The government must stage an “aggressive and urgent” intervention and introduce measures to protect the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors from the “devastating effects” of the coronavirus.
UKinbound’s plea comes ahead of government plans to step up its response to the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, with an address led by chancellor Rishi Sunak expected on Tuesday (17 March).
Sunak’s measures announced in last week’s Budget statement were welcomed by the trade, but Monday’s escalation in the government’s response to the crisis – which involves advising people to avoid pubs, bars, restaurants, clubs, theatres and venues – is expected to have forced the treasury to pledge more cash for businesses in the UK.
According to UKinbound, the UK’s inbound tourist sector contributed nearly £23 billion to the UK economy in 2018 – and was the country’s third largest employer.
UKinbound’s demands include: guidance on how businesses can apply for business interruption loans; extending rate relief to medium and large businesses, not just to SMEs; and deferring corporation tax, VAT, PAYE and other tax payments for a minimum of 12 months.