Coronavirus: Big events cancelled and fears for the tourism and hospitality industry

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As the Easter Holidays begin businesses who rely on visitors to earn a living are worried, with many of the South's events now cancelled.

The Isle of Wight Festival, Kent's County Show Cancelled, Farnborough's Airshow, Brighton Pride, Rochester's Dickens Festival and the Henley Royal Regatta...all not going ahead this year.

Becky Hill, Lewis Capaldi and Lionel Richie were due to perform at the now cancelled Isle of Wight festival Credit: Isle of Wight festival

With the South's summer schedule suddenly looking a lot more empty because of coronavirus there's lots of worry too from the events, hospitality and tourism trade, who of course rely on visitors to earn a living.

Nick Mattingley runs the Henley Festival, a black-tie music event which should've taken place in July.

He's taken the decision to postpone the event until next year..

The Henley Festival 2020 has been postponed Credit: Henley Festival

This year's headliners Madness, James Blunt, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Sara Cox, Kathy Sledge and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra have all agreed to play in 2021 instead.

There is though still a black hole in the finances and the event is now asking for help from the public to help fill the gap.

"We're going cap in hand to everybody to see if they can donate. We've obviously got a bit of a block hole in terms of our running costs and outreach to charity partners. What we're trying to do is to get people to donate to use directly."

People who had tickets for this year are also being encouraged to transfer their purchase to next year.

It's not just big events feeling the financial effects of Covid 19 but also the hospitality industry.

Valerie Light has an AirBnb on the Isle of Wight Credit: Valerie Light / AirBnb

Valerie Light has a cottage she rents out on the Isle of Wight.

With the festival cancelled, her booking for that week is cancelled along with many others.

"We've still got bills to pay, we want the guests to get their full refunds because we think that's only fair but obviously that leaves us with no income."

According to the Tourism Alliance, the value of people visiting our region last year was 12 million pounds.

Kristian Hayter owns a beach front hotel in Eastbourne and is vice-chair of the town's hospitality association.

"Our main industry is tourism. Normally over Easter weekend, the start of the season, we would expect to be full but obviously we don't have that now so that's a massive impact on the economy."

There are 7,500 beds available across the town to guests which are currently empty as people - quite rightly - stay away.

There are no vacancies across Eastbourne as people stay away Credit:

From his own guest house Kristian's lost £60,000 bookings.

The Government's announced support for the self-employed including grants of up to £2,500 per month for at least three months and payments for self-assessment tax returns on hold until 2021.

Kristian welcomes what has been announced but is worried it won't be enough.

"I think there's going to be lots of casualties with our membership and a lot of businesses which will be really really sad. Obviously there's been a lot of support that's come through but we still need cash flow and we need people to come to the town."

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston MP spoke to ITV News Meridian,