Star comment: The gloom is starting to lift

The gloom is starting to lift. Since July 19, many people across the region have ventured out and started to enjoy the freedoms they’ve been denied for almost 18 months. In restaurants and bars, shops and nail bars, nightclubs and theatres, people have been easing their way into the transition phase as the worst of the pandemic appears to be behind us and as we look forward with more hope.

People are seated in a cafe terrace, in Rennes, western France
People are seated in a cafe terrace, in Rennes, western France

We are in the middle of the summer holidays with another four or five weeks of warm weather and no-school ahead. It is time for people to make merry, to enjoy their staycations and revel in the opportunities that the vaccine is bringing.

Among the hardest hit sector in our region is tourism. Those who normally rely on income from visitors have suffered terribly during the pandemic.

Revenue has dried up, there has been a financial drought and many have struggled to stay afloat.

With foreign travel off the agenda for all but a small minority, now is the time that locals can enjoy the simple attractions of our region while also helping to stimulate the local economy.

Lest we forget, tourist businesses usually make their money from late spring to the end of summer and they have not been able to do so during 2020 or 2021.

Many have gone almost two years without any serious form of income. So we can play our part by helping them to get back on their feet after a very long and difficult period. It is essential that tourist businesses cash-in during the coming month, for there will be few opportunities to do so again until next spring and Government support is no longer forthcoming. We need to support them or we will lose them.

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