Coronavirus will strike international arrival in UK, warns the sector

Published on : Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Today, research disclosed that the number of foreign tourists to Britain with an intention to assemble during Christmas is expected to decrease by three quarters compared with 2019.

As per trade body UKinbound, the number of international visitors is expected to decline by 75%.

Inbound tourism in November and December before pandemic was worth £4.25 billion to the economy of the UK, suggesting businesses will lose billions of pounds in the build up to the upcoming festive season.

This research was conducted before the announcement on Saturday made by the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, of new travel restrictions to Britain – businesses dependent on foreign tourists will now be even in worse condition.

From 4am Tuesday, all arrivals to the UK will have to self-isolate and take a PCR test to stop the spread of the Omicron strain.

To quote UKinbound chief executive, Joss Croft, “The UK’s inbound tourism industry is seeing green shoots and our members are reporting an increase in enquiries for 2022, but we can’t let that mask reality – winter is going to be tough for the industry.”

“With annual revenues down 93% and international visitors expected to be down 75% during a critical part of the year – Christmas – businesses are skating on thin ice.”

“The cancelling of London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks and New Year’s Day Parade, both huge draws for international visitors, have only exacerbated problems.”

UKinbound’s study of British tour operators, hoteliers and tourist attractions have disclosed that 89% considered that foreign visitor numbers in November and December would be lower than in 2019.

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