Welsh Government said there are “positive messages” from UK Government about additional support for the tourism and hospitality sectors.
The sectors have been among the worst affected so far in the pandemic and now face the risk of local lockdowns – with travel bans that could be devastating.
Economy minister Ken Skates admitted a travel ban could very difficult for the sectors but that this was a key part of reducing the spread of the virus.
On Monday he announced a ringfenced £20m fund for firms in this sector and he has hopes that UK Government will also bring in a rescue package.
Meanwhile the Llandudno Hospitality Association in conjunction with UKHospitality has asked for additional support from Welsh Government for the sector – particularly as lockdown in Wales lasted longer than in England.
Mr Skates said: “We’ve been picking up positive messages (from Uk Government) about possible support for the hospitality sector which is really on its knees and will face an incredibly bleak winter without a sector package.
“We know a lot of businesses in hospitality are taking bookings for spring/summer 2021 but they just need that bridge through to recovery.
“Our £20m will contribute towards that but of course a sector package from the Uk Government really is vitally important in order to safeguard as many businesses and jobs as possible.
“I am hopeful the UK Government will listen to businesses within the tourism and hospitality sector and will respond accordingly with a rescue package.”
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said: “We keep our package of economic support under constant review but the UK Government has already provided an unprecedented series of measures to help the hospitality industry including government-backed loans, cutting VAT by 15% and the successful Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
“These have run alongside direct financial support for workers which have protected more than 500,000 Welsh jobs.
“This support will be maintained through a continuation of the reduction in VAT, a new Job Support Scheme and an extension to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
“Hospitality employs thousands in Wales and has suffered severe restrictions during the pandemic, but by working alongside the Welsh Government we will continue to protect this sector which is so vital to the Welsh economy.”
Support could become even more crucial if local lockdowns are brought in in North Wales with four counties on the ‘watch-list’ – including Conwy, where the sectors are major employers.
Mr Skates was asked if a travel ban would form part of lockdown in tourism areas.
He said: “In Wales what the First Minister has been consistently saying is that you shouldn’t leave a lockdown area and should not enter into a lockdown area.
“The purpose is to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“This is not a decision that is easily taken but this is a really serious challenge that we face, a public health and economic crisis and it requires a concerted effort by all in order to get the virus under control.
“The aim of local lockdown is to rapidly reduce infection rates so you can resume normal business as soon as possible.
“There would be difficulty but that difficulty should only be for a short period of time.
“If we don’t take this action then something far worse could happen, as the Prime Minister has said, he fears there could be six months of pain and that a national lockdown would be necessary if we don’t cool down the embers across the UK.
“I’ve got the deepest sympathy for businesses that are going to face difficultly as a consequence of local lockdowns.
“There are particular sectors that are going to be hard hit through local lockdowns like tourism and hospitality, businesses that require a larger geographical draw in order to generate an income so we’ll go on speaking with employers in those sectors that are going to find lockdowns most challenging.
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“There is the £80m we are making available for businesses to adapt to a new economy.”
Llandudno Hospitality Association want a sectoral bridging fund to see companies through the winter months.
They said: “It’s desperately needed and would be a sound investment.
“The reality is this injured industry is that we have pubs, cafes and restaurants that will consider closing as early as this weekend.”
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