Tourism and hospitality businesses in Buckinghamshire are rising to the challenges posed by the coronavirus lockdown by adapting their offerings to continue providing products and services to local residents and would-be visitors.
A number of local producers and shops are now offering delivery and click and collect services to allow customers to continue to enjoy their products, including The Chiltern Brewery – the oldest independent brewery in the Chilterns – Malt the Brewery in Prestwood, and Orchard View Farm near Princes Risborough.
Many pubs are now offering takeaway services, such as The Full Moon Pub in Hawridge and The Kings Head in Aylesbury, while Daws Hill Vineyard in Radnage and the Deli at No. 5 in Thame have partnered to offer wine and cheese pairings delivered to customers’ doors.
Waddesdon Manor and Estate have launched a selection of virtual tours and online resources to allow would-be visitors to explore the house, exhibitions and gardens, and Stowe House is sharing videos of their ongoing renovation work via their social media and on Visit Buckinghamshire channels.
People can enjoy a virtual tour of Beckonscot in Beaconsfield – the world’s first model village – from home, or take a trip via video on The Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway. Spring is the time for new arrivals and Odds Farm Park and Green Dragon Eco Farm are sharing videos of their newborns on their social channels.
The Chiltern Open Air Museum and The National Paralympic Heritage Centre are sharing educational free downloadable resources to help parents home-school. Bletchley Park, famous for the Enigma Codebreakers, is preparing to celebrate the 75th VE Day on 8 May with their home celebration packs which include instructions on making bunting.
Lucy Dowson, Tourism Development Manager, VisitBuckinghamshire & The Chilterns said, “Our tourism and hospitality businesses have felt the full force of COVID-19, with their cash flow turned off overnight and just before the start of the Easter holidays. It will take many months, perhaps years for the industry to recover. However, this has not deterred some of our businesses, who have changed their business model as a result of COVID-19 and in many cases have become the lifeline of the local community.
“Of course, for some it is not possible or practical and our heart goes out to them but for those who have been able to adapt, we salute you and support you.”