The long-term impact of Covid-19 on restaurants, pubs and hotels in coastal and lakeside tourist spots will form part of a new inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Hospitality and Tourism.
Following its successful Pathways to Recovery report, APPG's Coasts and Waters inquiry will take a holistic look at tourism and hospitality across the UK's coasts and lakeside regions to examine the challenges and opportunities that businesses, workers and local communities face in these areas.
The aim of the inquiry is to ensure that the right support is available to avoid localised economic downturns by providing the government with a detailed report on how to promote and grow tourism in these areas in a sustainable way.
The report's key terms of reference include identifying concerns that are unique for coastal and lakeside businesses, types of support can be given to them and what conditions the sector in these areas need for long-term recovery and growth.
Chair of the APPG Steve Double MP said: "The UK's coastline plays a vital role in the economy, history and culture of our country. Our canals and waterways have been a vital part of community life for generations, while our lakeside regions provide popular tourism hotspots, areas of natural beauty and employment for thousands of people countrywide."
Double said that he had seen "first-hand the impact that Covid-19 has had on businesses in these regions, placing them under an unprecedented strain". He acknowledged that many coastal regions had already been struggling prior to the pandemic.
The new inquiry is supported by UKHospitality, whose chief executive Kate Nicholls said that tourism and hospitality businesses across the country will have a huge role to play in the UK's economic recovery from the pandemic. "Nowhere will this be more apparent than in coastal and lakeside areas, where hospitality jobs and businesses are essential to local communities," she said.
"We are grateful to APPG members for selecting such a timely and appropriate inquiry and look forward to working with them closely."
The inquiry will include two round-table sessions with businesses in July before opening a consultation process with relevant stakeholders.
The group aims to publish its report in early September.