South West tourism businesses set to lose £1 billion over pandemic, study reveals

Lamont Pridmore - Accountants

The coronavirus pandemic could cost the South West of England’s tourism industry £1 billion, a major study has revealed.

Visit Cornwall, who published the research, said further lockdown restrictions could have major ramifications for tourism businesses across the UK.

According to the paper, south west-based tourism and hospitality businesses stand to lose up to £1 billion in revenue from March 2020, when the first lockdown began, to April 2021, when the third national lockdown is expected to subside.

This represents a reduction in income of about 45 per cent, the association said.

The figures have been released in a bid to persuade travellers to make bookings early to save the industry, adding that customers could claim their money back or postpone should further Covid-19 restrictions arise.

Commenting on the report, Malcolm Bell, head of Visit Cornwall, said although the medium and long-term outlook is positive due to the coronavirus vaccine, short-term cash flow is impacting business viability.

“We’re certainly 100 per cent behind the lockdown. But I don’t think it’s irresponsible to look ahead for the summer and the autumn and say: ‘Book now,’ so that businesses have got some healthy reservations already in,” he said.

VisitBritain also revealed last month that spending by overseas visitors had fallen from £28.4 billion in 2019 to £5.7 billion in 2020.

For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our specialist tourism team today.