British Tourist Authority Chairman Lord McLoughlin said:
“The Chancellor’s statement today shows the UK Government’s continued commitment to the sector and the millions of jobs, businesses and local economies that depend on tourism right across the country. This welcome package of measures, including extending the VAT reduction for hospitality and tourism, will support the industry as the phased reopening gets underway and it starts to rebuild as well as encourage and compete for visitors as restrictions lift.”
- VisitBritain has already forecast a slow build back for the sector with domestic tourism spending estimated this year of £61.7 billion compared to £91.6 billion in 2019 and inbound tourism spending of £6.6 billion compared to £28.4 billion in 2019. VisitBritain’s inbound and domestic forecasts are available on its website here: https://www.visitbritain.org/2021-tourism-forecast
- There is also a big job to do to boost consumer confidence. VisitBritain has been tracking domestic consumer sentiment towards travel since May 2020. Its latest wave of bi-weekly research, showed that 20 per cent of people surveyed were confident in the ability to take a domestic overnight trip in May, rising to 32% in June, 50% from July to September and 63% from October onwards. So while confidence begins to rise for domestic trips in spring and summer, it isn’t until October onwards that a majority (63%) claim to be either fairly or very confident.
- More than 44,000 businesses across the UK have signed up to the ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and consumer mark, reassuring customers, staff and local residents that the correct procedures are in place on social distancing and cleanliness. VisitBritain has also recently announced that tourism businesses in the UK registered to ‘We’re Good To Go’ can now also be automatically issued with the international ‘Safe Travels’ stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). This reinforces that ‘ring of confidence’ for visitors that UK tourism businesses, attractions and destinations have clear processes in place to welcome them back safely as travel restrictions are lifted.