MORE than a million overnight stays in West Dorset’s holiday parks and campsites have been saved, says West Dorset MP Chris Loder, who lobbied for government restrictions for the sector to be eased from July 4.
Visitors have started arriving back in Dorset this week, just in time to rescue the summer season and also saving thousands of local jobs in tourism, leisure and hospitality.
On Monday morning, Mr Loder met three generations of the Whitfield and Stamper family, owners of East Fleet Farm Touring Park, on the day that their park reopened for business.
Set on the family’s 200-acre organic farm in Chickerell, alongside the World Heritage Jurassic Coast, East Fleet is just one local holiday park that the MP has been championing during the recent crisis.
Mr Loder said: “Having our holiday parks back open is saving jobs and boosting local economies.
“In recent weeks, I’ve lobbied government ministers and liaised with the British Holiday and Home Parks Association, to push for our holiday parks to reopen as soon as was safely possible – and in the meantime to help park owners navigate financial support through government schemes.
“So, this is a crucial week for the tourism industry, and for the future of ‘Destination West Dorset’.
“Tourism contributes £1billion to Dorset’s economy and £330 million in West Dorset alone. I understand from owners that bookings are strong, which is encouraging, and I now welcome visitors to return safely to our historic market towns, rolling countryside and Jurassic Coast as part of their great British holiday in West Dorset”.