Boris Johnson’s announcement yesterday (10/05/2020) whilst anti-climatic, gave us some indication around the fate of Leisure and Attraction venues. In terms of reopening, it’s going to be July 4th at the very earliest. This was later confirmed by Dominac Raab. Whilst both statements relate to the hospitality sector, due to similar levels of risk, we can safely assume the leisure and attraction industry will be included in this reopening target.
The July 4th target isn’t definite, it’s accompanied by conditions. Any reopening plan is dependent on a continued decrease of COVID-19 infections and related deaths; this is far from a guarantee.
The potentially unsettling nature of this announcement is compounded by recent events in South Korea. After a relatively successful battle against the virus, much of the South Korean leisure industry has been forced to shut their doors once more due to a new COVID-19 outbreak. Highlighting the situational instability and importance of protecting guests.
There’s no point avoiding the truth, this isn’t what we wanted to hear. At MAMA we are well aware that May and June can be strong performing months that help us build momentum into the summer holidays. That doesn’t mean we’re advocating doom and gloom, far from it. But we need to be aware of the situation we are facing. Despite the negatives, there are definite positives associated with this announcement, we just need to change our perspective.
We know more than we did before and that’s never a bad thing. We finally have a date to plan towards. Whilst it’s far from set in stone, we can now schedule our activity on a defined timeline. We can start to understand when it’s best to reengage staff and apply deadlines to our plans for operational changes.
We are also seeing a significant commitment from the Government in balancing economic demands and health concerns. The government is signalling that they are prepared to support businesses that are willing to adjust and protect the public. Whilst the furlough scheme is due to end in June, we wouldn’t be surprised if additional support is made available for businesses in harshly affected industries; such as Leisure and Attraction.
But ultimately, there is one thing that stands above all others. It’s our responsibility to each other. We need to operate to the highest standards of safety and transmission prevention. It’s only going to take one bad apple to spoil the bunch. If a leisure or attraction venue is responsible for an outbreak, we will all feel the consequences.
Implementing numerous operational changes whilst juggling the responsibility for people’s wellbeing seems daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are loads of great resources out there, you just need to look in the right places. When everythings is laid out clearly, things become a lot easier.
We’ve found the IAAPA to be a fantastic source of guidance throughout COVID-19. For those of you that don’t know, the IAAPA are the global association for the attraction industry (We’re not actually sure what the acronym stands for…😂). They’ve recently released their ‘Reopening Guidance’ document. It’s been put together by experts across the world and contains some really valuable information. We’d 100% recommend checking it out, we’ve already passed it on to some of our clients.
On another note, let’s take a moment to reflect on VE Day. As a society, we’ve come through some incredibly testing circumstances in the past 100 years. At MAMA we’ve spent the weekend reflecting on the incredible sacrifices of the people that came before us. Our ancestors prevailed in the face of challenges far more ominous than ours. If we channel just a fraction of their can do spirit, we will come out of this far stronger.
Check out the awesome VE Festival initiative created by the Royal Airforce Museum, National Army Museum and The Royal Navy National Museum. View the festival here. It’s a textbook example of finding accessible ways to engage with your audience about the things that matter to you. Bravo guys!