Ali Standen, deputy chair of Accommodation Harrogate, the association for independent guest houses in Harrogate has said hotels across the town have already started putting plans in motion to ensure they can reopen at the beginning of July.
While she says the announcement that tourism services can open their doors again from July 4 is a ‘weight off her shoulders’ - she insists that marketing Harrogate as a holiday destination is now even more important than ever.
Ali and husband Phil are looking to reopen their Acorn Lodge Guest House on Studley Road on July 13. But she is keen to stress that help is needed for everyone who works within the Harrogate tourism sector.
She said: “We are really looking forward to reopening but we just need to make sure that the business will definitely come.
“Many people have said they want to visit places that are very rural, with lots of countryside and fresh air.
“Of course, we have that right on our doorstep, but we need to make sure people know it.
“We don’t want people to be put off from coming here because they just think of it as a town - we need to really sell the district as a whole now and come together to show off all the fabulous parks and outdoor spaces we have.”
Measures are being put in place to ensure social distancing rules, which will be reduced to a minimum of one metre from July 4, can be adhered to at all times.
Ali, who owns Acorn Lodge, says her guest house will be changing its breakfast options, either to self-catering or staggered eating times, something which will be replicated at many hotels across town.
National guidelines also require accommodation providers to conduct a risk assessment before they reopen to ensure they are safe to do so.
So far, Ali says a number of members of Accommodation Harrogate have confirmed bookings for this summer, but she is hopeful that more will start to pour in when more guidelines are announced and there is more information available to both businesses and holiday makers.
More details are expected to be made available by the Government in the coming days, offering support to businesses as they prepare to reopen their doors and make sure they are safe and ready.