PLANNING has begun for how the tourism industry will be rejuvenated post coronavirus.

Currently, many attractions across the region are closed to the public as part of the Government restrictions to stop the spread of the disease.

In this area, the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway has suspended passenger services, and National Trust property East Riddlesden Hall, Bradford Council-run Cliffe Castle Museum and the Bronte Parsonage Museum at Haworth are all shut.

The situation is having a major impact on the finances of some tourist venues which at this time would usually be looking forward to a busy season ahead.

The parsonage, which normally attracts visitors from across the world, has voiced its concerns about the impact of the closure and is inviting people via its website to make donations.

In a message to the public, it says: “The Bronte Society is a registered charity and while we are generously supported by Arts Council England, we rely heavily on income from museum visitors and events.

“We know we are not alone in worrying about the impact of closing our doors to the public, but if you feel able to make a donation – no matter how small – to help us through this financially-difficult time, we would be very grateful.”

The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway has also warned about the impact of the temporary suspension of its services.

It has launched a public appeal – Worth Saving – to help secure the future of the volunteer-run five-mile line.

“There will be no passenger trains, shop or cafe facilities for the foreseeable future,” said a spokesman. “We need people’s donations in these difficult times to ensure the railway is still here for future generations to enjoy.”

Marketing body Welcome to Yorkshire is heading-up efforts to prepare a recovery blueprint for the tourism industry in the region – which is worth an estimated £9 billion a year and employs nearly 225,000 people.

Two online seminars have already been held, which involved hundreds of people.

“There was a collective understanding that the whole industry needs to prepare for its own ‘day one’ post-Covid-19,” said a spokesman.

“Welcome to Yorkshire has accepted the challenge to act as the conduit for the region’s crucial tourism resurgence, welcoming valuable input from a wide-ranging panel of tourism representatives.

“The variety of problems faced by many highlights the breadth, depth and complexity of putting a plan together that will satisfy all sectors of the visitor economy.

“However, continued dialogue, the sharing of good practice and the idea of looking at ‘safe trial’ attractions and/or towns were discussed to deliver an insightful and agreed recovery plan for the county under the banner of #YorkshireTogether.

“Huge interest in the latest meeting was testament to the significance of the tourism sector and the part it plays in Yorkshire, with hundreds of people registering to be included and the full meeting recorded and shared in video format for many others who could not participate.

“Welcome to Yorkshire is looking at ways to include even more participants in future ‘webinars’.”

James Mason, Welcome to Yorkshire’s chief executive, says the passion for tourism in the region to succeed is “palpable and more prevalent than ever” and that a workable recovery plan is the priority.

He added: “There is an agreed acceptance of the many complex issues facing the industry as a result of the coronavirus crisis – but also a combined thirst and eagerness to work together to create confidence and provide a safe tourism experience for businesses, residents, workers and visitors throughout.

“Now we want to enable people to turn words into actions, but we need a combined effort with public and private service providers to achieve this. Guidelines must be set so businesses can adhere to them with confidence.”

Welcome to Yorkshire chairman, Peter Box, stressed it was important to develop ideas put forward at the latest seminar.

He said: “The meeting was another step forward, with a strong sense of collaboration and team spirit from across the county.

“It’s imperative to continue working with industry representatives to build a strong tourism recovery plan led by Welcome to Yorkshire and to act on the ideas shared.”

He added that a draft plan would be ready for consultation “in the near future”, following further input from partner organisations.

Mr Box said the launch of the seminars had been “incredibly informative and positive”, with local authorities and national park representatives involved alongside attractions.

“There is a brilliant team spirit and a sense of collaboration from across the county – with the absolute aim of creating a strong tourism recovery plan,” he said.

“Many important points have been discussed and will continue to be addressed at future seminars, including a desire for respectful, responsible, safe and sustainable tourism whilst instilling confidence and trust across all stakeholders as to the right time to reintroduce tourism – and with a strong consideration for the impact on public health and transport infrastructures of social distancing relaxation.”

Other initiatives being examined by Welcome to Yorkshire include a free business membership scheme.

Any organisation will be able to sign-up and access resources, newsletters and expertise.

And a Yorkshire Gift Card is to be introduced, aimed at encouraging people to buy and shop locally.

“Supporting and promoting Yorkshire businesses and tourism attractions continues to be an absolute priority during current times and beyond,” said Mr Mason.

“We are all looking forward and planning for when restrictions start to lift, when people can visit Yorkshire’s beautiful beaches and gorgeous green spaces and explore our attractions again.

“However, it’s crucial that central and local government guidelines are listened to – the health and safety of residents and visitors to Yorkshire is of paramount importance.

“We will continue to collaborate closely with local authorities, as well as business and attraction owners, creating a strong recovery plan – whilst adhering to rules and recommendations concerning lockdown restrictions being lifted – ensuring a new safe tourism experience during unprecedented times.

“It is essential to the overall economy that we preserve tourism in Yorkshire.

“Welcome to Yorkshire has a global brand reach of over 23 million and we all aim to take considered and effective steps to welcome back to Yorkshire visitors from across the world once again.”

Welcome to Yorkshire is urging tourist businesses to share “inspirational ideas” and their coronavirus concerns, to help formulate the plan of action. For further information, visit