In the first part of a two-part conversation with VisitBritain’s Senior Vice President, The Americas, Paul Gauger talks about what VisitBritain is doing to help with the destination’s tourism recovery; health and safety initiatives; and programs designed to give both domestic travellers and future international visitors the confidence to travel.
At the outset, Gauger told Canadian Travel Press that the “most recent forecast for inbound tourism to the UK in 2020, as of August 25, is for a decline of 73% in visits to 11 million and a decline of 79% in spending to £6 billion ($10 billion CAD). This would represent a loss vs the pre-COVID forecast of 30.7 million visits and £24 billion ($40 billion CAD) spending.”
He continued: “Looking at the domestic market, our latest forecast is for a 49% decline in domestic tourism spending in Britain this year equalling a £44.9 billion ($76 billion CAD) loss to the economy. This gives a total forecast loss, when combining domestic and inbound, of spending this year of £68.8 billion ($116 billion CAD).”
And Gauger added: “For Canada, our forecasts expect visits to drop by 78% with spend expected to drop by 79%.