Steve Double MP statement on the need to welcome tourists to Cornwall

“I was very concerned to read the statement from the Cornwall Councillor responsible for the economy portfolio on Cornwall Council reported in national media today, that said:

“We think it would be better to support the tourist business with grants and support rather than have a summer season.”

“This type of language, released without any apparent consultation to the wider membership of Cornwall Council, is incredibly ill-timed and mis-judged.”

“Cornwall Council is supposed to be there to support the residents and businesses of Cornwall but the Councillor responsible for the economy portfolio seems to have forgotten this and declared war on Cornwall’s tourist industry.”

“The Government has always followed the scientific guidance in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. When lockdown measures were first introduced, I was very clear that people should not be coming to Cornwall. This supported the Government’s guidance.”

“But now,  months down the line, we are winning our collective fight against this virus, we have been able to ease some lockdown measures. Non-essential shops are able to re-open and we look ahead to July where it is still hoped to allow some holiday accommodation and hospitality businesses to reopen.”

“The government is taking a measured and gradual approach to easing the restrictions. But we cannot stay in lockdown forever and we need to allow the tourist sector to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.”

“Right now, what we need to see is all organisations in Cornwall coming together to support the tourism and hospitality businesses that make up such an important part of Cornwall’s economy. Cornwall Council don’t seem to understand that if these businesses don’t reopen soon, with people being encouraged to visit them, they may never reopen at all. This will result in tens of thousands of local people losing their jobs and the knock-on effect of all those businesses in the supply chain.”

“I am sorry to see the leadership at Cornwall Council let down Cornwall’s economy like this and I very much hope they will see sense and urgently review their position.“

“My message is very clear. As soon as it is safe to do so we need to welcome tourists back to our wonderful county. With very few people likely to travel overseas this year there is an opportunity for local businesses to benefit from people choosing to stay in the UK. We should be promoting Cornwall and welcoming tourists which is what I will be doing.”