Tourism organisations have written to prime minister Boris Johnson to urge the reopening of the UK to international travellers.
UKinbound and seven other organisations, including Airlines UK and the Tourism Alliance, have signed the letter designed to highlight the importance of international visitors to cities across the UK.
The letter says that UK hospitality businesses, theatres, attractions and inbound tour operators will “struggle to remain profitable and viable if international visitors do not return this year”.
It also points out the disparity between what an international traveller spends during a trip to the UK (£696 on average) compared with a domestic tourist (£239).
The tourism groups are asking Johnson to facilitate “fluid, easy access” to the UK from countries classified as “green” in the new traffic light system.
They also want to see a “cost-effective” testing system, including the removal of VAT from the price, alongside new funds for a VisitBritain international marketing campaign.
Joss Croft, chief executive of UKinbound said “As we progress from step two to step three in the reopening roadmap it is critical that cities are not left behind as the country moves forward with recovery.
“We can’t rely on domestic tourism to make up for the short fall and spend of international visitors, especially in our cities.
“As we forge ahead with a new global Britain post-Brexit, the success of cities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be vital.
“We face the prospect of boarded up shops and restaurants, and the vibrant heart and soul of our cities disappearing if international visitors and their vital revenue doesn’t return.”
Other signatories to the letter include Cities Restart, New West End Company, Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance and Road Haulage Association Coaches.