BALPPA warns of imminent collapse in UK attractions industry

Paul Kelly, Chief Executive, BALPPA

BALPPA, the British Association of Leisure, Parks, Piers and Attractions, has warned that the UK attractions and hospitality industry is in danger of collapsing if government restrictions on reopening are not relaxed.

BALPPA has announced that it fears for a collapse of the UK’s attractions and hospitality industry and recommends that government restrictions on reopening following the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic are relaxed.

The non-profit-making trade association, which has more than 400 members, issued a clear warning in its appeal to the government.

Closure warning

“Over the last 24 hours, we have sadly seen the announcement of two significant UK attraction closures; Wicksteed Park, the oldest theme park in mainland UK, and the Torquay visitor attraction Living Coasts,” says Paul Kelly, BALPPA chief executive.

“We fear that these are just the first of many casualties in the wider UK attractions and hospitality industry. These closures are due to a lack of clarity from the UK Government, which has seen ‘hospitality’ being lumped into a single category; regardless of significant operational differences, which has been left at the back of the strategic reopening queue.

“The Government has paid no recognition to the stringent Health & Safety measures and complex operational structures this industry already had in place, and which have continued to swiftly evolve in light of the current pandemic.

“Behind these attractions are longstanding British businesses and valued local employers who have supported livelihoods and communities for decades, in destinations which have played a key part in cherished family holidays and safe family days out in the past.

“How many more attractions and destinations will the UK Government allow to close over the coming weeks without stepping in and allowing them to reopen as soon as possible, to save British businesses and save British jobs? We urge them to give clarity and support to the industry before we see more of these companies suffer.”

Earlier this month, BALPPA announced that it has seen a significant increase in membership during the pandemic. It has welcomed an extra 60 members in the past few months.