David Trunkfield, hospitality and leisure leader at PwC, said:
“The travel and tourism market has been decimated by COVID-19 and remains under immense pressure. While there was a brief resurgence in the summer of 2020, further lockdowns and travel restrictions have since hit demand. There remains uncertainty over the timing and profile of any recovery, given the need for restrictions to be lifted (both in the UK and internationally) and the virus to be contained to the extent that people feel comfortable to travel.
“The figures show a complete reversal of normal patterns in the industry, with London particularly impacted as people avoid city centres and levels of international tourist arrivals drop. By contrast, more remote areas such as the South West recovered relatively well during periods when restrictions were eased, benefiting from the staycation effect. We would expect to see similar trends during the course of 2021, though much will depend on how and when travel restrictions are eased, both within the UK and internationally.
“These significant impacts have had a knock on impact on employment in the travel and tourism industry. We’ve seen larger declines in employment than other industries, particularly for the 25-34 age demographic, despite the high levels of furlough uptake by the industry. The current ongoing restrictions on travel create a significant risk that we will see further increases in unemployment in the industry as this year unfolds.”
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