Coronavirus: Will our region's favourite tourist attractions survive lockdown?

Tourism is the biggest industry in our region and has been shut down during two of the busiest months of the year. Now, tourist attractions warn that if they're not allowed to open soon, many will go under for good.

  • Watch Kate Prout's report below:

The lucrative summer months keep many businesses afloat during the winter but they might not survive if the lockdown continues until September.

Attractions like Banham Zoo in Norfolk haven't been able to welcome any visitors since the beginning of lockdown.

Some staff are furloughed, but the zoo doesn't qualify for a government support grant and is spending £25,000 a week to feed its inhabitants.

. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"It's definitely a very difficult period. We rely on a 6 month period in order to generate our income which supports us for the whole year. And so far we've lost almost three months of that, which is about £1.5 million in income. So for a company that turns over just over 6 million you can imagine that's a devastating amount to lose."

Claudia Roberts, Managing Director

Similarly, other zoos in the region like Colchester have admitted they don't know what the future holds if they are unable to re-open soon. They are currently gearing up to open in July, if they can make it safe to do so.

Today, tourism bosses have warned that unless lockdown is eased even further, there could be devastating effects for the industry.

. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"Potentially there is a risk of tens of thousands of people will not have jobs to go back to when this is over. And you realise how important tourism is to the East of England, it's worth over ten million pounds a year."

Pete Waters, Executive Director, Visit East Anglia
Shuttleworth gardens in Bedfordshire say they could welcome social distant visitors Credit: ITV News Anglia

While Zoos and gardens may be able to welcome socially distant visitors, it could be a while longer for indoor facilities to open, like Rockingham Castle in Northamptonshire.

"Being an old building everything is rather constrained and small. Can we do some form of takeaway catering arrangements. We've got to look at the routes we use in the garden to ensure social distancing can be maintained."

James Saunders Watson, Owner, Rockingham Castle
  • Reporter Kate Prout was at Gorleston beach in Norfolk this evening for a live update on tonight's programme (27th May)