Seaside resorts are reliant on tour operators who bring group visitors to their towns on a daily basis. That journey is now under threat and UKinbound are calling on government support to deliver aid to the sector that delivers tourists from both abroad and across the country.
According to a survey undertaken by tourism trade association UKinbound, 88 percent of tour operators and destination management companies (DMCs), who are responsible for bringing in and looking after over half of all international visitors to the UK, are set to make large scale redundancies as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, unless the Government provides more financial support.
The survey claims that without further Government support 53 percent of respondents expected their business to last less than six months, 60 percent will be forced to make further redundancies in August of which 88 percent anticipate losing at least a quarter of their staff.
The survey results highlight the broader impacts of COVID-19 on the UK’s tourism sector which contributed £145.9bn to GDP in 2019 and is responsible for 3.3million jobs.
Joss Croft, chief executive of UKinbound, commented: “Our survey results unsurprisingly reinforce that those tourism businesses that rely wholly on international visitors for their livelihoods are on their knees and that the risk of widespread redundancies and the collapse of previously successful businesses is a very real threat without further Government support.
“Before the pandemic, the UK was the 7th most visited country in the world but generally there is a low awareness in this country of how much international visitors contribute to our national and regional economies. Sadly, we look set to see significant redundancies from tour operators and the tourism supply chain next month, which means that many communities and businesses throughout the UK who depend on significant revenue from international visitors will also suffer.
“Our inbound tourism industry is a vital part of the UK economy and we simply cannot recover or level up our economy without the value that international tourism brings to all regions of the UK. “We face considerable and exceptional challenges as our sector looks to survive the impacts of COVID-19 and we are calling on the Government to do much more to protect the jobs and businesses who will be vital to our long term economic recovery and the Government’s ambitions for a truly global Britain.” The Conservative MP for Crawley, Henry Smith added “Our travel and tourism industry have been amongst the hardest hit sectors by the impacts of COVID-19 and will take longer to recover than other sectors as a result of the collapse of overseas visitors to the UK. “We need to ensure that travel and tourism businesses are able to survive the long-term impacts of COVID-19 and when circumstances allow play their role in our wider economic recovery. We simply cannot allow such an important industry to collapse and damage the communities throughout the UK who are dependent on them.”