Locals enjoyed meals and drinks inside, while tourists visiting the area were able to book hotels, bed and breakfasts and campsites. It was the first weekend this year where venues could fully reopen after North Yorkshire moved to tier three on December 31, 2020 ahead of the third national lockdown on January 4.
James Mason, CEO of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “I think it’s safe to say the latest easing of restrictions has increased the confidence that businesses have. It has taken away the element of risk for the hospitality trade. Certainly, businesses in Nidderdale that have been able to adapt to the outdoor economy have had a bumper couple of weeks, but we know some firms weren’t able to reopen while some days were a wash out. That has been costly, as pubs and restaurants still have to order in food and hire staff.
“Being back inside isn’t without its challenges either - we still have to be careful because of the risk of different variants. But people are grateful about the roll out of the vaccine scheme, and the fear of overwhelming the NHS and over how sick people were getting, has been somewhat eliminated. People can also see how seriously hygiene is being taken, and all this gives them extra confidence to venture out.”
He added: “The important thing now is getting the balance right.”
“We are all sure we will see a big demand this summer. We need to balance expectation with supply. We can’t be too confident that people will be coming to visit Yorkshire and rest on our laurels - we still need to advertise what is on offer.
“We don’t want tourists to assume everything is fully booked already. But on the other hand, we don’t want to build hysteria, where everyone comes here, because people want space now too.
“The accommodation needs to be right, we need to be offering good food, quality services and an excellent holiday overall.
“We want people to visit Nidderdale and the Dales this summer - and then come back next year too.
“The sector needs to make sure it is on top of its game to compete with the likes of Cornwall, Cumbria, Northumberland, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
“We must promote our unique selling points, Yorkshire is a really top quality, homely place to visit. We really do offer something for everyone.”
To find out more about what the area has to offer visit: www.nidderdale.co.uk