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10,000 jobs at stake for tourism industry, warns UKinbound

10,000 jobs in the inbound tourism industry are at risk in the UK, according to UKInbound, a trade body which oversees tourism to the UK.

The association expressed grave concern that its tour operator and destination management company (DMC) members will need to make around 10,000 job cuts, and over half will fail within the next six months, if the government does not intervene. 

UKInbound has called for the following support from the government to help protect the sector:

-    A Tourism Resilience Fund to help businesses that are wholly reliant on international visitors to survive until the anticipated return of the market in Spring 2021

-    Guidance on rate relief and grants should be amended to include tour operators and DMCs

-    National insurance and corporation tax holidays for these businesses until the market recovers


In the longer term, the association is also calling for:

-    Financial support to promote and ‘sell’ the UK at international sales missions and exhibitions

-    Additional provisions for VisitBritain to promote the UK as safe and welcoming, when the time is right

-    A temporary 12-month suspension of Air Passenger Duty (APD)

-    Introduction of a new five-year UK visitor visa for India and China


“Longer term, we need to entice international visitors back to the UK.”


Joss Croft, CEO, UKinbound (pictured) said: “Many tour operators and DMCs across the country, who rely solely on international visitors for their livelihoods, are on their knees - unfortunately their futures look very uncertain without targeted government intervention. 

“Before the pandemic, these businesses were viable and successful and delivered a large proportion of visitation outside of London. Significant economic benefits to the UK’s nations and regions will be vastly eroded if these businesses go under and jobs are lost. 

“Immediate support is needed, and we implore the Prime Minister to listen. The creation of a Tourism Resilience Fund for the UK’s 200+ tour operators and DMCs would help to shore up businesses until the market returns in Spring 2021, as would allowing them access to rate relief and grant support. A national insurance and corporate tax holiday would also help ease the significant financial strain. 

“Unlike many other tourism businesses such as attractions, restaurants, hotels and bars who can re-open and hopefully benefit from increased domestic tourism this summer, tour operators and DMCs have not seen an uptick in international tourists wanting to come to the UK and instead have seen extensive cancellations over the summer months and into the autumn.  

“These businesses will have earned no revenue since March and are unlikely to until the start of next year’s tourism season. Longer term, we need to entice international visitors back to the UK. This can be achieved through Government funding of international sales missions and exhibitions; additional provision for VisitBritain to promote the UK as safe and welcoming, a temporary 12-month suspension of APD, and the introduction of a new five-year UK visitor visa for India and China. 

“The industry is incredibly grateful for all the support the Chancellor has already provided, but now we need a targeted approach that will secure jobs and businesses in the inbound tourism industry, who will be vital to our long term economic recovery, a successful Brexit and the Government’s ambitions for a truly global Britain.”