HBAA, the association for the meetings, events and accommodation industry, is calling on the UK government to urgently lift the ban on venue site inspection visits, claiming it is delaying and preventing meeting and event bookings and blocking the industry's return to business.
The group said that while some venues offer virtual tours, it is not sufficient to progress enquiries and provisional bookings to confirmations or contracts being signed. England's reopening roadmap will not permit site visits until 17 May at the earliest, despite allowing estate agents to conduct house viewings during lockdown.
Des Mclaughlin, managing director of Meet Events and HBAA's strategy director, said: "Our industry is facing a colossal problem because clients are not willing to sign an event contract without a site inspection and the government's latest roadmap does not permit site visits until 17 May at the earliest, despite venues adhering to strict Covid-safe policies. This is blocking the return of a £70b industry."