The Prince of Wales has recorded a video message for the hospitality sector, in recognition of the challenges faced over the past months, while also looking ahead as some parts of the industry begin to reopen from today.
In the video, Prince Charles praised the resilience and fortitude of the hospitality industry, while acknowledging that the past three months had been "exceptionally difficult" for those in the sector. He offered his sympathies to those struggling to keep their businesses going or have seen their businesses go into administration.
He said: "Hospitality, as we know all too well, plays a crucial part in our country's economic health and is often described as the lifeblood of the economy. It employs millions of people and, indeed, offers many young people aged 18 to 24 their first job opportunity – a vital and much-needed step into the world of work."
He paid a "belated special tribute" to the efforts of those who have offered their services to key workers, the NHS and vulnerable people in society during this time, and said he was "incredibly proud to hear of such kindness and consideration".
He added: "I need hardly say that it is exceptionally welcome news that hotels, restaurants and pubs are to begin opening their doors. Hospitality connects people and enables them to create wonderful memories with families and friends, be it over a pint of beer, a special meal with family or an overnight stay to explore new places...
"I only pray we can begin to rebuild a vital and resilient industry and that the wonderful entrepreneurial spirit I come across so often can help secure brighter and much more sustainable times ahead. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for all you do for this country."