Pandemic having ‘stark economic impact’ on tourism industry

Aviemore in the Highlands has been affected badly, according to a new study by Labour.

Pandemic having ‘stark economic impact’ on tourism industry iStock

Some of the biggest increases in people claiming out of work benefits during the pandemic have been in areas which rely on tourism for jobs, according to a new study.

Labour said its research suggested that the coronavirus crisis was having a “stark” impact on the tourism industry.

Areas including Aviemore in the Highlands, Whitby, Minehead, Porthmadog, Tenby and Penzance are among those hit by a big increase in the number of people claiming out of work benefits, said Labour.

The party added that accommodation and food service businesses are now in more than £6bn of debt.

Arts, entertainment and businesses including tourist attractions such as zoos and theme parks are facing a bill of almost £1.5bn, said Labour.

Seema Malhotra, shadow minister for business and consumers, said: “Businesses and workers have done the right thing during this crisis in the most difficult of circumstances, and these figures suggest those working in the tourism industry have been hit particularly hard.

“While the vaccine rollout and road map to reopening is good news for businesses, it’s clear that ministers should not expect businesses saddled with debt taken on to survive the crisis to simply bounce back.

“The Government must provide businesses with a fair repayment scheme based on the amount they’re making, or risk more people falling out of work and further damage to local economies reliant on trade from tourists.”

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