The annual VisitBritain forecast for the volume and spend of inbound tourism to the UK is issued in December each year.

This week it has released the updated forecasts for 2020 and 2021. Briefly, they are a decline of 76% in visits to the UK in 2020 to 9.7 million, and a decline of 80% in spending to £5.7 billion; inbound tourism in 2021 is forecast at 16.9 million visits, up 73% on 2020 but only 41% of the 2019 level, leading to £9.0 billion spendt by inbound tourists, up 59% on 2020 but only 32% of the 2019 level.

There are forecast to be 13.6 million visits from Europe in 2021, 50% of the 2019 level; and 3.3 million visits from long haul markets, 24% of the 2019 level, both to be affected by the economic situation, new behavioural habits and potential loss of supply.

The domestic outlook for England forecasts £28.5 billion in domestic tourism spending in 2020, down 63% compared to 2019, while for 2021, the forecast is for a recovery to £51.6bn in domestic tourism spending in 2021, up 82% compared to 2020 but only 68% of the level of spending seen in 2019.

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