//Inbound tourism industry ‘must be safeguarded’

Inbound tourism industry ‘must be safeguarded’

The UK risks damaging and prolonging its economic recovery if the inbound tourism industry does not receive financial support, UKinbound has warned.

Inbound tourism was worth nearly £23bn to the UK economy in 2018.

The association has released its latest Business Barometer results, with one in three tourism businesses stating they will have to stop trading in the next six months, even with the current Government support in place.

Just over a quarter (27 per cent) of respondents said their business will survive the coronavirus crisis.

The barometer, compiled in conjunction with Qa research, also surveyed members about their business activity in Q1 2020, with 70 per cent of respondents saying that bookings (or visitor numbers or customer orders) were down (by an average of 55 per cent) compared to the same period last year.

Just 11 per cent of respondents saying they were confident about the coming year.

Joss Croft, CEO of UKinbound, said: “Over the past two months the Government has put in place vast financial support programmes which has been a lifeline for many tourism businesses, albeit some are still falling through the gaps, but as we look to the recovery path and the lifting of domestic restrictions, it’s imperative that the needs of those businesses that rely wholly on international visitors aren’t forgotten.

“International travel is not likely to resume for many months and so we are most concerned about our tour operator and destination management company members as the majority will not be able to earn any revenue realistically until spring 2021 at the earliest. Inbound tourism generates almost £23 billion for the UK economy and we must do everything we can to safeguard this revenue stream. Furthermore, these businesses help to deliver on the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda as they promote and then take tourists to destinations all over the UK, generating valuable revenue for regional economies.”