Business challenges in all sectors remain for 2022  

Torbay Weekly

Many families have enjoyed seeing relatives over the Christmas period and are now returning to their homes.

It has been a welcome break and an opportunity to share this important time of the year with children and grandchildren once again.

Sadly, some have not been able to so as a result of Covid and we hope they will be able to make up for it in the new year.

As we now return from the Christmas break, many businesses will be rewriting their budgets to adjust for the latest Covid outbreak and some will be asking how they will be able to survive.

The hospitality business has already made it clear that £1 billion of support is unlikely to be enough, although with no restrictions on New Year’s Eve, pubs and restaurants were hoping for a good turnout.

The efforts have moved to get as many people as possible vaccinated with all three jabs and extraordinary measures have been organised over the Christmas period and into January.

The hope is the latest variant will cause less people needing hospitalisation but it is currently too early to say and no business can fail to prepare for a lockdown in the new year if things deteriorate.

The good news is many have been through this several times over the last two years and they and their teams will be ready to adapt once again.

Government support will be vital in many areas and this will be a challenge as it will increase borrowings yet again.

The rules across the world are changing with more and more countries insisting on evidence of vaccination and increasing the number of tests to be taken, as well as restrictions on numbers and meetings.

On the positive side, the hospitality industry can look forward to more holidaymakers staying at home and not putting up with all the restrictions and concerns of foreign travel and the possibility of not being able to return home.

Although much of the world will be vaccinated by the end of 2022 and, hopefully, new variants will have lesser effect, travel is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels for some years.

This will certainly help us here in Devon as we have the attractions and facilities which can give pleasure and relaxation.

There has been much new investment to provide more for all types of holidays and all ages.

The standard of food and entertainment has also improved and people are aware of what we have to offer without the stress of a flight and an airport.

Once again, the car, van, caravan or motorhome will play its part and the region will look forward to greeting visitors and making their stay a memorable one and one they will wish to repeat in the future.

If this happens, maybe the need for long journeys will become less desirable and there will more sustainability for the holiday industry throughout the whole region.

I believe we can adjust and take advantage of the new opportunities this different world will offer and with our amazing creative and determined minds look forward to the future with confidence.

Stay safe and keep smiling. I wish you all a successful and healthy 2022.