While the beleaguered hospitality industry’s 2020 story is not new to us, it is interesting to see it in round figures. December is the month in which VisitBritain publishes its forecasts for tourism. Unsurprisingly, things went awry in 2020.

Inbound visits saw a loss over the forecasted figures of 32.3 million visits (76%) and £24.7 billion spending (80%).

The forecast for domestic spending for 2020, which includes overnight stays and day trips, is £28.5 billion, down 63% on 2019 and represents a loss of £47.5bn.

Bearing in mind the forecasts were made in December, VisitBritain predicts ‘16.9 million visits, up 73% on 2020 but only 41% of the 2019 level; and £9 billion to be spent by inbound tourists, up 59% on 2020 but only 32% of the 2019 level.’

Domestic tourism spending in 2021 is expected to recover to £51.6bn; an increase of 82% compared to 2020 but only 68% of that seen in 2019. The forecast for domestic overnight tourism spending is £14.1 billion (81% growth on 2020 but 72% of the 2019 level) and £37.6bn in leisure day trip spending (82% growth on 2020 and 67% of the 2019 level).

For an in depth analysis visit www.visitbritain.org/2021-tourism-forecast