NIGEL Huddleston, Minister for Sports and Tourism, heard about the challenges currently facing tourism in Exmoor and West Somerset, particularly the struggle to find key personnel, when he visited Minehead on Tuesday to meet hotel providers and industry representatives.
He was told that tourism accounts for around 60% of all employment in Exmoor National Park and that the annual value of tourism to ‘Grand Exmoor’, including Minehead, is estimated at £ 40million.
A Visit Exmoor spokesperson said: “It has been a difficult summer, with significant vacancies and staff absences.
“Companies have had to adapt, changing their services and offerings, as they have struggled to find key personnel to fill many roles: chefs, front desk, housekeeping and various managerial positions.
“The region’s tourism and hospitality industry is now focused on extending the season, inspiring visitors all year round and finding medium and long term solutions to the challenges we face. since reopening this year. “
Visit Exmoor Chief Executive Officer Emma Thomasson said: “We were delighted to meet Mr. Huddleston in West Somerset and Exmoor. It was a fantastic opportunity to highlight the quality experiences and visitor offerings we have and to introduce the Minister to representatives of our tourism and hospitality industry in the region.
“We had a productive meeting to discuss some of the real issues facing businesses and how we are developing our vital visitor economy in a sustainable way for the future. ”
Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “From beautiful Lynmouth Beach to the attractions of Butlin’s, Minehead, there is something for everyone in West Somerset and Exmoor.
“I know that 18 months have been difficult for the tourism and hospitality industry and I was fascinated to hear about the plans of local businesses to grow sustainably in the future.”
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