‘WE’RE ready to welcome back visitors once again’.

That’s the message from BCP Council as bars, restaurants, hotels and attractions reopen across the conurbation today when the lockdown is eased further.

BCP Council said plans are in place to support the return of visitors following last week’s events when thousands of people flocked to the area’s beaches.

The council said a “multi-agency summer management plan” has been agreed to ensure there are “adequate resources” available to manage an influx of visitors over the summer should there be a repeat of the scenes which saw BCP Council declare a major incident.

The tourism and hospitality is worth more than £1bn to the local economy and employs around 17,300 people.

Councillor Lewis Allison, portfolio holder for destination, said: “Tourism and hospitality is a huge contributor to the local economy in this area and I am pleased to see all the proactive planning that has been done to safeguard the return of visitors in a responsible way.

"We have to remember that this area is a huge tourism destination visited by people from all over the UK and internationally and many of our local businesses have been looking forward to putting out the welcome mat once more."

To help businesses prepare to reopen, the council said it has visited premises to help set up Covid-19 prevention measures.

All seafront public toilets, town centre amenities and attractions will be available from this weekend or the days leading after with full team of seafront ranger staff also in place.

Cllr Allison added: “Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are used to hosting large numbers of visitors every year. I am confident about the preparations which have been done by the council, the sector itself and other public sector partners to support a safe and enjoyable experience for all. We urge all our visitors, staycationers and resident day trippers to respect and protect as well as enjoy themselves.”