The UK’s struggling tourist industry faces another bleak summer with international visitor revenues set to drop by £6.2bn from pre-pandemic levels.
This is another blow for an industry whose economic output for travel fell by 86% for travel agents and tour operators, between February and December 2020, according to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The 2021 tourism forecast by Visit Britain also noted:
- International tourism for 2021 is predicted to be at 28% of pre-Covid levels
- Just 2% more people will come to the UK than in 2020, 11.3 million visitors in total
- Even by the end of 2021, visitors will still not be anything near pre-Covid levels
- The progression of worldwide vaccinations remains the most crucial driver to getting the tourist industry back on track
Domestic Tourism to Reach Just 56% of 2019 Levels this Summer
Despite the apparent boom in staycations and countryside glamping holidays, the Visit Britain forecast shows that many people are still opting to stay close to home. Estimates suggest the tourist industry could see £51.4bn in domestic tourism spending this year. This is up 51% from 2020, but still at only 56% of spending in 2019.
The forecase concludes “We do not expect an immediate return to pre-COVID levels of spending in any domestic tourism journey purpose or activity type, although we anticipate different recovery rates in different areas; some could see a strong summer while other remain below baseline levels for much longer.”