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COVID-19 furlough ends at worst time for UK tourism

COVID-19 furlough end comes at worst time for UK tourism
COVID-19 furlough end comes at worst time for UK tourism
Written by Harry Johnson

Industry analysts forecast UK domestic travel to rebound to 2019 levels during 2022, when it will reach 123.9 million trips. However, international outbound trips will take longer and will not return to pre-COVID levels until 2024, when they will hit 84.7 million trips.

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  • The end of furlough couldn’t really have come at a worse time of year for the UK travel industry.
  • Although UK domestic recovery is on track for a 2022 rebound, the industry must navigate the normally tough winter period first.
  • Striking a balance will cause headaches for many travel firms – especially those heavily reliant on international travel.

With the UK’s furlough scheme set to end this month, the travel companies will be forced to cut costs in order to survive the winter. Travel and Tourism industry experts warn that such measures may well include redundancies.

The end of furlough couldn’t really have come at a worse time of year for the UK travel industry. The tough winter season is upon us, and cost-cutting measures will be essential for survival. Unfortunately, this means redundancies are likely, as this is one of the easiest ways to save money.

Industry analysts forecast UK domestic travel to rebound to 2019 levels during 2022, when it will reach 123.9 million trips. However, international outbound trips will take longer and will not return to pre-COVID levels until 2024, when they will hit 84.7 million trips.

Although domestic recovery is on track for a 2022 rebound, the industry must navigate the normally tough winter period first. Without sufficient demand, revenues will continue to be suppressed and companies will struggle. A fine balance must be struck between redundancies and future agility.

Industry experts also point out the dangers of dropping employee numbers to UK travel companies, If companies begin making employees redundant, they are less able to respond to sudden upticks in demand. Striking a balance will cause headaches for many travel firms – especially those heavily reliant on international travel. The quickly changing nature of travel restrictions may see a sudden spike in demand for certain destinations at short notice. If a firm is understaffed, it could miss out on much-needed revenue. Conversely, retaining too many staff could result in costs spiraling out of control.

Extending the furlough scheme for the travel industry could buy time for the sector until demand begins to strengthen. However, the prospect is slim.

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About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for almost 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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