The Covid-driven "collapse" of international visitor numbers to the UK could cost the economy £2.5 billion over the Christmas period, UKinbound has warned as it called for a new fund to support struggling tourism businesses.
The association, which represents more than 300 inbound operators, said the pandemic had caused a 76% fall in international visitors this year fuelled by major source markers in the US and China being “closed almost entirely”.
With around 60% of its members fearing their business will be unable to survive, UKinbound has proposed the creation of an Inbound Tourism Resilience Fund.
The fund would see tour operators and DMCs able to apply for a capped grant, awarded based on the level of turnover lost in 2020 and forecast operating costs.
UKinbound said Ireland and several other EU countries had already announced a set of specific support measures for the sector but powers in Westminster had yet to agree to similar terms.