Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to further support the tourism industry (a) on the Isle of Wight and (b) in other coastal communities.
As set out in the government’s Tourism Recovery Plan, we are committed to supporting the tourism industry’s return to pre-pandemic levels across England including the Isle of Wight and other coastal communities.
So far, the government has provided over £35 billion in support to the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors over the course of the pandemic in the form of grants, loans and tax breaks.
The latest budget announcement also included a new temporary business rates relief for over 90% of eligible retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England which will cut at least 50% off their business rates bills during the 2022-23 period which is worth almost £1.7 billion.
On 21 December 2021, HMT announced additional support for businesses who have been impacted by the Omicron variant across the UK, including one-off grants of up to £6,000 for hospitality and leisure premises, plus more than £100 million discretionary funding will be made available for local authorities to support other businesses.
VisitBritain (VB) promotes Isle of Wight and other coastal destinations on their websites, social media and through PR activity to ensure that when international travel resumes, visitors are inspired and informed on visiting our coastal towns and cities.
Coastal destinations were also supported via the Discover England Fund as part of the England’s Coast project. This was up to 2021 however VisitBritain continues to support their initiatives, through marketing, PR and business support.