The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, has sent well wishes to the Borough’s hospitality and tourism businesses as they finally reopen this week after five months of lockdown.
Visiting the Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort yesterday, Councillor Johnston said the occasion marked a “very welcome and much-anticipated day” for the Borough.
“Hospitality and tourism businesses in Mid and East Antrim have undoubtedly been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, so this week’s reopening will restore a sense of hope that their journey to recovery can at last get under way.
“At Mid and East Antrim Borough Council we are exceptionally proud of the resilience and determination shown by every one of our hospitality and tourism businesses throughout what will surely have been among the worst 14 months in their history.
“On behalf of my Elected Members and officer colleagues at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, I send them our very warmest wishes for a busy and successful season ahead and assure them of our continued support in the coming months and years.”
The Mayor urged local citizens and tourists to support the hospitality and tourism sector by continuing to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines in the months ahead.
“Our hospitality and tourism businesses are absolutely vital to the economic, social and cultural health of our Borough and it essential that, collectively, we act responsibly to prevent any further closures in the future.
“I would therefore urge our citizens and tourists to give these businesses our full support by respecting the necessary Covid-19 measures they may have in place now that they have reopened, and to continue observing the ‘hands, face, space’ protocols.”
Colin Johnston, Managing Director of the Galgorm Collection and Chair of Council’s specialist Hospitality and Tourism Recovery Task Group said: “This reopening marks a hugely important milestone for the Borough’s hospitality and tourism businesses after what has been a deeply challenging 14 months.
“The significant impact of another lockdown over the past five months, in particular, will continue to be felt for some time. However, I am very confident that the sector will welcome customers back with a renewed energy and enthusiasm and the warm hospitality for which our Borough is so widely renowned.”
Mr Johnston paid tribute to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for the role it has played in supporting the sector.
“The proactive efforts of Council’s Chief Executive and Officers, Elected Members – together with its Hospitality and Tourism Recovery Task Group – have been a tremendous source of support and encouragement and have been greatly appreciated by all in the sector,” he said.