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  1. ITV Report

Coronavirus: The effect on tourism in the south

The tourism industry in the south is struggling, as many attractions close because of a decreasing number of visitors.

It comes after the government advised everyone to avoid non-essential travel and stay at home in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Self-employed workers that are being negatively affected are seeking more support from the government.

Staffed sites run by English Heritage have closed, as have National Trust buildings.

Meanwhile, Windsor Castle has closed and Blenheim Palace has closed some of its rooms.

However, some local businesses have remained open, despite the negative effects of Covid-19 on visitor numbers.

Port Lympne Wildlife Park in Kent is still open.

Tony Kelly, Manager Director of Port Lympne & Howletts said the park had experienced "an interesting ten days" and that "numbers had dropped over the last week or so".

"People are still coming. We're still getting bookings and people are still rocking up on the day. We've got 600 acres of park at Port Lympne and we've got 100 acres at Howletts. I think people see us as an area where they can come and be safe".

– Tony Kelly, Manager Director, Port Lympne & Howletts
  • Richard Barnes, Animal Manager, Port Lympne

In Bournemouth, the Oceanarium remains open and staff are "taking each day as it comes".

Measures are being put in place to take account of social distancing and a core team will continue to look after the animals and are being provided with personal protection equipment.

  • James Eels, Director, Bournemouth Oceanarium

Meanwhile, walking tours in Oxford are becoming quiet and bookings are "sporadic".

Prior to the outbreak, tourists from Asia and schoolchildren from France were frequent customers of the tours.

However, on Thursday, Iain Stevenson only had two clients.

He said: "If they book online and want to come on a walking tour, we are here and we will provide it unless told otherwise."

  • Iain Stevenson, Oxford Walking Tours

In Eastbourne, the tourist town is quieter than usual.

Cllr David Tutt from Eastbourne Council said that "a lot of hotel beds are empty" and the town needs "the government to provide full support for the businesses that might otherwise go to the wall."

  • Cllr David Tutt, Leader, Eastbourne Council, Lib Dem