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Government must set out full recovery plan for UK’s devastated tourism industry, say MPs

21 May 2020

The DCMS Committee is urging the government to do more to aid the recovery of the UK's tourism industry hit hard by the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown with no indication of when businesses can reopen.

MPs are calling on ministers to set out what steps they intend to take to help kickstart the tourism industry and promote 'safe' UK holiday destinations to encourage people to book a staycation when they are able to do so, rather than an overseas holiday.

Calls for an additional bank holiday in October to encourage domestic half-term holidays would merit consideration by government and could provide an opportunity to celebrate key workers who have made such an impact on national life at this time, says the committee.

Industry representatives this week told the inquiry into DCMS affected sectors about expected losses from domestic tourism totalling £22 billion and some businesses being forced to close permanently.

Chair's comments 

Chair of the Committee Julian Knight MP said:

"Tourism in the UK has been hit hard by Covid-19, with billions of pounds lost in revenues. While no-one’s in the position to book a holiday right now, we can't sit by and watch businesses forced to close, while others face a bleak and uncertain future.

Now is the time for the government to set out a recovery plan for the tourism industry and announce how it will be supporting traders facing huge losses at what should be the start of the holiday season. 

Boosting the confidence of the public to look close to home at our incredible holiday destinations must be part of this plan. The government should look at calls for an October half-term bank holiday that would not only help tourism but could give an opportunity to celebrate key workers who have made such an impact on national life at this time." 

Further information

Image: CC