Leading tourism bodies in the UK have called on the government for urgent action to help the struggling inbound tourism industry.
A letter to the prime minister emphasised the need for measures that enable the safe return of international travellers as soon as possible — particularly to cities.
Signed by Airlines UK, Association of International Retail, Cities Restart, New West End Company, Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance, Road Haulage Association Coaches, Tourism Alliance and UKinbound, the letter outlined that city restaurants, bars, hotels, shops, theatres, visitor attractions, inbound tour operators and intermediaries will struggle to remain viable if foreign visitors do not return this year.
International visitors are the financial lynchpin of the UK tourism industry, spending £696 on average during a trip, compared to just £239 spent by the average domestic traveller.
VisitBritain has forecast that spending on domestic holidays in the UK in 2021 will drop by 33 per cent compared to 2019.
The letter demanded that Boris Johnson take three steps to help get the industry back on its feet: provide fluid, easy access to the UK for inbound visitors from green countries; introduce a cost-effective testing system, including the removal of VAT; and stump up funds for VisitBritain to start international marketing of the UK abroad…