After two long years of hurt for tourism businesses in Britain, Easter weekend 2022 has been heralded as the beginning of a fight back to recoup the £97bn the sector has lost to Covid-19.
The first restriction-free Easter since the pandemic began and a weekend of warm temperatures provided four days of big spending for Britain’s tourism sector, netting it £1.8bn.
The long weekend is expected to have been the start of a post-Covid boom for the country’s tourism economy, with Julian Jessop of the Institute of Economic Affairs predicting a rise in domestic spend as daytrippers and staycationers alike increased their leisure spend. The number heading away over Easter was estimated to be at least 7.4 million, the largest figure since Covid began, spurred on by a lack of restrictions and a week in which the UK recorded its warmest day of the year so far.
Patricia Yates, the deputy chief executive of tourist board VisitBritain, said it was great to see so many people on holiday for the Easter weekend.
“This is the first Easter since 2019 that the industry has been able to fully trade and the long weekend will be critical in providing businesses and destinations with much needed cash-flow as the season gets underway,” she commented.
VisitBritain predicts that Covid-19 hit UK tourism to the tune of £97bn, but that the fightback began over Easter, with the long weekend returning £1.8bn for the sector as Brits got back to their favourite holiday destinations.
“It’s no surprise more of us chose to explore the adventures on our doorsteps this Easter,” stated Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston. “Spring is a wonderful time to enjoy a great British break and give our hardworking hospitality and travel industry a bank holiday boost.”
After the battering of the past two years, the economy remains on track to grow by at least one percent in the first quarter of this year, which would be a stronger recovery than both the Bank of England and the Office for Budget Responsibility predicted.
“Reports that the UK economy is already sliding back into recession are premature,” continued Jessop. “The congestion at airports and seaports and on the roads is at least evidence more people are getting out and about again.”