Nearly 90% of inbound tour operators and destination management firms have made less than 5% of their pre-COVID revenue in 2021, fresh data from UKinbound has found.
More than a quarter said they will earn nothing for the remainder of the year, with 53% calculating they will generate a tenth, or less.
While ex-UK travel begins to pick up, the latest figures demonstrate the perilous state of the inbound sector, UKinbound Chief Executive Joss Croft said.
‘Freedom Day’ as yesterday was branded, was anything but for the tourism sector, he added.
“With the rest of the UK economy opening up, the UK economy continues to lose £78m a day in exports due to a lack of inbound tourism, and hundreds of previously profitable businesses that provide valuable revenue to local economies and sustain thousands of livelihoods all across the country are on the brink of collapse, through no fault of their own.,” he said.
During an event on the River Thames, which saw operators unfurl a banner as they passed the Houses of Parliament, Croft again called for a tourism export recovery fund, an extension of the furlough scheme through to April 2022 and a mutual recognition of COVID vaccination status with key inbound markets.