Latest foot-and-mouth outbreak unlikely to hit industry

07 August 2007 by
Latest foot-and-mouth outbreak unlikely to hit industry

The hospitality and tourism industry is unlikely to be affected by the latest foot-and-mouth outbreak as long as it remains contained, according to the chief executive of the British Hospitality Association.

Speaking to Caterer, Bob Cotton praised the speedy government response and said "lessons had been learnt" from the 2001 crisis.

He added the disease would only be a problem for the sector if it spread outside restricted areas.

The virus was found in cattle on a farm near Guildford in Surrey at the weekend and 97 animals were culled. A second outbreak was identified last night in a herd within the larger protection zone in Surrey and their slaughter had been ordered by chief veterinary officer Debby Reynolds.

Cotton said: "Everyone has reacted quickly. Last time is took them government] a week to realise and three weeks to take action. The fact they have taken action in 24 hours gives a strong, reassuring message that people are on the case and people are less likely to panic and cancel bookings. We are at the waiting stage. If there are no more cases in the next 14 days we can start to breathe a sight of relief."

He added that he had called a number of BHA members in the Guildford area who confirmed their businesses had not suffered in any way. "A few footpaths are closed but there's little business in the three mile [restriction] zone and there's no major visitor attraction there."

A spokeswoman for Pennyhill Park Hotel in nearby Bagshot confirmed that it had not received any cancellations to date.

The last outbreak, which started in 2001, lasted almost a year and cost the economy more than £8b. Tourism was also badly hit as the crisis, coupled with the 11 September attacks, saw inbound visitor numbers drop to only 22.84 million that year.

Rural tourism has been failed by government polices >>

Fair or fowl? >>

Foot-and-mouth could cost up to £2.5b, says BTA >>

Foot-and-mouth pushes up prices >>

Foot-and-mouth hits countryside tourism >>

By Helen Gilbert

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.

[The Caterer Blog]( Catch up with more news and gossip on the Caterer Blog here
[Newswire For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail news alerts.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking