COVID-19 – a message from Will Myles

A message from Will Myles, Managing Director at Visit Isle of Wight

To the business owners, employees and the hundreds of businesses on our Island that rely on the tourism & visitor economy.

Established as the Destination Marketing company for the Island, Visit Isle of Wight has in this challenging time been approached by those inside and outside of the industry to offer guidance, support and strategy in what is proving to be a crisis of unprecedented levels.

We are being asked questions that at no time did anyone envisage we would ever be asked.

‘How can I keep my business going? ‘How will I pay my staff?’ What can I do to keep my attraction alive?’

I want you to know that we are doing everything we can at this moment. I am speaking to the Government bodies, our MP and our local council, while seeking advice from national tourism and trade bodies. We are in regular contact with our Island ferry and transport providers to ensure that we are all aligned with our approach.

As the MD of Visit Isle of Wight, I can reassure you that I am asking these questions on behalf of the businesses that I serve, in the hope that we can get some guidance on those issues and more.

We are working hard to get answers to questions, but as I am sure you will appreciate, solutions that fit every scenario are not available.

I am personally gladdened to see that many businesses are working to find their own way – for example, pubs and restaurants offering take away services – but I know that for many other businesses, this is simply not an option.

We will continue to update our Industry website https://visitwightpro.com/2020/03/06/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-advice-hub/ with as much relevant information to assist you with your business and how you can access recently announced government finance and assistance streams.

We will also update our consumer facing website with health and travel advice, there is dedicated page at https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/travel/coronavirus-information

We are also working to make the information more prominent on the homepage for potential visitors.

This is a situation unlike anything that has been encountered before.

Our Visit Isle of Wight marketing team is making sure that we do no miss out and is watching hour by hour for the opportunities to make sure that the Isle of Wight and our businesses are thrust in to the limelight at exactly the right time

I ask that you keep Visit Isle of Wight informed of changes to your situation, so that I may feedback the gravity of the situation to all the relevant bodies, as they want to have the most up to date picture

But above all, I ask that you keep yourselves, your family and your team healthy.

This situation will not last forever, and only together can we rebuild what has been lost.