Covid: Hotels 'burning cash' while closed

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image captionSelf-catering accommodation can have guests from 12 April

The hospitality industry in Devon and Cornwall will suffer if hotels stay closed for another three months, tourism bosses say.

Self-catering accommodation in England will be allowed guests from 12 April, a month before hotels and B&Bs on 17 May.

Tourism leaders said hoteliers were "burning cash" while closed and the sector needed more government support.

The government announced a road map to lift England out of the coronavirus lockdown on Monday.

'No income'

Within stage three of the plan is that hotels, hostels and B&Bs will not be able to reopen any earlier than 17 May.

Some businesses including the Yacht Inn in Penzance said customers had who cancelled their bookings as a result of the announcement were moving to self-catering accommodation instead.

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Visit Devon head Rhys Roberts, who also owns a hotel in Tiverton, said the costs of keeping businesses going with no income would prove too much for some, even with furlough support schemes.

He said he was "burning cash", even with furlough help of £2,500 to £3,000 a month, as there were still "costs going out of the business and no income coming in".

He added: "My situation is being replicated throughout the industry."

Critics also said hotels were facing losing two consecutive Easter seasons as result of not opening until May, and would not be able to see any operating profit until well after they had started taking in guests.

Alastair Handyside, chairman of the South West Tourism Alliance, said: "These businesses will not be able to function profitably until June.

"In the budget next week, the government must announce more support for the sector."

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