HOTELS in Weymouth are preparing for an influx of visitors during the half-term holiday, after missing out on key months of trading due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Venues are booking up fast for the holiday - with more last-minute bookings expected before Monday when youngsters are off school.

The Royal Hotel in Weymouth, which reopened its doors last month after closing suddenly when its former owner collapsed into administration, is looking forward to a busy week.

Head receptionist Emma Sankey said: "We are fully booked for next week so we are expecting to be really busy.

"It hasn't stopped being busy since we reopened in the summer.

"You cannot stop people from coming down so we just have to make sure that we are following all of the procedures and guidelines that we have put in place to keep visitors and locals as safe as possible."

Lee Mudkins, duty manager at the Alexandra Hotel in Weymouth, said: "Pretty much all of our family rooms are completely booked up for next week but we have some of our other rooms available still.

"We will be operating at around 75 per cent capacity which is a lot more than we would normally be seeing at this time of year.

"We have our fingers crossed it will be a busy week."

Sadly, one hotelier said she had been on track to have the busiest October half term she has ever had, but has been dealt a blow by a series of last-minute cancellations.

She said: "We have had tonnes of cancellations. We were looking like we were going to have the best ever half term but one by one nearly all the guests have cancelled.

"I am hoping we may end up with some guests booking to come down at the last minute but certainly most of the people that had booked ahead of time have cancelled because they are worried about local lockdowns."

Claudia Webb, from Weymouth BID, said: "We are generally fairly quiet for next week, although we are noticing at the moment that people are booking much more last minute.

"As for guests travelling from elsewhere in the country, we feel confident in our precautionary measures in place to keep us and our visitors safe."