On Thursday, Duncan Baker MP hosted a Zoom call to connect tourism and hospitality businesses from across North Norfolk directly with Nigel Huddleston MP, Minister for Arts, Heritage, and Tourism.
Mr Huddleston answered a broad range of questions from hoteliers, bed & breakfast owners, caravan and holiday parks, theatres, event promoters, and boat hire businesses.
Issues explored included VAT for the hospitality industry, business interruption insurance, and the ‘postcode lottery’ where some local authorities have been better than others in distributing government grants to businesses.
Speaking after the meeting, Duncan Baker said: “I’m so grateful to Nigel Huddleston for meeting and engaging with North Norfolk tourism and hospitality businesses. Tourism is an important part of the North Norfolk economy and coronavirus has hit us particularly hard. I felt it was really important to engage with those tourism businesses which had contacted me directly during the pandemic so they could put their questions directly to the Minister.
“Government support has been a lifeline to many businesses, and I am pleased that we can now reopen much of this sector from 4th July. I will continue to engage with Visit North Norfolk and local businesses and help in any way I can as things begin to return to normal next week.
“Initial signs are that – in spite of three months of lost trade – the summer will be a vibrant and busy one as visitors cautiously engage with the ‘staycation’ culture. Though it will not be easy for some time to come, I have high hopes that the recovery will be rapid and that businesses will be able not only to survive, but to flourish.”