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Council urges tourism sector to get ready

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COPELAND Council is encouraging the tourism sector to make sure it is ready for the ‘opening up’ of Britain this summer.

The anticipated rise in staycations, and the need for businesses to recover from extended closures, means they should act now to make sure they are fully prepared for the return of visitors.

The council has suggested a checklist of ideas to help people prepare.

Copeland's portfolio holder for tourism, Coun Steve Morgan, said: "We really want Copeland tourism businesses to hit the ground running. Many people will be attracted to the quieter areas of the country with big skies and open spaces – that’s Copeland. I know our businesses are keen to welcome visitors with open arms as soon as restrictions allow, so in the meantime there are some things they can be checking.”

The council's suggestions include:

  • Have you got all the financial help you are entitled to? Take a look at our business support pages to see what grants and schemes are available to you.
  • Are you Covid safe? Visitors will still want to come to places that make them feel safe – is your signage clean, do any screens need replacing, and can your business run in a way that allows people to feel spaced out and safe? Get advice from the council's environmental health team at envhealth@copeland.gov.uk  
  • Make sure you’re up to date with any statutory requirements for your business. There might be environmental health regulations (email envhealth@copeland.gov.uk), qualifications that need updated, professional memberships or legal requirements. Check and book in anything that’s needed now.
  • Get connected. Now is the time to boost your business profile and for businesses to support each other. Why not join the Western Lake District and Coast Group? It's free until March 2022 and offers networking, events, marketing and advice. Find out more here.
  • Get listed. While paid-for advertising can be effective, there are other ways to get yourself ‘out there’ – use this time to get listed on Copeland Borough Council’s business directory. It’s available on the council’s website and you can be placed on it for free by contacting jenny.brumby@copeland.gov.uk. Another great idea is to become listed on Google My Business. You’ll get a free business profile where you can post offers and photos. Crucially, many apps use it to list nearby attractions, accommodation etc.
  • Increase your online presence. Now is the time to get round to tidying up and updating your website. Make sure it’s bang up-to-date, shows off your business’s assets, and has all the information a visitor will need. Does it show current availability? Why not add some of our fantastic photographs, or share our stunning drone footage of Copeland to attract new customers? You can see it here and get copies of photographs from katie.read@copeland.gov.uk.
  • Join the conversation. If you are not already on social media as a business, please consider it. It’s a free way to reach new customers, give quick, up-to-date information, interact and build a community around your business. Social media groups can also be a great source of support and ideas.
  • Apply for the free 'We're Good To Go' consumer mark, a UK-wide industry standard to reassure your customers your business adheres to Government and public health guidance. 

Coun Morgan added: “We are here to help. If you want to discuss how your tourism business can recover, move forward and develop post-Covid, please contact our staff for a chat at katie.read@copeland.gov.uk."