HOTELIERS across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole were “feeling positive” ahead of reopening on Monday and were excited to welcome guests back to the area.

Easing of coronavirus restrictions on Monday, May 17, means, for the first time in months, hotels can welcome guests back.

And chair of Bournemouth Area Hospitality Association (BAHA), Tim Seward, said 75 per cent of availability across the area was already booked up.

“For bank holiday weekend and half term we are pretty much full and looking at the summer we are looking at 75 per cent at the moment, that’s across the whole BCP area, hoteliers are thinking it will go up top 90 per cent,” he said.

“People will make decisions on the weather and what happens with announcements.

“The Savoy is good news for us, the Ibis Styles hotel is opening in July that is really good for us.

“Hoteliers have invested and used the time wisely to refurbish and better their products for people coming back.

“The feeling is very positive, very, very positive. We are really looking forward to opening our doors and having people back in our hotels.”

Mr Seward said BAHA wanted to keep momentum going with staff and have launched a recognition award for staff across hotels in the area.

He added he was confident the area would bounce back from Covid.

“We are a coastal town,” he said. “If people are unsure with Covid travelling abroad, we have beaches, a lot happening on them, coastal and country will bounce back.

“We are much more ready than we were last year, it will be much better, and everyone just wants people in their buildings now.”

The Marsham Court hotel in Bournemouth said it was fully booked for bank holiday weekend and had live music planned for the end of May.

A spokesperson said: “This week is being spent training our team, having been closed for guest accommodation since October last year.

“We are over the moon that some staff are returning to the hotel but many are new recruits and it is actually wonderful to have this unique opportunity to get everyone together so they can get to know each other and learn the ropes.

“The hotel is ‘good to go’ and we will be following all of the guidance plus, we have some of our own additional measures to give our guests the confidence to return."

“We are fully booked for the bank holiday weekend already and bookings for the rest of the year and into 2022 are also looking healthy," added the spokesperson

“Having used the lockdown period wisely, we have lots of new and exciting things planned not only for our overnight visitors but also the local community.

“A programme of live music and entertainment is being introduced at the end of May making our Retreat Bar & Eatery a great hub to meet and enjoy a relaxed evening with friends and family.”