Tourism chiefs are calling for an extra bank holiday in October to help revive the industry as the sector has lost £37bn in trade since the lockdown started.
Patricia Yates who is the chief of Visit Britain said that the extra day off will “stimulate demand when it is possible to travel.”
The tourism industry has lost millions in trade as the there have been three missed bank holidays since the lockdown begun.
The government have estimated that each bank holiday has cost the economy £2.3bn, whilst other businesses groups say the figure could be as high as £6bn.
proposals were discussed today at the, by Ms Yates, who is the acting chief executive officer at Visit Britain.
Yates told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee, “The idea that we could possibly have a bank holiday in October, because the industry has lost the benefit of the two main bank holidays, I think that’s an idea that’s being considered.
“So have an October bank holiday around half term, because what we’re going to need to do is not just generate people in July and August, but really extend the season this year for the domestic market.”
She told the committee that billions will be lost in the tourism sector both from international and domestic holidaymakers.
She said, “Every time we do the modelling the figures get worse.
“So, for inbound, I mean we were looking at the beginning of this year at about £26.6bn coming from inbound tourism, we reckon a £15bn drop on that.
“And for domestic, an industry that’s normally worth about £80bn, a £22bn drop on that.
“And that’s actually before we’ve factored in the quarantine because we don’t clearly quite know what the measures are going to look like.”
She added, “You’ve got a collapse of the supply industry as well as collapse of demand and really to get British tourism up and running this summer, and the summer is hugely important, you’re going to need that domestic audience.
“I think the worrying thing we see is the lack of confidence in the British public about travelling.”