Covid Pandemic Costs Kent’s Economy More Than £2 Billion

Published on : Saturday, January 29, 2022

As per new data, the Covid pandemic has cost Kent’s economy more than £2 billion, with visitor numbers in the county dropping by half in 2020.

Visit Kent has analyzed the loss of more than 30,000 jobs in tourism across the county in the year when lockdowns were imposed.

The organization said thatthe pandemic has left visitor attractions stressed and desperate for a bumper ‘staycation’ summer.

Visit Kent Chief Executive, Deirdre Wells OBE said, “After a strong performance in 2019, our sector’s bold plans for 2020 were utterly disrupted by the Covid-19 crisis.This latest research is a stark demonstration of the direct impact on Kent’s brilliant tourism, leisure, and hospitality sector, which is one of our county’s biggest employers, and the life and soul of our high streets.”

The organization is urging the government to leave emergency VAT reductions given to the industry ready.
The owner of Wingham Wildlife Park, near Canterbury, Tony Binskin, said that the business recovered well in 2021, but he is anxious about the future.

He said, “Financially speaking it’s been really hard.It was such a struggle, all our reserves went, we were getting to a desperate stage where we needed to open, because we had to pay people’s wages.” He added, “Hopefully this year will be good to us, but I think it’s going to be hard for the zoo world.”

Tony added that the predicted 50% increase in energy bills from April is also a matter of concern.

Despite the gloomy figures, in general, the county’s visitor economy performed above the national average across several areas.

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