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WTTC: UK economic recovery hindered by border closures

WTTC: UK economic recovery hindered by border closures

The economic revival of the UK is being hampered by the lack of inbound travel while flights to amber list countries take off, says the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

The warning comes from the global tourism body, which represents the global private tourism sector.

New data collected by travel and analytics firm and WTTC knowledge partner ForwardKeys, reveals the highest week-on-week percentage increases in tickets booked were to Germany, which were up by 113 per cent; to Croatia up by 69 per cent; Sweden by 68 per cent; Portugal by 65 per cent and Albania, up by 64 per cent.

The data shows airline tickets booked for international trips out of the UK increased an average of 24 per cent in the week to July 13th, compared to the previous week.

Weekly flight tickets for future travel from the UK to traditional destinations have exceeded pre-pandemic levels, with Greece the most popular destination, up 211 per cent compared to 2019.


The Bahamas follows closely, with tickets up 161 per cent on pre-pandemic levels.

Croatia has also reached pre-pandemic weekly ticketing levels in the last week (107 per cent) while tickets for travel to Spain, which reached 88 per cent of 2019 levels, are fast increasing.

While this was good news for land-locked Brits, desperate to enjoy a much-need summer holiday break, the British economy which relies on international visitor spend will have been left in the doldrums by the lack of reciprocal inbound travel.

Based on 2019 levels, the lack of inbound international visitors through July, due to concern over rising coronavirus cases and the strict quarantine rules, have robbed the UK economy of a staggering £639 million each day.

Virginia Messina, senior vice president WTTC, said: “The economic recovery is going to continue to be hampered by the lack of inbound international visitors while UK travellers are leaving the UK in increasing numbers.

“Whilst staycations are helping boost the economy, it is not nearly enough to replace the £639 million which is being lost every day.

“If the situation continues, the UK will lose out on much needed revenues which international travel provides, benefitting every level of the economy far beyond the tourism sector.”