Theodore Slate - Jul 26, 2021
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The hospitality sector of the United Kingdom is "on its knees", according to its representatives. The sector, involving accommodation facilities and companies that provide services to tourists who come to the United Kingdom, saw their accounts collapse to zero because of the closure of the country to international tourism.

The tour operators and agencies are complaining that with the policy of the Traffic Light system, the English have a product to sell, but the hospitality sector has not restarted its activity at all in spite of the program of vaccinations and that in Europe itself tourism has reopened.

The United Kingdom is losing 78 million pounds (about 90 million euros) every day because the companies that work with tourists who come to the country have not restarted their activity at this point in the summer.

The association that represents many companies, UKinbound, has asked the Government of Boris Johnson to extend the furlough scheme more beyond summer up to March of 2022 - and grant subsidies and tax breaks to companies that have not been able to restart their activity due to political decisions, and that "they might not survive the winter " without aid. The plan of the government is that the furlough scheme will end in September.

Tourism Closure since March 2020

According to a survey of UKinbound, 95% of companies that are dedicated to tourism within the United Kingdom have lost out against their competitors' destinations, because they have had no activity or income since the Covid crisis began, in March 2020.

75% of these companies still have furloughed employees, and more worrying for them is that there is no short-term plan for the reopening of international travel. The tourism closure continues.

Joss Croft, chief executive of UKinbound, has remarked that the companies that make up the association and work in the UK tourism sector "are effectively facing its fifth winter season in a row," because we have not had summer since 2019 and they will not have one, until after spring 2022.

Croft has also been critical, saying that not even when the rest of the economy is reopening and recovering some degree of activity, such as the night leisure industry, international tourism will not. "They are not permitting our companies to take part in the recovery," he lamented

What the companies are asking for, and what the Government of Boris Johnson is denying them at the moment, is 47 million pounds (54.4 million euros), for an industry that generates 32,000 million euros a year for the British economy.

Closed to Tourists

The quarantine has been removed for Englishmen who travel to countries on the amber list, but not for tourists from other countries who want to visit the United Kingdom. Although they are fully vaccinated, they must self-isolate for 10 days.

In effect, the United Kingdom remains closed to tourism. Neither it has reopened the connection between the country and the United States, in spite of the success of both countries in their respective vaccination drives.

In addition, the Department of State has recommended to Americans not to travel to the United Kingdom because of the high risk of contagion due to the nature and volume of new cases that are affecting the country.

The USA has placed the United Kingdom at the highest level of alert for international travel, level 4 "Do Not Travel" and warns that even people who are fully immunized are at risk if they travel there.

The Ruin of the Sector

The United Kingdom expects that this year the worldwide spending of tourists will reach 6,200 million pounds (7,200 million euros), less than a quarter of 28.400 million pounds in 2019 (33,000 million euros), in accordance with estimates from the national office of tourism VisitBritain.

These estimates are from May 28, before the traffic light fiasco and before it became a reality that even in July the tourism closure continues.

The authorities rely on the spending of domestic tourism, hoping to reach 51,400 million pounds (about 60,000 million euros), slightly more than half of the 91,600 million pounds in 2019 (more than 106,000 million euros)

During the past year, the sector of domestic tourism lost about two-thirds of its value, which meant a loss of 58,000 million pounds (67,500 million euros) for the economy.

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