Tourism Bounces Back!

Everyone’s lives were changed in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic caused a worldwide lock-down. Countries closed their borders to international travelers, restaurants, cafes, pubs, and non-essential retail outlets were forced to close their doors, and we were ordered to stay at home, work from home if we could, and only see and communicate with our loved ones via online platforms such as Zoom. There is no doubt that the pandemic affected everyone on both personal and professional levels with redundancies and financial instability being at an all-time high, resulting in a severe decline in the mental health of the global population.

The pandemic had an unprecedented impact on the tourism industry, both in the UK and across the world. The measures put in place to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus devastated UK tourism with international travel made impossible and local tourist attractions operating on restricted opening hours or closed completely. It was reported by the UK Parliament that in 2020, the UK received 11.1 million visitors, spending in total £6.2 billion which was a decline of 73% in comparison to 2019 and resulted in a loss of £22.2 billion to the UK economy.

However, tourism is an incredibly resilient industry, and we were not going to go down without a fight! It was reported by the government in 2020 that worldwide travel, and tourism was not predicted to return to normal numbers until 2023. The Office for National Statistics recently released the official UK tourism data for 2022 which showed a massive increase from the extremely low visitation in 2020 and 2021. The UK saw 31.2 million visitors who spent £26.5 billion. This is a decrease of 24% and 7% respectively from the pre-pandemic year of 2019. While still a decrease of visitors and spend, it shows exponential growth from the 2020 numbers.

VisitBritain has forecasted that visitors from Europe will return to normal quicker than long-haul visitors with visits from the European market rising to 24.1 million in 2023. This has almost returned to the pre-pandemic numbers of 27.3 million European visitors in 2019. The UK is predicted to receive 11 million long-haul visitors in 2023. Again, this has almost returned to normal as the 2019 numbers were 13.6 million. Considering the cost-of-living crisis which was evident throughout 2022 and so far in 2023, the astronomical growth of UK tourism is a true testament to the resilient nature the of travel trade. 

At BOSH, we have noticed a clear increase in visitors booking to visit Scotland and the UK with us to the point where we have surpassed our pre-pandemic numbers in 2022 and are forecasted to go even further beyond this in 2023. For this, we would like to extend a sincere thank you to all our customers, past, present, and future. Without you coming to visit our beautiful country, the tourism industry in Scotland and the whole of the UK would not have been able to recover as quickly as it did and continue to grow after 3 years of adversity.

If you’re considering a post-pandemic visit to Scotland or the UK, we have plenty of customisable packages. Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture admirer, or a nature lover, we will have something to suit you! Check out our destination packages here:

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