How travel and tourism have been affected by Covid-19

An analysis has been carried of how industries related to travel and tourism in the UK have been affected by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, using data on business performance and the labour market.

Some of the key points are:

  • Accommodation and travel agency businesses saw the sharpest decline in turnover during the first national lockdown, falling to 9.3% of their February levels in May 2020.
  • The proportion of businesses in travel and tourism industries trading peaked at 85% in October 2020, before declining in response to increasing restrictions in November.
  • In travel and tourism industries overall, the number of people aged 16 to 24 years saw the largest fall in employment of any age group between Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2019 and Quarter 3 2020.
  • As well as seeing larger declines in employment relative to other industries, travel and tourism industries have also tended to have higher rates of people on full or partial furlough leave.
  • Data from the Civil Aviation Authority show how international passenger traffic at UK airports fell to 1.9% of its February 2020 levels in April, recovering to a peak of 36.7% in August before falling again in response to increased restrictions. Domestic air passenger traffic followed a similar pattern, although fell at a slower pace after the peak in August, as more international restrictions were imposed. Notably, the two types of passenger traffic have performed similarly in 2020, relative to their levels in February 2020, while in 2019 international passenger traffic was far more seasonal.

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