Hotel buffet breakfasts will be a 'thing of the past' post-lockdown, tourism boss warns

Ellen Manning
·3-min read
Breakfast Buffet in the Restaurant
Hotel buffet breakfasts could be a thing of the past, a tourism boss has warned. (Getty)

The hotel breakfast buffet will be a thing of the past post-lockdown, a tourism chief has warned.

VisitBritain’s director of strategy and communications Patricia Yates said holidays will “look very different” due to ongoing restrictions to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Domestic holidays are set to restart in July, with foreign trips also looking likely due to a relaxation of quarantine rules, but tourism bosses have warned that the experience is likely to be different.

Yates gave the hotel buffet breakfast as one example, telling BBC Breakfast: “I love hotel buffet breakfasts – they are a thing of the past.”

She went on: “And hotels will have to have social distancing so they won’t be opening at full occupancy and businesses will have to look at the sort of services they provide and really pruning those down to make sure that the infection control, that the cleansing regime is right and that they can have social distancing.

“Be prepared for some things not to look quite as you normally expect them.”

Read more: 'Greatest coronavirus threat to Europe is complacency', warns WHO amid second wave fears

Jonathan Smith, from the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta), agreed.

He told BBC Breakfast: “It’s very likely that people’s holiday experience won’t be the same as they had expected.

“There’ll certainly be rules in place around airports and on airplanes, and if they’re going on a package holiday there might be changes around buffet-style restaurant systems and there’ll be table service in place so there will be slight changes in place, but it’s all about making sure that the holiday experience is safe and enjoyable.”

Frankfurt, Germany - October 10 2018: People shopping at an airport cafeteria
The airport dining experience will also be different, according to experts. (Getty)

Both Yates and Smith said they were hopeful tourism can be “kick-started” over the summer, with Yates warning that the industry had suffered a loss of around £37 billion during lockdown.

She said they had seen a “real nervousness” about travelling, even domestically.

“With the change in Government advice, we’re hoping that that will change and obviously the mark is there to try and convince people, and we’re doing a reassurance campaign in the short term so persuading people that they can travel, that it’s socially responsible to travel and that they can look out for the mark and know that businesses know what they’re doing.”

VisitBritain is launching a “We’re Good To Go” COVID-19 industry standard and consumer mark to show that holiday operators are adhering to safety measures put in place by the Government.

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