U.K. Set for Summer Staycation Boost as Brits Holiday at Home
Tourism hotspots such as Wales, Devon, Cornwall and the Lake District are set for a major boost as Britons opt to spend the summer in the U.K. rather than abroad -- but cities like London and Manchester risk losing out.
That’s the assessment of the Resolution Foundation, which said that an extra 30.5 billion pounds ($42 billion) and 300,000 jobs would be injected into the pandemic-hit British travel and hospitality sectors if all tourists across Europe replaced their foreign vacations with a holiday in their own country.
The U.K. stands to benefit more than most from the staycation boom because a relatively high proportion of Britons chose to holiday abroad prior to the pandemic and the introduction of international travel curbs. The switch is good news for coastal and rural areas of the U.K. popular with domestic tourists, the think tank said.
It’s less so for major cities, which rely heavily on visitors from abroad. In London, foreigners accounted for 90% of the nights spent in tourist accommodation in 2016.
The Resolution Foundation warned that the industry still faces “huge challenges” as the government prepares to finish its flagship furlough program in September. One in four jobs in the tourist sector are held by people under the age of 25 and almost 60% of hotel staff were still dependent on government wage support at the end of May.
“Supporting the disproportionately young and low-paid workers who rely on the hospitality industry should remain a priority, especially when both the British summer -– and the furlough scheme -- ends,” said Senior Economist Nye Cominetti.
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