A model of safety at Babbacombe Model Village
- Credit: Archant
The award-winning Babbacombe Model Village is yet another Torbay attraction taking small and positive steps toward the responsible reopening of tourism.
As an outdoor attraction, the model village does provide some natural adherence to social distancing guidelines and they have also worked extremely hard to establish a safe environment for visitors.
'We are working toward July 4 for reopening,' said general manager Mike Rhodes.
'We are an outdoor attraction, which obviously does help with meeting the safety guidelines. We also benefit from a natural one-way route through the gardens, something we have always had at the model village.
'Throughout the gardens, we have added two-metre markings for social distancing and our advice to people will be to stay at least two markers apart.
'If you have a family group, they naturally take up a fair bit of space, so for everybody's greater enjoyment and comfort, we will be recommending this to visitors.
'Unfortunately, the indoor theatre will have to remain closed for the time being but we have introduced one-way systems for the display areas, and the serving booths have protective screens for the safety of staff and visitors.
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'One issue we did have, similar to most attractions, was the only exit was through the gift shop.
'As such, we have moved the gift shop into the coffee shop area, allowing people to easily bypass these for the exits.'
Now that reopening procedures have been followed, the focus is on salvaging the best summer season possible.
'We have enjoyed support from the Government but it still vitally important to the community that tourism is able to restart,' added Mike.
'We were quite fortunate with our cashflow situation at the start of lockdown and we are still very hopeful of a reasonable summer season to provide some stability for the winter.
'Nobody can guess how the summer will work out, we just don't know if it will be busy or not, but we have set up an arrival booking slot through the website to provide the best experience possible.'
• For more information on the reopening plans, log on to www.model-village.co.uk