Travel restrictions, closed public places, fear of crowds… COVID-19 is causing havoc for tourism. Fortunately, thanks to vaccines and health measures, the situation is now much better controlled than it was a year ago, and tourists are starting to visit again.
However, if business picks up in Europe, the UK is lagging. In France, tourism grew by 34% between 2020 and 2021, CNN details, but on the other side of the channel, the situation is worse than last year. From 40.9 million tourists in 2019, the UK has fallen to 11.1 in 2020, and is expected to drop to 7.4 million this year.
This summer, according to CNN, Spain and Greece managed to reach 64 and 86% of the number of arrivals, respectively, compared to the same period in 2019. In England this percentage is only 14.3%.
The first reason for this is covid. Despite a vaccine campaign launched early, cases of COVID have reignited faster than on the continent. In fact, the British government revoked almost all health restrictions in July.
Vaccination is also lagging behind other tourist destinations. In England, 68.8% of the population is fully vaccinated. While this rate is similar to France (69.1%), it is lower than the most popular summer vacation destinations in Europe: 73.9% in Italy, 79.2 in Spain, 86, 6% in Portugal.
The second big reason is obviously Brexit. Due to the country’s exit from the European Union, European citizens now must have a passport to travel to the archipelago. However, three quarters of Europeans do not have one and making one is expensive. For example, for French adults living in metropolitan France, this is an increase of 86 euros per person on a holiday budget.
If we add to this a more severe labor and supply shortage than the rest of Europe and a smaller budget devoted to the revival of tourism, Big Ben should be prepared to be photographed less for a moment.
Organizer. Zombie aficionado. Wannabe reader. Passionate writer. Twitter lover. Music scholar. Web expert.