UK Tourism Crisis: Urgent Plea to Government for Inbound Travel Support

ByTravelling For Business

March 18, 2024
Amidst the ongoing challenges faced by the UK tourism sector, leading industry bodies have united in a plea to the government, urging swift action to support the struggling inbound tourism industry.Amidst the ongoing challenges faced by the UK tourism sector, leading industry bodies have united in a plea to the government, urging swift action to support the struggling inbound tourism industry.

Amidst the ongoing challenges faced by the UK tourism sector, leading industry bodies have united in a plea to the government, urging swift action to support the struggling inbound tourism industry.

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, these influential bodies stressed the urgent need for measures facilitating the safe return of international travelers, particularly to urban centers. Signatories including Airlines UK, Association of International Retail, Cities Restart, New West End Company, Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance, Road Haulage Association Coaches, Tourism Alliance, and UKinbound emphasized the pivotal role of international visitors in sustaining the UK tourism industry, highlighting their significant financial contribution.

According to VisitBritain, international visitors typically spend £696 on average during their trip, a stark contrast to the £239 spent by domestic travelers. However, forecasts indicate a concerning 33% drop in spending on domestic holidays within the UK in 2021 compared to 2019.

The letter outlined three key steps that the government must take to support the industry’s recovery: ensuring fluid and easy access to the UK for inbound visitors from ‘green’ countries, implementing a cost-effective testing system (including VAT removal), and providing financial support for VisitBritain to kickstart international marketing efforts promoting the UK abroad.

Joss Croft, CEO of UKinbound, emphasized the critical importance of not neglecting cities in the reopening roadmap, stressing that reliance solely on domestic tourism cannot compensate for the absence of international visitors, particularly in urban areas.

“As we embark on a post-Brexit journey, the vitality of cities across the UK is paramount. Failure to revive international tourism could lead to dire consequences, including the closure of businesses and the loss of the vibrant essence of our cities,” Croft warned.