WE’RE ready for you.

That’s the message from hotels across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole as they prepare for a bumper summer season.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced hotels will be able to open to guests from May 17.

And millions of people in the UK are expected to opt for a ‘staycation’ with doubts still surrounding foreign travel.

Last year hotels were allowed to emerge from the first national lockdown on July 4 and Tim Seward, chair of the BH Area Hospitality Association, said they made the most of it.

“After a slow start more and more people started to book and hotels in this area were about 90 per cent full for the rest of the summer” he said.

“This year there is huge pent-up demand so we are expecting it to be very busy.”

Mr Seward said he hopes many hoteliers will also be able to take advantage of the opening of beer gardens from April 12.

And he said others are planning to allow their car parks to be used by visitors before they are able to welcome guests.

He said hoteliers have used lockdown wisely and are ready to welcome visitors as soon as they are allowed to do so.

“Many of the top hotels in the area have been undergoing refurbishment so this is very welcome news.

“Hotels are read- and they have been ready for a ery long time. We are safe and we have all the procedures in place to make it a success.”

Those who offer self-contained accommodation, such as holiday flats or cottages, will be able to open from April 12.

Rosie Radwell of the Marsham Court Hotel said they hope to offer outdoor hospitality and use of the hotel’s outdoor pool to local people from April 12.

And they are looking forward to opening to hotel guests in May.

“We are looking forward to opening and we will ensure it remains safe for our guests and our staff who may not have had the vaccination by then.”

Hoburne are also looking forward to opening their parks to guests in April.

Rosie Kennar, Director of Hoburne said: “The government’s roadmap out of lockdown has given us all confidence that we can now plan a summer holiday and have something to look forward to.

"Our holiday parks are based in wonderful coastal and countryside locations and our superb, self-contained accommodation is perfect for social distancing.

“Towards the end of last year, we anticipated that there would be an increase in demand for UK staycations and since last night’s government announcement, we have seen a surge in holiday bookings on our website.

"We are disappointed to be missing out on the Easter weekend, but we are delighted to finally have a provisional date where we can make the required plans to welcome back our holidaymakers and holiday homeowners, many of whom have been unable to use their holiday homes for some time.”