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Published on Friday, May 14, 2021

UK tourism among hardest hit during pandemic

The UK has slipped down the global tourism rankings due to painful Covid-19 restrictions on travel over the past year.

Latest data from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows the UK dropped out of the top five biggest travel and tourism markets in 2020, due to a big tourism GDP decline of 62.5%.

The fall from fifth to eighth position in 2020 was one of the biggest collapses of the 10 largest travel and tourism markets.

"The UK was one of the most heavily impacted of the major markets, due to the damaging and ineffective quarantines and unhelpful continuing travel restrictions," said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO.

The US maintained its top spot despite a big 41% fall in GDP last year.

China stayed in second spot, experiencing an even bigger GDP fall of 59.9%.

"With positive news from across Europe about the gradual reopening of borders we hope to see many more countries adopt a more risk-based approach," Guevara added.

"This will restore mobility safely through rapid testing and health and hygiene protocols to support the vaccination rollout.

"Countries such as the UK, US and Israel have made great strides with vaccination programmes, inoculating more than half of their populations, showing there is reason to be optimistic about the future."

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