‘Let us reopen and save our summer season’: Holiday park bosses’ Downing Street plea
Managers from 11 Norfolk holiday parks are urging the government to let them reopen – or risk huge damage to the local economy.
Holiday operators Parkdean Resorts and Haven have written to MPs setting out safety procedures to enable them to reopen and highlighting the economic risk of delaying the green light.
They say it is a make or break time of year for holiday parks which rely on summer tourism to survive. And they also underline their contribution to the local jobs market, which employs more than 2,000 people. This helps make up nearly 20pc of Norfolk’s entire workforce from tourism which also generates £3.3 billion for the local economy each year.
Park bosses want to reopen next month although the government advice is unclear.
Ros Pritchard, director general of the British Holiday and Home Parks Association, speaking on behalf of the holiday operators, said: “After a time of great uncertainty and stress, families need a well-deserved break that is safe and hassle free and our communities which live by tourism need them back to support local businesses. So we’re calling on local politicians to support local tourism jobs and save our summer season.”
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He said preparations were well under way for the reopening of parks with new social distancing signage and deep cleaning protocols.
Park bosses say measures are also in place to manage the flow of customers in and out of parks, with the planned use of fogging machines to disinfect large areas, a revision of check-in policies and keeping all communal facilities such as restaurants and cafes closed.
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They are also urging the reopening on the basis that social distancing is possible with self-contained and self-catering accommodation which is at least five metres apart. The average resort boasts more than 24 acres and 160 pitches in the open countryside.
In response, Brandon Lewis, MP for Yarmouth. an area where both Parkdean and Haven have resorts, said: “Covid-19 has already had a major impact on the local economy, and with almost one in five jobs in Norfolk related to tourism, it is imperative that we do whatever we can to safeguard these jobs and protect our community.”
Parkdean has resorts across Norfolk and Suffolk, including the Vauxhall holiday park in Yarmouth and Heacham Beach near King’s Lynn. Haven has parks including in Yarmouth and Caister.