Trade body RHA has joined to a campaign on behalf of its coach operator members that calls for government help to assist the restart of incoming tourism to the UK.
Chief Executive Richard Burnett is one of eight cosignatories of a letter that was sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 30 April. It urges Mr Johnson to take steps to encourage and simplfiy visits to the UK from abroad and to establish a working group on incoming tourism.
Other cosignatories include UKinbound Chief Executive Joss Croft and Tourism Alliance Director Kurt Janson. The letter to Mr Johnson states that inbound tourism is particularly important to the UK’s 69 cities.
It adds that if inbound visitors do not return in 2021, those cities are at risk of being “left behind” in the UK’s economic recovery and that the businesses that service those travellers “will struggle to remain profitable and viable.”
The trade associations behind the letter are also asking for:
- “Fluid and easy” access to the UK for visitors from ‘green list’ countries
- A cost-effective testing system that is not subject to VAT
- Funding for VisitBritain to begin marketing the UK abroad as soon as possible.
They add that incoming tourism is worth £31.4bn in export earnings to the UK economy every year. The letter also notes that an international visitor spends on average £696 during their trip. A domestic tourist spends a little over one third of that, at £239. It says that the public would have to take an additional 55.8m overnight leisure trips per year to make up for a lack of incoming visitors.
The letter can be viewed here.