The tourism industry has been one of the most greatly affected industries during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Perhaps what makes it harder is that these are the places we go to for fun, pleasure, and to create those precious memories. There isn’t a single one of our Hampshire’s Top Attractions that haven’t had to close their doors during this challenging time and they have done so with the safety of visitors and staff at the forefront of their minds.
As we start to hear rumblings of when lockdown restrictions may be easing (please always follow government advice) and see what other countries ahead of us are doing, we are faced with the reality that it will still be some time before our wonderful attractions can operate as they once did. What you don’t see is that behind the scenes the teams are still working hard (from their homes) to ensure that once they can begin to open their doors, they have taken the right measures to ensure the continued safety of customers and employees.
With the significant financial impact this time has caused, attractions face an uncertain future. However, there are several ways we can all help to support them in this time of crisis to help ensure that they will be there to provide us with those heart-warming moments when ‘normal’ life resumes.
How can you make a difference right now?
- Follow the attractions on social media and continue to engage with them, this helps keep up their awareness (and we guaranteed someone behind the scenes is grateful for your response)
- Make use of their online resources. A lot of attractions are providing games, learning resources, and webcams, so you can continue to enjoy them from your home.
- Donate to their fundraisers or buy tickets for future visits. It may not feel easy to plan ahead but it not only gives you something to look forward to, but it also helps ensure the attraction’s future.
- Share their fundraisers. Understandably, not everyone will be in a position to offer help financially, but by sharing the message you may help the attraction find others that are able to.
Here are some of the current fundraisers and ways to financially support some of Hampshire’s Top Attractions, should you wish to do so.
- You can support the educational and research work of Butser Ancient Farm by making a donation through their website. With no current income, any support would be greatly appreciated to help them continue their almost 50 years of experience welcoming school children, students and visitors to discover life in the ancient past. Find out more.
Join Beaulieu weekly and put your motoring knowledge to the test with our Garage quiz. Compete against your friends and family to see who will be crowned the ultimate petrol head! If you’ve enjoyed the quizzes and want to support the work of the National Motor Museum Trust, find out ways in which you can help to preserve the charity’s collections. Find out more.
- The Watercress Line is currently running a campaign to raise much-needed funds to be able to continue their work in restoring, preserving and interpreting our railway heritage. Alongside this fundraising campaign, they are running a weekly film series across their social media to tell the story of the railway. Find out more.
- The Mary Rose is an independent charity that receives no ongoing public funding, with 90% of its annual income from visitor revenue. Closed due to COVID-19, Mary Rose urgently needs support to continue caring for the unique, internationally significant Tudor collection. Find out more.
- New Forest Activities wants to continue to introduce young people to awesome experiences and skills in the great outdoors. To take families on canoeing tours of the beautiful Beaulieu River, and bring people together through involving and exciting outdoor adventures. By making a donation to New Forest Activities, you’ll not only be helping their small business, but you’ll be supporting the NHS as well. Find out more.
- Jane Austen’s House is a registered charity without any regular public funding. All donations to its Survival Appeal will go towards ensuring that when this crisis is over, they will be able to re-open their doors and welcome visitors to this special place where Jane Austen lived and wrote. Find out more.
As with many zoos, Birdworld has been forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic. However its life as normal for the animals and without any visitors this has resulted in no income to meet the costs of feeding and upkeep for over 1000 animals. Birdworld is currently running a GoFundMe campaign to try and help meet some of these costs. Find out more.
- Gift a Ticket and show your appreciation for our amazing NHS staff whilst also supporting Portsmouth Guildhall! For every £30 donated, the Guildhall will Gift a Ticket to key workers giving them something to look forward to beyond this time including tickets to Russell Howard, UB40, Comic Con, Strictly Come Dancing and more!
- The New Forest Wildlife Park is funded entirely by visitors. As a result of the closure, they can no longer rely on these funds to ensure the welfare of all their lovely animals. They would be grateful if you can help them maintain the wildlife park until they reopen. Find out more.
- Help Play to the Crowd, the arts and education charity that runs Theatre Royal Winchester, Hat Fair and Playmakers. The temporary closure of the theatre is having a serious financial impact on the charity. Help them survive this crisis by continuing to buy tickets for productions in the future, becoming a member, or by making a donation. Find out more.