It started out as a point for consideration in Bacta’s presentation to government on the plan to get the UK amusement machine sector back to work. Now, the concept of an extra bank holiday in post lockdown Britain is seriously under consideration by 10 Downing Street.
“At the time, we hadn’t seen this suggestion anywhere else, we simply thought that our members could really do with the extra support, considering that Easter and the May Bank Holiday were effectively cancelled,” said Bacta CEO John White.
Now the momentum behind the recommendation is gathering pace. The BBC and other news outlets reported yesterday that the government is indeed considering an extra Bank Holiday in October, the idea backed by Visit Britain acting head Patricia Yates in her conversations with the government.
Downing Street has now confirmed that it would “respond in due course” to the proposal. However, a spokesman said it was “worth acknowledging that extra bank holidays do come with economic costs”.
But that cost will be nothing compared to the loss of the amusement sector which has already lost four bank holidays, with August also up in the air.
“Whatever the outcome – it’s worth remembering that a story like this highlights the plight of the tourism sector and that’s what’s important,” adds White. “Visit Britain has estimated that the country will lose £15bn on inbound tourism this year. Our members, particularly on the coast need all the support they can get.”work.’