UKinbound has released fresh data which shows that 87 per cent of inbound tour operators and destination management companies have lost more than 95 per cent of their 2021 business due to a lack of clarity on opening.
The survey also found that more than a quarter of respondents forecast no business at all for the remainder of 2021, having now missed the summer season, while over half expected to make ten per cent or less of their 2019 revenue this year.
As the wider UK economy starts to reopen, UKinbound and over 30 of its members took to the water to highlight why ‘Freedom Day’ is anything but for the inbound tourism industry.
The group delivered a fresh message to government highlighting the vast amount of export earnings lost by the UK daily due to a lack of inbound tourism.
Normally worth more than £28 billion per year to the UK economy, the inbound tourism sector has had practically no business since March last year, resulting in a loss of £78 million per day.
Many inbound businesses particularly tour operators and destination management companies, have been excluded from previous government support schemes due to their business-to-business nature, and now face a second year with no revenue and virtually no financial support.
Alongside this, UKinbound is urging government to rapidly implement vaccination certification reciprocity for inbound markets, as it has done for outbound travel and for UK citizens returning from amber list countries.
Joss Croft, chief executive of UKinbound, said: “With the rest of the UK economy opening up, the UK economy continues to lose £78 million a day in exports due to a lack of inbound tourism, and hundreds of previously profitable businesses that provide valuable revenue to local economies and sustain thousands of livelihoods all across the country are on the brink of collapse, through no fault of their own.
“We urgently need government to implement Covid-19 vaccination reciprocity for our key inbound markets to allow inbound travel to return as quickly and safely as possible.
“However, with the summer season lost, and members reporting cancellations through to the end of the year, even a rapid reopening of inbound tourism will not be enough to save many of these businesses, which are now facing a second year – and a fifth winter - with no income or support.”