'Golden opportunity' awaits Bay - but we need to get people back into work

Carolyn Custerson, CEO of the English Riviera BID Company

Carolyn Custerson, CEO of the English Riviera BID Company - Credit: English Riviera BID Company

2021, despite the Pandemic, presents Torbay with a ‘Golden Opportunity’ to win the hearts and minds of literally thousands of first time visitors who would normally be holidaying abroad. Nicknamed ‘Staycationers’ these very valuable new visitors are literally worth hundreds of thousands to our local economy and every one of them is critically important to our long-term recovery, with the resort having lost over £300 million to date as a direct result of the COVID pandemic. 
Our top priority now, in addition to obviously operating safely and being ‘The Responsible Riviera’, is to make sure that we now meet expectations, as we want everyone of fall in love with the English Riviera and to come back with their friends and family for many years to come.   
But there is a risk, a big and increasingly worrying risk. 
Great hospitality is all about great customer service, great food, great accommodation, and great days out, but all of this is now potentially under threat because of serious staff shortages across the resort and across the whole country.       
Of particular concern is the ‘Pingdemic' that is literally pulling business teams apart, leaving them seriously short staffed at a minute’s notice.  
The English Riviera BID Company have been lobbying government heavily over recent weeks, as this is not sustainable and we have been arguing for the need to introduce a ‘test and release’ process that reduces the isolation period if tests are negative. Quite simply, we need to get as many of our great people back to the workplace ASAP, so we can continue to provide great customer service.   
Stage 4 of the Government’s Lockdown and final easing of COVID measures does present businesses with some new hope and the opportunity to try and increase capacity a little and importantly turnover, but to do that successfully we need more people in the front line!! 
For that reason, we are fully in support of the ‘Torbay Needs You’ campaign. 
The English Riviera is one of the UK’s Premier Resorts and looking to the future, we all need to recognise the absolutely critical part that Hospitality plays locally and the thousands of jobs and great careers that it provides for all ages.   
Carolyn Custerson, CEO of the English Riviera BID Company

The English Riviera BID Company logo with red and blue palm tree on a white background

The English Riviera BID Company - Credit: ERBID Company