Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Published on Wednesday, July 21, 2021

UKInbound: Industry teetering on the brink of collapse


Travel trade association UKinbound, has released new data which shows that 87% of inbound tour operators and destination management companies (DMCs) have lost more than 95% of their 2021 business due to confusion on opening.

The survey  found that more than a quarter (26%) of respondents forecast no business at all for the remainder of 2021, having now missed the summer season, whilst over half (53%) expected to make 10% or less of their 2019 revenue this year.

As the wider UK economy starts to reopen this week, 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, and seeking urgent support for the industry.

It calls for a Tourism Export Recovery Fund, extension of the furlough scheme to April 2022 and  mutual recognition of Covid vaccination status with key inbound markets

Earlier this month UKinbound submitted a proposal to Treasury for a Tourism Export Recovery Fund.

The proposal calls for an allocated fund that would allow inbound tour operators and DMCs to apply for a capped grant award based on their 2019 revenue levels.

Normally worth more than £28 billion per year to the UK economy, the inbound tourism sector has been decimated since March 2020, resulting in a loss of £78 million per day.

The proposal also calls for an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until April 2022.

With 77% of tour operator and DMC staff still on furlough, and with no incoming business for the foreseeable future, the removal of the scheme from 1 October will be a devastating blow for the sector, UKinbound says.

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, CEO, UKinbound, said: "With the rest of the UK economy opening up, it continues to lose £78m a day in exports due to a lack of inbound tourism. Hundreds of previously profitable businesses that provide valuable revenue to local economies are on the brink of collapse, through no fault of their own."


Click here to view as TravelMole's Graham McKenzie discusses the crisis with Joss Croft of UKInbound, along with Emmanuelle Spriet of e-voyages.co.uk and Rob Russell of AS Group  


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