UKinbound has urged prime minster Boris Johnson to take immediate action to help save up to 10,000 jobs in the UK tourism industry.
The trade association has written to Johnson calling for “urgent and decisive” government action to prevent “over half” of inbound UK tour operators and destination management companies (DMCs) going out of business within the next six months.
UKinbound wants to see the creation of a tourism resilience fund to support businesses “wholly reliant” on international visitors until the expected return of this market in spring 2021.
It is also calling for national insurance and corporation tax “holidays” for these firms, as well as a 12-month suspension of Air Passenger Duty.
Joss Croft, chief executive of UKinbound, said: “Many tour operators and DMCs across the country, who rely solely on international visitors for their livelihoods, are on their knees - unfortunately their futures look very uncertain without targeted government intervention.
“Immediate support is needed, and we implore the prime minister to listen. The creation of a tourism resilience fund for the UK’s 200-plus tour operators and DMCs would help to shore up businesses until the market returns in spring 2021, as would allowing them access to rate relief and grant support.
“A national insurance and corporate tax holiday would also help ease the significant financial strain.”
Longer-term moves being pushed by UKinbound include making government money available for UK international sales missions and exhibitions in the future, and the introduction of a new five-year UK visitor visa for travellers from India and China.
“The industry is incredibly grateful for all the support the chancellor has already provided,” added Croft.
“But now we need a targeted approach that will secure jobs and businesses in the inbound tourism industry, who will be vital to our long term economic recovery, a successful Brexit and the government’s ambitions for a truly global Britain.”