BRITAIN has announced that it expects more travellers to begin visiting from overseas in 2021, offering relief to the tourism industry which was devastated by the pandemic this year.
Visit Britain, the UK’s official tourism organisation, anticipate 16.9 million travellers to visit the country in 2021 if Covid restrictions are relaxed as planned. This would mark a 73% increase in tourists compared to 2020 when the global tourism industry was paralysed by the pandemic.
The projected figures of 2021 figures would still be just half the number of the 40.9 million overseas visitors to Britain in 2019. An estimated £11.9 billion will be spent by tourists in the UK next year, up by 59% from 2020 but less than a third of 2019’s all-time high.
It is forecast that tourist numbers will gradually increase between January and March before sharply rising in Easter and Spring as widescale coronavirus vaccination leads to restrictions easing. The vast majority of visitors are expected to be from European countries, arriving via short-haul flights from the continent.
Tourism Minister Nigel Huddlestone said the forecast means the ‘industry can look ahead to 2021 with renewed optimism for recovery’, adding that the government is ‘committed to bringing the inbound tourism sector back to full strength’.
The director of Visit Britain, Patricia Yates, said that ‘UK tourism businesses usually welcome tens of millions of overseas visitors each year with those visitors spending billions, supporting jobs and local economies right across the country.’ The agency also revealed plans to launch a large promotional campaign to encourage tourists to visit Britain from key European markets such as France and Germany.
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