‘UK Risks £27bn Loss Over Delayed International Travels’
The World Travel & Tourism Council has warned that nearly £27bn will be lost from the United Kingdom economy if the government delays restarting international travel until May 17.
The date was set by Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he unveiled the highly anticipated roadmap out of lockdown earlier this week.
According to the government’s roadmap, two households will be able to mix outdoors from March 29 and WTTC believes this should signal the restart of safe international travel.
It argued that resuming international travel by just seven weeks earlier, to coincide the Easter holiday break, could save struggling travel and tourism businesses and give the much need boost.
It said this in a statement titled ‘Delaying the restart of international travel will cost the UK economy almost £27bn’ and published on its website.
The WTTC, which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, fears delaying the revival of international travel for another seven weeks, will hasten the further slide into the collapse of a sector which contributes £200bn annually to the UK economy, and is responsible for almost four million jobs.
The loss of almost £27bn represents a damaging daily drain to the UK economy of more than £550m, which can be counted in lost jobs and failed businesses up and down the country.
While the WTTC in the statement applauded the government’s highly successful vaccine rollout, the global tourism body called upon the prime minister to give greater clarity about what May 17 would look like, so that travel and tourism businesses could prepare for the restart and consumers book with confidence.
The WTTC has consistently argued that international travel can safely resume with a comprehensive, coordinated international regime for testing upon departure and arrival for travellers.