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Webinar aims to bring Norfolk and Suffolk tourism sector together to discuss key issues

PUBLISHED: 10:34 10 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:34 10 June 2020

MHA Larking Gowen is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, June 23 at 10.30am to discuss the key issues facing the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector

MHA Larking Gowen is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, June 23 at 10.30am to discuss the key issues facing the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector

Archant

Individuals from across the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector are invited to come together to discuss the key issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic at a free-to-attend webinar on June 23.

Chris Scargill, tourism, leisure and hospitality specialist partner at MHA Larking Gowen    Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChris Scargill, tourism, leisure and hospitality specialist partner at MHA Larking Gowen Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

After many years of consistent growth in the value of tourism and leisure to the economies of Norfolk and Suffolk, the COVID-19 pandemic will set businesses back many years, if indeed, they are able to survive, says Chris Scargill, tourism, leisure and hospitality specialist at MHA Larking Gowen, chartered accountants and business advisors.

To help businesses get a grip on this unprecedented situation, and to start planning for what lies ahead, Mr Scargill will be hosting a webinar discussion entitled ‘Hope or Fear? The first steps for the sector’ on Tuesday, June 23 at 10.30am.

Joined by a guest panel of leaders and business owners from the sector, the free-to-attend webinar will cover key questions faced by the industry.

“Finding out what other likeminded businesses are doing, sharing ideas, initiatives and processes is a great help,” said Mr Scargill. “It therefore made sense for us to host a webinar, with a broad panel of key individuals from across the sector, discussing the issues they face, the ideas they have to survive - and indeed thrive - as the recovery process starts.”

Andy Wood, Adnams CEO, pictured before lockdown.   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNAndy Wood, Adnams CEO, pictured before lockdown. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Adnams CEO Andy Wood is one of the panellists and will discuss how being able to adapt to new situations quickly is the key to survival.

“Adnams, like many other businesses, saw a massive decline in revenues overnight, in our case a fall of around 80pc,” he said. “Our business model had to change dramatically as a result. Our focus from the outset was absolute safety, ensuring the business survived and protecting jobs.

“Our progressive culture and willingness to act and learn from ourselves and others was fundamental to our being able to do this so quickly.”

Mr Wood and Mr Scargill will be joined on the panel by Ruth Knight – director of Waveney River Centre and Norfolk Broads Direct, Philip Turner – founder of Chesnut Inns, and Andrew Barnes – CEO and owner of Bure Valley Railway. The audience members will also be invited to submit questions.

Ruth Knight, director of Waveney River Centre and Norfolk Broads Direct   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNRuth Knight, director of Waveney River Centre and Norfolk Broads Direct Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mr Scargill concluded: “The relaxing of the lockdown, alongside reduced government support, will be a big challenge. Social distancing will lead to reduced business capacity and a restricted product offering, which in turn will reduce potential income levels. Combine this with the investment needed to keep customers safe, and you begin to see the pressure on business funds.

“The reality is that the real challenge has just started. We are therefore hopeful that the webinar will help and inspire businesses through this challenging period.”

To attend the ‘Hope or Fear? The first steps for the sector’ webinar on Tuesday, June 23 at 10.30am, click here.

Philip Turner, founder of Chestnut Inns   Picture: ArchantPhilip Turner, founder of Chestnut Inns Picture: Archant


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