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States continues to work with hospitality to support the sector

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Monday 04 October 2021

The States is continuing to work with hospitality businesses in support of the sector as it continues its recovery.

A combination of COVID-19 and Brexit has created significant challenges for the hospitality industry and the States has recognised that by offering significant support in monetary terms, policy changes and staff resources.

The Committee for Economic Development is continuing to liaise closely with hospitality businesses through the Tourism Recovery Group, which was involved in the successful off-island VisitGuernsey campaign and has led to an upcoming States-run recruitment campaign on behalf of the industry.

The Committee for Home Affairs has worked with industry and changed Population Management policies to increase employment permit flexibility for businesses and staff, and continues to examine further potential changes.

Deputy Rob Prow, President of the Committee for Home Affairs, said:

'We all understand how challenging things are for the hospitality sector at the moment. The dual impact of UK visa changes for EU staff as a result of Brexit, which are outside of our control, and COVID-19 has been the perfect storm for hospitality. Having said that, I think the States as a whole has gone and continues to go the extra mile for this sector because we recognise its cultural and economic importance to our island. Hospitality businesses have received more than £18m of taxpayers' money to help keep them afloat during the pandemic, our Committee has introduced new policies under the population management regime and added a route for EU and EEA nationals not available with the UK Immigration points based system to support them, and we continue to examine what else we can do to help. We are next week considering further changes to support businesses in this area. We are of course conscious that hospitality has been through a very tough period, which is why it continues to receive more taxpayer-funded support than any other industry.'

Deputy Neil Inder, President of the Committee for Economic Development, said:

'We have had very regular meetings with industry representatives and are committed to continuing to work together. We know how challenging recruitment is for the sector because of Brexit and COVID-19, this is not unique to Guernsey, and we are responding to that with urgency. It's equally important that hospitality businesses make themselves as attractive as possible for potential candidates, and we've asked the Guernsey Hospitality Association for suggestions as to how that can be achieved to put us in best position to compete. For our part, the States is about to launch a recruitment campaign on behalf of the sector. This taxpayer-funded recruitment campaign is a first of its kind and shows the lengths we are going to support hospitality. We know that occupancy rates for the summer season were well above 70%, which our data tells us is about pre-COVID levels and is pretty impressive considering we're still in a pandemic. We continue to invest in extending that season and we understand that this puts extra pressure on the need to be fully staffed for the benefit of our visitors.'

 

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