3m jobs at risk
UK to lose £60m a day from collapse in tourism
It could take years to recover from the absence of foreign tourists (pic: Terry Murden)
A collapse in tourism could cost the UK economy £22 billion putting three million jobs at risk, a report estimates.
International visitor spending could plunge by 78% from 2019, equating to a loss of £60 million per day or £420m a week, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) predicted.
“Travellers and tourists are staying away from the UK in droves because of continuing uncertainty around travel restrictions designed to curb the spread of Covid-19,” the WTTC stated.
It said travel and tourism accounted for almost 4m jobs or 11% of the UK workforce in 2019 and generated nearly £200bn of GDP representing 9% of the economy.
Aviation has been among the worst hit sectors
WTTC president Gloria Guevara in the report said: “The economic pain and suffering caused to millions of households across the UK, who are dependent upon travel & tourism for their livelihoods, is evident from the latest figures.
“The lack of international travel caused by the pandemic could wipe out more than £22 billion from the UK economy alone… from which it could take years to recover.”
“We urgently need to replace stop-start quarantine measures with rapid, comprehensive and cost-effective test and trace programmes at departure points across the country.”
London expects to be particularly hard hit by the absence of tourists. International visitors spent six of every seven pounds in London in 2018, WTTC said. The US provided the most visitors with 15% with France accounting for 9% and Germany on 8%.
VisitBritain forecast on Tuesday that the number of foreign tourists will plummet by 73% this year to 11 million people on the back of the pandemic, which has grounded aircraft worldwide.
Travel companies have criticised the government’s sudden changes of policy with easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways owner IAG now poised to test the policy in the courts.