced rate of VAT you can contact:

Business rates system review: Call for evidence

As part of a fundamental review of the business rates system, the Government has put out a call for evidence from the industry. This call for evidence seeks views on how the business rates system currently works, issues to be addressed, ideas for change and a number of alternative taxes.

Responses should be submitted online and will be collected in two stages. Views on the multiplier and reliefs sections are requested by 18 September in order to inform an interim report in the autumn. Responses on all other sections are due by 31 October.

Reporting Outbreaks

Public Health England have launched a campaign to that provides advice to businesses on how to identify and respond to a local coronavirus outbreak. The campaign seeks to help business operators:

    • Identify an outbreak of COVID-19 (one or more confirmed case depending on the business or organisation)
    • Report the outbreak to local health protection team
    • Work with local health protection team to respond

https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/reporting-an-outbreak/overview/