The Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP), the Coach Tourism Association (CTA), the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CTP UK), the English United Kingdom, the ETOA, the Tourism Alliance and UKinbound have shared their “despair and disbelief” about The government’s decision expressed the inbound tourism and events sector for access to the latest Covid-19 support.
As of March 2020, the government has declared that sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars are specifically eligible for Business Grants, Local Restriction Support Grants, and Business Rates Relief. However, the group says four key valuable export and transportation sectors that have been closed for almost a year are still excluded.
Tour operators, Destination Management Companies (DMCs), bus companies, language schools and tour operators (especially tour operators) generate £ 17.5 billion and provide 275,000 jobs for the UK economy but are not listed as eligible companies.
The government’s latest Business Support Package for Government Lockdown, which includes a Lockdown Payment for Closed Businesses and an Addendum to LRSG (Closed), provides further support of up to £ 13,500 for sexual entertainment venues, tourism and many event companies be excluded from the application again.
The associations and their members said they had contacted ministers, MPs and government officials “over a hundred times” to explain why support should be given to these companies, which were profitable before the pandemic, and to request that the eligibility criteria be changed, to include them. The associations claim that the government continues to ignore these demands.
UKinbound CEO Joss Croft said the government’s refusal to support these companies “is undermining an integral economic recovery channel.” International inbound tourism is the UK’s third largest export of services, bringing in £ 28 billion for the UK economy in 2019. Tour operators / DMCs alone attract more than half of all international visitors.
“With our travel corridors closed, these companies are on the verge of survival after being left in the cold by existing government support programs,” he said.
“Without support and a clear government roadmap for reopening, we risk the near total collapse of the UK inbound tourism industry. When we can travel again, international visitors will prefer to visit other European destinations than the UK, inflicting irrevocable damage to tourism-dependent communities and regions, leaving the global UK out of government and growing ambitions in ruins. “
BVEP chairman Simon Hughes added that event organizers have fallen through the cracks of government support despite being at the core of a £ 70 billion industrial sector employing 700,000 people. “Many promoters are small and individual businesses that don’t have the resources to survive a period of inactivity in trading that has been in place for nearly 12 months and could last well into the latter part of 2021,” he said. “With more than five million incoming visits to the UK annually to attend a business event generating £ 3.5 billion in spending, the proper support from promoters is vital to the UK’s economic recovery . “
Kurt Janson, director of the Tourism Alliance, said supporting these companies is key to the success of the government’s aviation and tourism recovery plans. He said, “VisitBritain and the GREAT campaign to increase marketing efforts in overseas source markets later this year will be of limited success if there are no events people can come to, no tour operators to attract convert and sell the product when the language schools are closed and when there are no bus companies to transport tour groups across the UK. “
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