Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Published on Thursday, October 14, 2021

UK tourism sector may only recover by a third this year, says WTTC

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) says the UK's tourism sector's recovery may only claw back a third, whilst international travel spending continues to plummet.

The latest research from WTTC shows the recovery has been severely delayed by the lack of spending from international visitors.

This is down to the destructive 'traffic light' system, it says.

Despite a highly successful vaccine rollout, the UK is set to record further losses in inbound visitor spending.

WTTC research shows the UK's travel industry's contribution to the nation's economy could rise year on year by just under a third (32%) in 2021, which is in line with the global average of 30.7%.

Yet, the increase has been primarily spurred on by the recent boom in domestic travel, with domestic spending growth set to experience a year on year rise of 49% in 2021.

However, the WTTC says it will not be sufficient to achieve a full economic recovery.

The research shows that international spending is predicted to plunge by nearly 50% on 2020 figures - one of the worst years on record for the sector - making it one of the worst performing countries in the world.

It says the UK travel and tourism sector saw 307,000 job losses across the country and research shows that jobs in the sector are set to remain flat this year.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO said: "WTTC research shows that while the global tourism sector is beginning to recover, the UK continues to suffer big losses due to continuing travel restrictions that are tougher than the rest of Europe.

"Despite government announcements the UK still has a red list, costly PCR tests and a requirement for day two tests which simply put people off travel."

Looking ahead to 2022, international visitor spending could see a significant increase reaching £29 billion - just 20% below 2019 levels.


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