The UK will lose up to £639 million a day during July if international travel remains off limits, according to an open letter to the UK prime minister from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
The global tourism body has written to Boris Johnson warning the UK faces a possible £20 billion loss if international travel is effectively delayed until August.
Up to 218,000 more jobs in the sector are also at serious risk of being lost, if no action is taken now, the WTTC added.
The letter to Johnson, signed by WTTC members including TUI, Silversea Cruises and the Travel Corporation, praised the progress made with the highly successful vaccine rollout, which the government should take advantage of, to allow the resumption of safe international travel and reactivate its economy.
Virginia Messina, WTTC senior vice president, said: “If international travel remains off limits for the whole of July, WTTC research has shown that every day, the UK would lose a staggering £639 million, severely delaying the economic recovery and competitiveness.
“Stalling the resumption of international travel could cost the country dearly.
“We simply can’t afford any further delay - we are running out of time and money, with many more businesses in danger of going bankrupt, which would result in more jobs losses.
“However, there are steps that the government can take now so that by June 24th when the green list of travel destinations is updated, we can get travel safely moving again, bring certainty to a market begging for stability and help power the economic recovery.
“Only through these measures will the future be brighter for many and will we be able to achieve a long term, inclusive and sustainable recovery.
“The restoration of free cross-border mobility is essential to help drive the economic recovery from the pandemic.”
Image: Gonzalo Facello