Lincolnshire Tourism Survey Results published. Read the summary of the Visit Lincoln tourism, hospitality and leisure business survey results here.

In June 2020, Visit Lincoln conducted a second detailed survey to determine the impact of COVID-19 on tourism in Lincolnshire. Thank you to the 98 respondents from across the County who responded to our recent Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Business survey. This information is invaluable to us and will help us shape the strategies we adopt to ensure we have a thriving visitor economy for the future.

We interviewed a wide range of hospitality and tourism businesses from e our sector, although the majority of respondents were from the accommodation sector:

  • 6.12% Hotels
  • 18.37% B&B/Guest House
  • 26.53% Self-catering/holiday parks/lodge/camping/caravan

A full copy of the survey can be accessed here  but we have outlined the key points and more importantly the areas businesses have stated they would like support with as they reopen. Whilst the results still indicate many challenges, it does also portray that Lincolnshire’s tourism businesses are optimistic about the future. The survey revealed some common themes for concern as we move forward. However we have a great product that ticks so many of the boxes consumers will be looking for post COVID-19, and by sharing this information we are now in a position to help overcome these.

It appears that many businesses have diversified when possible and those who had to close throughout lockdown seem to be resilient. Keen to move forward with this new way of working, and welcoming visitors back to the county.

Most importantly this survey does pinpoint areas in which Visit Lincoln and partners can support our businesses moving forward.

Summary of the Survey

Main source of customers:

  • 26.53% said business was from within Lincolnshire
  • 27% was from East Midlands
  • 43.88% from elsewhere in the UK
  • 60% of consumers are for leisure

At the time of the survey 65% of businesses were closed, and 19.39% were trading but had diversified.

Workforce and loss of Revenue:

Encouragingly 33% said they had managed to retain 100% of their workforce. However 23.33% anticipated redundancies in the future (80% stated financial reasons, but over 28% stated it was due to social distancing). Over 20% of businesses said they had lost 100% revenue due to COVID-19.

Most Popular Government Schemes:

  • COVID-19 Business Support Grant – over 59%
  • Staff Furlough – over 38%
  • Business Rates Holiday – over 28%

Many businesses stated they were confident that they would have financial resources to continue

  • 12% being ‘extremely confident’
  • Over 23% ‘Confident’
  • Over 39% ‘somewhat confident’

Re-opening and the Future –

  • 55% Businesses planned to re-open in July with 18% planning to reopen in August. 4% would not reopen until 2021.

Social Distancing:

  • Only 32% said they would make a profit under social distancing rules
  • 42% said they would break even
  • 25% said they would make a loss
  • 62% businesses anticipated supplier cost increases

Other Operational Difficulties outlined included:

  • Consumer Confidence
  • Lack of clarity around mass gatherings

Biggest concerns as we move out of lockdown:

  • Second wave – over 78%
  • Cancellation of events and festivals – 69%
  • National/Global Recession – 61%
  • Decreasing consumer confidence and spend – 59%
  • Not making enough money to survive winter – 57%
  • Demand from future bookings – 56%
  • Managing social distancing – 47%

Opportunities

40% predict more demand for rural breaks with an emphasis on quality products, ‘staycations’. Lincolnshire has lots of potential especially with our open spaces, less densely populated areas etc.

Further/continued financial measures needed:

  • Extension to furlough
  • VAT Reductions
  • Insurance to Cover loss of earnings
  • Grant to cover lost income due to restrictions
  • Support and training
  • Business rate holiday
  • Massively increased marketing expenditure and assistance
  • VAT Deferral
  • Working with landlords to action rent reductions
  • PPE Equipment
  • Support for facilities to operate with social distancing in place

Other key areas the sector needs

  • Extension of the season
  • Provision of green space for recovery; need to factor green agenda and sustainability into the financial and economic recovery.

Support needed from Visit Lincoln

  • Extensive Lincolnshire marketing campaign through Visit Lincoln and Visit Lincolnshire.com to stimulate demand – over 59%
  • Positive PR campaign to build consumer confidence – 56%
  • Positive PR campaign to build residents confidence
  • 47% requested downloadable digital signage bundles
  • 39% requested COVID-19 specific marketing advice they can use
  • 33% required business support to ensure guidance is followed
  • 27% asked for continued lobbying and research (business and consumer sentiment for future planning)
  • 20% asked for digital support
  • 18% asked for social media support

Visit Lincoln will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that all our partners are supported and that Lincolnshire is represented as a warm, welcoming, beautiful and safe destination for all to enjoy.

The next few months are crucial as we adapt to this new way of working, and look towards the winter season and beyond. It is right to be cautious but there is also plenty of room for optimism and excitement; this could be a golden opportunity for domestic tourism and Lincolnshire. By working together to market our destination we can all help future proof our visitor economy. Thank to again to all those who took part.