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London misses out on £7bn tourist spending from travel restrictions

·2 min read
London
London

London will bear the brunt of an £11bn tourist spending shortfall caused by the UK’s travel restrictions, new research reveals.

The capital will miss out on £7bn given its dependency on overseas visitors, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

Total visitor spending in the second half of 2021 is forecast to be £14bn, compared with £25bn prior to the pandemic in 2019.

London is far more popular with international visitors compared with other parts of the UK. Almost two-thirds, some 63pc, of all visitor spending was made in the capital in the second half of 2019

This weekend travel restrictions will be relaxed with a number of countries moved to the Government’s “green list”. France will be moved from the “amber-plus” list, meaning arrivals will no longer have to quarantine.

However, the think tank warned that “the colour grading of foreign destinations can change with little notice”.

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, corroborated such a risk on Thursday, telling Sky News he "can never say there is a zero chance" that quarantine would not be re-imposed.

The CEBR found: “Compared to many neighbouring countries which have taken a much more relaxed approach, even the best case scenario for international travel is still pretty onerous, meaning many potential visitors are still choosing to stay away.”

Moving Germany to Britain’s green list comes as a filip for the City, allowing bankers to travel far more easily to Frankfurt, one of the EU’s key financial centres.

Robert Sinclair, boss of London City Airport, said: "We welcome the additions to the green list, especially Germany, which is a boost for London City passengers looking to connect to Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Berlin for leisure, business, or to reunite with family and friends.

“However, the Government must take further steps to bolster confidence and enable the UK aviation industry’s recovery to properly take off and catch up with our European neighbours. In particular, the testing regime needs to be made simpler, cheaper, and more accessible for passengers.”