Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

UK economy loses £22bn as virus ravages tourism: study

Britain’s economy will lose about £22-billion this year on the coronavirus-induced collapse of global travel, which could imperil three million jobs, an industry body forecast Wednesday.

International visitor spending could plunge by 78% from 2019, equating to a loss of £60 million per day or £420 million a week, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) predicted in a key report.

“Travellers and tourists are staying away from the UK in droves because of continuing uncertainty around travel restrictions designed to curb the spread of Covid-19,” the WTTC stated.

It continued: “The severe impact on UK travel and tourism is laid bare by WTTC as the economic fallout from coronavirus continues to burn its way through the sector. 

“Nearly three million jobs in the UK supported by travel and tourism are at risk of being lost in a ‘worst case’ scenario mapped out by WTTC economic modelling.”

The nation’s economy shrank by one fifth in the second quarter, more than any European neighbour, as the lockdown plunged the country into its deepest recession on record.

Tourists remain reluctant to visit because Britain is the European country worst hit by the coronavirus. 

‘Years to recover’

Travel has also been discouraged after the UK government recently re-imposed quarantine on those returning from nations including Austria, Croatia, France, the Netherlands and Spain.

The WTTC added Wednesday that London has been hardest hit by the travel collapse because around 85% of tourist spending in the capital is from foreign visitors.

“The economic pain and suffering caused to millions of households across the UK, who are dependent upon Travel & Tourism for their livelihoods, is evident from the latest figures,” added WTTC President Gloria Guevara in the report.

“The lack of international travel caused by the pandemic could wipe out more than £22-billion from the UK economy alone… from which it could take years to recover. 

“It could also threaten London’s position as one of the world’s premier hubs for business and leisure travel which could see other destinations take over.

“We urgently need to replace stop-start quarantine measures with rapid, comprehensive and cost-effective test and trace programmes at departure points across the country.”

British tourism’s lobbying body VisitBritain had forecast Tuesday that the number of foreign tourists will plummet by 73 percent in 2020 to 11 million people on the back of the pandemic, which has grounded aircraft worldwide.

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse works from worldwide. AFP Photo's official Twitter account. Tweeting news and features from Agence France-Presse's global photo network Agence France Presse has over 120540 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

RECAP: Mbeki tells ANC that land without compensation goes against...

‘This would be a very serious disincentive to investment,’ says Thabo Mbeki in a document arguing that the ANC should not proceed with the Constitutional amendment of section 25

R15m to rid Gauteng of dirty air

The World Bank is funding a plan to deal with air pollution in Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and Johannesburg

More top stories

South Africa Navy’s strike craft lands in Mozambique

We reveal details of the South African National Defence Force’s contribution to the Southern African Development Community’s military mission to rid Mozambique of insurgents

The 30-day rule: Why you have to wait for a...

Scientists know that people who have had Covid still benefit from getting vaccinated with at least one shot of the vaccine. But can you get vaccinated while you have Covid?

RECAP: Mbeki tells ANC that land without compensation goes against...

‘This would be a very serious disincentive to investment,’ says Thabo Mbeki in a document arguing that the ANC should not proceed with the Constitutional amendment of section 25

Malawi moves to Maggie Mkandawire’s beat

Empowering her people through music and education, Maggie Mkandawire fights the Covid-19 pandemic in her own unique way
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×