Confidence among UK tourism businesses has risen to pre-pandemic levels following the lifting of travel restrictions for vaccinated arrivals, according to new research by UKinbound.
Its quarterly Business Barometer Member Survey found that 56% of inbound tourism businesses are confident about bookings, visitor revenue and customer orders for the next 12 months.
However, most expect this year’s bookings will still be down on pre-COVID levels.
The survey revealed that –
- Business in Q1 is expected to be down for almost four in five inbound tourism businesses – 78% of businesses expect bookings/visitor number/customer orders for Q1 2022 to be lower than the same time pre-pandemic
- January – March revenue is expected to be down by an average of 67% – 72% of business expect revenue in Q1 2022 to be down compared to the same time pre-pandemic, by an average of 67%
- Spring/Summer business is expected to be down 46% – over three quarters (77%) of businesses expect bookings/visitor number/customer orders for April – September 2022 will be down by an average of 46% compared to pre-pandemic
UKinbound CEO Joss Croft said: “After a two-year hiatus it’s fantastic that business confidence is finally returning, and that the UK is now open for business.
“Our members are eager to welcome back international visitors with open arms and start trading their way to recovery, but we can’t let confidence levels mask reality.
“2022 is going to be tough. Inbound tourism businesses have taken on huge debts during the pandemic and our research shows that revenue this year will still be significantly down on 2019.
“Inbound international tourism to the UK is a critical component that will accelerate the UK’s economic recovery, but it’s also a competitive industry, and the UK can’t be complacent.
“It is vital that the UK Government continues investing in the promotion of Britain abroad and puts in place policies and funding that support the recovery and growth of businesses across the sector.”